Pokemon Diamond

Key events

Japan still loves Pokémon films

Pet-fighting animations make millions.

Pokémon has become the most popular animated cartoon series ever in Japan, as the 11 films combine to gross over JPY 50 billion (GBP 246 million) in the region.

Pokémon Diamond expansion revealed

Nintendo has unpacked a fresh expansion for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.

It's got the imaginative name of Pokémon Platinum and, according to Kotaku's translation of the Japanese site, is due out this autumn. In Japan land, presumably.

There's no word on what it will do yet or if it can be used like a real pet, but we expect there will be more monsters to collect and train and show to your friends.

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And another thing: I hate the way the sun always gets in my eyes in winter. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against me; it did last night when I glided unaware through some dog mess. Got right in the tread. Will probably need a toothbrush to get that out - I hope my flatmate doesn't mind. Still, when you run yourself a hot bath and sink into a cosy bed you can almost forgive the biting cold and animals - escaping the winter is what makes it memorable.

DS dominates Europe

Pokémon trouncing opposition.

The Nintendo DS and fiendishly addictive title Pokémon have dominated the charts in both Germany and Spain.

Pokémon DS launch in London

Pokémon DS launch in London

Like being a kid "again".

You may already have queued for the launch of the new Harry Potter book, but when it comes to kid-packed London launches surely you've just gotta catch them all - which is why we're telling you about Nintendo's pre-launch event for Pokémon Diamond/Pearl in London this week.

The first 200 fans who pre-order from GAME in Hamleys (020 7287 5486) or GAME Oxford Street (020 7637 7911) will be able to take home the game a day early at the Hamleys Regent Street event at 6pm on Thursday, 26th July. The game goes on general release a day later. NOT JUST THAT, but McFly will be there! Yes!

You'll love Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, as you'll know if you've read our import review. The latest in Nintendo's addictive RPG series introduces over a hundred new pokémon and features all the online options you've come to wish were in the other ones, allowing you to swap monsties with your friends over the internet providing you can be bothered to persist with all that Friend Code nonsense.

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Pokémon jewels in July

Diamonds and Pearls for you.

Nintendo has finally pinned a release date on the excellent Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl, which will now be available throughout Europe on 27th July.

Pokémon Diamond/Pearl

Pokémon Diamond/Pearl

'Super Effective' as always.

In just ten short years since the franchise's introduction, the Pokémon series has enjoyed monumental success and now sits just behind Mario's many and varied outings as the second most lucrative gaming franchise of all time. But the basic facts don't really do justice to the phenomenal sales of the monster battling saga. Indeed, if you factor in the fact that Mario has had the benefit of a ten-year head start, as well as the fact that the NES, SNES and N64 all featured huge-selling Mario hardware bundles, things start to look a little more impressive. But of course, 'things that are popular' and 'things that are good' aren't always the same thing. Just look at Oasis and Coldplay. Anyone who has played one of the true Pokémon adventures, though, will most likely vouch for the quality - and with so many improvements squeezed in between oodles of fuzzy familiarity for this DS debut, it looks like 160-odd million sales might be justified for this market-leading IP.

Over a hundred new monsters join the party for this new generation of acceptable cock-fighting, ranging from the straight lame to the wondrously creative. The fact that such a large portion of the newly introduced creature are either evolutions or baby versions of existing monsters has the unfortunate side-effect of making Game Freak look a little short on ideas at times. Still, new stages of evolution for the likes of Togetic, Rhydon and the magnificent Lickitung, among others, should mean that entire families of Pokémon that have been ignored since their respective debuts finally get some use in competitive play. Diamond and Pearl make sure to tick all the boxes their predecessors have laid out for them, showcasing a great trio of starters as always, a not-so-great trio of annoyingly elusive legendary monsters and a couple of Pokémon that simply can't be obtained until Nintendo decides you can have them. But it's not so much the regurgitated and formulaic elements that'll make you sit up and take notice of these new adventures, rather the brand new stuff that Diamond and Pearl bring to the table.

Making full use of the DS' Wi-Fi options, the new Pokémon duo allow friends both close and distant to battle or trade at their leisure. With this potential for global challenges absent from every other Pokémon game thus far, fans that had resorted to battling over PC programs or websites can finally take on the world legitimately. And it isn't just about facing off against rivals online either (although, incidentally, there's no option for battling random opponents, so you'll need to get your Friend Code out there if you're planning on showing your team off). The Global Trade Centre allows for trade requests to be posted on a worldwide bulletin board, where you can either search for what other Trainers have made available or throw one of your own monsters up there, specifying exactly what you want in return for your former friend. But don't assume that this new feature will make finishing your Pokédex any easier. Since you're only able to search the network for Pokémon that you've seen, you're unlikely to be scoring yourself a Mew or a Bulbasaur from the GTC any time soon.

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Pokemon Pearl/Diamond dated

US in April, Europe in summer.

A spokesperson for Nintendo has told Eurogamer that DS titles Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl will be available in Europe in either "June or July - after Pokemon Ranger".

Pokémon Diamond/Pearl

Game Freak's pocket monster evolves.

With most shops already stocking little but air where their Nintendo hardware should be, the Japanese firm is silencing critics with its impressive sell- through, with both the shiny new Wii and the loveable DS Lite being about as easy to track down as hen's teeth this Christmas. So with the installed base of the DS flying up faster than Sony would like, we look to next year with just one word on our collective minds - Pokémon. Diamond and Pearl are undoubtedly the most anticipated portable titles of 2007 and we've spent the last few months ploughing through the Japanese versions to give you the low- down on just what to expect come Easter. Or whenever the hell Nintendo decides to let us have the games in English. Maybe next Christmas. We just don't know. But every day that passes without this game makes us a little bit sadder.

New Pokémon DS details

New Pokémon DS details

Diamond and Pearl unveiled.

Some new snippets of info regarding DS titles Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl have emerged.

According to an article in Japanese magazine Coro Coro, partially translated by Serebii.net, the action takes place in the region of Shinou, which is based on the real life island of Hokkaido. As in Pokémon Gold/Silver, the time of day will change as you play, but this time it'll go from morning to noon to afternoon, evening and night-time.

You'll be guided by a brand new character called Professor Nanakamado, and Manaphy will return with a new move, Heart Swap, which swaps status effects amongst all the Pokémon on the playing field.

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Pokémon DS dates, details

Pokémon DS dates, details

Plus news on Pokémon Ranger.

Nintendo DS duo Pokémon Diamond and Pearl will be released simultaneously in Japan next year, according to reports, while a third game named Pokémon Ranger is also expected to appear.

Reports of a fourth game, "Pokémon Until They Give Us More Money", are thought to be rubbish jokes made by lame hacks at about 7:45 in the morning.

Nintendo has yet to respond to our request for comment (and probably won't now we've done that "Poke Them On" gag for the 400th time), but the news of Diamond and Pearl's release plans were broken by Comic Korokoro in Japan, GameSpot reports.

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