Pokémon Crystal Hits 3DS Virtual Console on Jan. 26

Suspiciously missing since the re-release of Gold and Silver versions earlier this year, Pokémon Crystal will be coming to the Nintendo 3DS eShop Virtual Console in late January.

The release was confirmed for multiple regions early this morning. While the highly requested title will be only available for digital download in North America, it will see a “physical” release as well in Japan and Europe. In fact, Japan’s copy will come with a bonus magnet, manual, and poster for the whole package. Details for North America’s release are as follows:

When it launched in Japan 17 years ago, Pokémon Crystal introduced many new and exciting elements to the beloved Pokémon franchise. The game, an expanded version of the popular Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver games, was the first in the Pokémon franchise to allow players to choose between a boy or girl playable character, as well as being the first game to introduce animations during Pokémon battles.

Now this groundbreaking game is coming to Nintendo eShop on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems on Jan. 26 for only $9.99.

On the day it launches, Pokémon Crystal will also be compatible with Pokémon Bank, a paid service that lets players bring select Pokémon from classic core games to the newest core games in the series. With the addition of Pokémon Crystal to this service, it is now possible for players to bring Pokémon from all 29 core games in the series to Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon.

In this version of Pokémon Crystal, players will also have the chance to encounter the mythical Pokémon Celebi in an event after completing the game. In the original Pokémon Crystal game, Celebi could only be obtained by using a special accessory.

As with the Nintendo eShop editions of Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver, Pokémon Crystal will take advantage of the wireless communication capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, allowing players to enjoy Link Trades and Link Battles with each other. With the Time Capsule feature, players can even trade and battle Pokémon from Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue and Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition, which are all also available in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS.

Fans also have the option to play Pokémon Crystal on a New Nintendo 2DS XL system that resembles an iconic Poké Ball. The Poké Ball Edition New Nintendo 2DS XL system can be purchased in stores at a suggested retail price of $159.99. (The Pokémon Crystal game and Poké Ball Edition New Nintendo 2DS XL system are sold separately.)

The re-release of Pokémon Crystal lends more hope that even more classic Pokémon series titles will continue seeing release on the eShop. With the series switching over to the Nintendo Switch this upcoming year, there is new anticipation that versions such as Ruby, Sapphire, Diamond, Pearl, and so on may see release on the hybrid console someday. 

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