'Pokemon Z' release date rumors: Game not expected this year as Nintendo focuses on 'Pokemon Sun and Moon?'

Box art for Pokemon Red Version, released in 2004 | Nintendo/Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

It has been rumored for a long time that Nintendo is planning to release a follow-up 3DS game to the successful handheld Pokemon games such as "Pokemon X" and Pokemon Y." Dubbed as the "Pokemon Z," the fans were expecting that Nintendo would be making the big announcement during Nintendo's Direct event. Much to the dismay of the fans, "Pokemon Z" was not mentioned. This sparked the speculation that the rumored Pokemon game will not be available this year, especially that Nintendo is busy working on their other Pokemon game projects,

Pokemon fans have been expecting that "Pokemon Z" is included in Nintendo's lineup of surprises as the electronic entertainment company will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this 2016. As News Everyday reported, Nintendo has a very busy schedule ahead of them with big Pokemon games such as "Pokemon Sun and Moon" that is scheduled for a series of previews in CoroCoro magazine issues. Also, another Pokemon augmented reality game that will be the first to debut as a smartphone application, Pokemon GO, is currently under beta testing. The least the fans could at least expect that "Pokemon Z" release date will be pushed back to a later date, possibly next year. The worst possible scenario is the "Pokemon Z" being dropped completely. However, NeuroGadget said that it might be too early to come up with that conclusion. The same website also reported in the past that "Pokemon Z" has been listed in Nintendo 3DS platform for a 2016 release.

"Pokemon X" and "Pokemon Y" debuted as 3DS games in 2013 and they became an instant big hit among the Pokemon game fans. It is not surprising that the fans would clamor for the next installment of a highly entertaining handheld game. It will also not be surprising if Nintendo decided to create a follow-up game to repeat the commercial success of the first two games.