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 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 Pokémon anime.
Earlier this year, the Pokémon Company started distributing “Ash Hat Pikachu” to Pokémon Sun and Moon players in Japan to celebrate the Pokémon 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 Pokémon world.
To celebrate the release of the upcoming Pokémon movie (which comes out next month in Japan,) the Toho Cinema theater chain released a new short featuring Pikachu… and a PokéStop from Pokémon GO.
The short shows a Pikachu wearing Ash’s hat from the upcoming movie walking by a PokéStop. When the Legendary Pokemon Ho-Oh flies by, it blows off Pikachu’s hat and causes the PokéStop 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 Pokémon Go, which could be why the PokéStop appears in the short. And it’s unlikely that Toho Cinemas has any advanced knowledge about what Pokémon 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 Pokémon initatives in the past. After all, Pokémon GO acknowledged the Pokém
on 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 Pokémon GO later this month.