Last month, the computer graphics conference SIGGRAPH announced that employees from Niantic Labs would be in attendance and would release a "rare Pikachu" at the conference. Many Pokemon Go fans speculated that this meant a new Pikachu variant was on the way.
While the popular speculation is that the new Pikachu variant will be a Shiny Pikachu, a new video teases the possibility that the new Pikachu will be the iconic Pikachu from the Pokemon anime.
Earlier this year, the Pokemon Company started distributing "Ash Hat Pikachu" to Pokemon Sun and Moon players in Japan to celebrate the Pokemon anime's 20th anniversary. As their name suggests, these special Pikachu each wear one of the hats Ash Ketchum has worn during his lengthy journey through the Pokemon world.
To celebrate the release of the upcoming Pokemon movie (which comes out next month in Japan,) the Toho Cinema theater chain released a new short featuring Pikachu...and a PokeStop from Pokemon Go.
The short shows a Pikachu wearing Ash's hat from the upcoming movie walking by a PokeStop. When the Legendary Pokemon Ho-Oh flies by, it blows off Pikachu's hat and causes the PokeStop to spin. You can watch the full 20 second short at the top of this article.
It should be noted that Toho Cinemas is a Japanese sponsor of Pokemon Go, which could be why the PokeStop appears in the short. And it's unlikely that Toho Cinemas has any advanced knowledge about what Pokemon Go's plans are.
However, bringing Ash Hat Pikachu to the game makes a lot of sense. The game has released other Pikachu variants with headwear before and they've shown a willingness to cross-promote with other Pokemon initatives in the past. After all, Pokemon Go acknowledged the Pokemon franchise's birthday earlier this year by releasing the "Party Hat Pikachu" into the wild.
This is all just idle speculation, but don't be surprised if you see a certain iconic Pikachu appear in Pokemon Go later this month.
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