Gamers worldwide have been busy this weekend with Pokémon X and Pokémon Y on their Nintendo 3DS handheld systems. As you explore the world and meet the new cast of characters and Pokémon creatures, you may find yourself wondering why the game is named X/Y. On Oct. 14, in a recent Iwata Asks feature, Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda explained the name and how it suits the worldwide release of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y.
Masuda shared that Pokémon X and Pokémon Y are called what they are as the names represent the X-horizontal axis and the Y-vertical axis. Those who have taken geometry know that the X and Y axis will always intersect at some point, and this is why Masuda chose them to represent the new Pokémon game. Masuda explains that this cross-section occurs just as people who hold different views meet.
"The world holds people with all sorts of ways of thinking, and you can get a sense that they exist in different dimensions," Masuda shared. "But if you think of them as people who think on the x axis and people who think on the y axis — horizontal and vertical axes — then they intersect somewhere.
"We may think differently, but we all live on the same planet, so everyone eats, sleeps and goes about their business day after day just like everyone else," he explained.
Moreover, Masuda added that using letters allowed for an easier method of conveying the idea than that of colors, which is why Pokémon X and Pokémon Y don’t have colors in their names.
"So we consulted a lot of people, like (Ken) Sugimori-san, and eventually decided this route was simple and easy to understand," Masuda enlightened. "And while the pronunciation of the letter may change by country, the shape of the letter is the same the world over-for example, we say 'ekkusu' for the letter X in Japanese, but in French they say 'ix'-so in that way too, it was an appropriate way to name these games."
Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokemon Company, felt the new name fit perfectly.
"I rather welcomed it. Because they're the first main Pokémon games for a new hardware platform the Nintendo 3DS, I wanted to do something completely different, so I thought these titles were perfect," he shared.
Pokémon X and Pokémon Y are now available for Nintendo 3DS.