Over the past 20 years, the Pokemon series has become a pop culture mainstay. Leading the way is the franchise’s mascot, a little yellow mouse called Pikachu. Even if you’ve never played a minute of a Pokemon game in your life, you probably know who Pikachu is – after all, being the face of Pokemon, the electric rodent tends to have a way of popping up everywhere.
There are few places where Pikachu hasn’t yet made its mark, however. If you use a smart speaker in your home, for instance, you may have noticed a distinct lack of Pikachu. That’s all set to change next year, as The Pokemon Company has plans to bring Pikachu to both Amazon Alexa devices and Google Assistant.
The Pokemon Company announced today that it will soon launch an app called Pikachu Talk for your smart speaker. Though the app will be available in Japan by the time we close out 2017, it isn’t going to launch in overseas regions until sometime in 2018. It’ll be completely free, and with Alexa, we’ll probably see it launch as another of her many skills.
Of course, longtime Pokemon fans will know that Pokemon are usually only capable of saying their names. While this isn’t true for all Pokemon (Mewtwo, as an example, can communicate with humans telepathically), it is true in general and definitely true for Pikachu. Therefore, you might be getting your hopes a bit too high if you’re expecting to hold down a real conversation with Pikachu.
However, if you’re fine with having a more one-way conversation with your smart speaker in which your statements and queries are met with different inflections and variations on the word “Pikachu,” then this definitely sounds like the app for you. As a Pokemon Master going all the way back to the ’90s myself, I simply cannot wait to annoy everyone around with me with this app when it launches next year.