“Pokémon fans first enjoyed ‘Pokémon Ruby Version’ and ‘Pokémon Sapphire Version’ when it launched in 2003 for the Game Boy Advance,” the official announcement on the Pokemon site reads. “Now, a whole new generation of Pokémon fans will experience the dramatic storyline that unfolds in ‘Pokémon Omega Ruby’ and ‘Pokémon Alpha Sapphire’.”
The two games were given a November 2014 release window but additional details were not provided. A trailer released alongside the announcement says that “an epic new adventure is coming.” That suggests less of a straight remake of the original “Ruby” and “Sapphire” versions of Pokémon and more of a reboot or sequel. No gameplay footage or screenshots have been released yet but the fine print in the video confirms the games are in 2D with some areas playable in 3D. So, it is unclear whether the “Pokémon X” and “Pokémon Y” engine is being fully utilized.
“Pokémon Ruby” and “Pokémon Sapphire” were originally released for the Gameboy Advance in 2002 and was set in the Hoenn region. This was a large island region with several smaller islands that can be accessed and players can even go underwater in some spots.
The main antagonist in the original games was Team Aqua/Magma. It is unknown at this time though if they will be returning.
The remake/re-release of “Ruby” and “Sapphire” could be a large part of why Nintendo is predicting that the Nintendo 3DS will sell 12 million units for the 2014 fiscal year. “Pokémon X” and “Pokémon Y” have been able to pull in more than 12 million in sales since they were released in October 2013.
One interesting aspect in this is that ““Pokémon Emerald” followed the release of “Ruby” and “Sapphire” nearly two years later. Could Nintendo and The Pokémon Company International being setting that up a remake/re-release for that as well?