The original Pokémon games were role-playing games (RPGs) with an element of strategy, and were created by Satoshi Tajiri for the Game Boy. These RPGs, and their sequels, remakes, and English language translations, are still considered the "main" Pokémon games, and the games which most fans of the series are referring to when they use the term "Pokémon games". All of the licensed Pokémon properties overseen by The Pokémon Company International are divided roughly by generation. These generations are roughly chronological divisions by release; every several years, when an official sequel in the main RPG series is released that features new Pokémon, characters, and gameplay concepts, that sequel is considered the start of a new generation of the franchise. The main games and their spin-offs, the anime, manga, and trading card game are all updated with the new Pokémon properties each time a new generation begins. The franchise began the sixth generation on October 12, 2013.
A battle between a level 5 Bulbasaur and a level 5 Charmander in the first generation of Pokémon games; Pokémon Red and Blue.
The Pokémon franchise started off in its first generation with its initial release of Pocket Monsters Aka and Midori ("Red" and "Green", respectively) for the Game Boy in Japan. When these games proved extremely popular, an enhanced Ao ("Blue") version was released sometime after, and the Ao version was reprogrammed as Pokémon Red and Blue for international release. The games launched in the United States on September 30, 1998. The original Aka and Midori versions were never released outside of Japan. Afterwards, a further enhanced version titled Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition was released to partially take advantage of the color palette of the Game Boy Color, as well as to feature more elements from the popular Pokémon anime. This first generation of games introduced the original 151 species of Pokémon, in National Pokédex order, encompassing all Pokémon from Bulbasaur to Mew. It also introduced the basic game concepts of capturing, training, battling, and trading Pokémon with both computer and human players. These versions of the games take place within the fictional Kanto region, inspired by the real world Kantō region of Japan, though the name "Kanto" was not used until the second generation.
The second generation of Pokémon began in 1999 with the release of Pokémon Gold and Silver for Game Boy Color. Like the previous generation, an enhanced version titled Pokémon Crystal was later released. The second generation introduced 100 new species of Pokémon, starting with Chikorita and ending with Celebi. It totaled 251 Pokémon to collect, train, and battle, set in Johto, inspired by Japan's Kansai region. The Pokémon mini is a handheld game console released in November 2001 in North America, December 2001 in Japan, and 2002 in Europe.
Pokémon entered its third generation with the 2002 release of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire for Game Boy Advance and continued with the Game Boy Advance remakes of Pokémon Red and Blue, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, and an enhanced version of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire titled Pokémon Emerald. The third generation introduced 135 new Pokémon, starting with Treecko and ending with Deoxys, for a total of 386 species. It is set in Hoenn, inspired by Japan's Kyushu region. However, this generation also garnered some criticism for leaving out several gameplay features, including the day-and-night system introduced in the previous generation. It was also the first installment that encouraged the player to collect merely a selected assortment of the total number of Pokémon rather than every existing species. By contrast, 202 out of 386 species are catchable in the Ruby and Sapphire versions.
In 2006, Japan began the fourth generation of the franchise with the release of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl for Nintendo DS. The fourth generation introduced another 107 new species of