Pokémon X And Pokémon Y Only Use 3D Effect In Cinematics And Battles

By Ishaan . September 19, 2013 . 8:20am

Were you looking forward to playing Pokémon X and Pokémon Y in 3D? You’re going to be disappointed. The games mostly employ the Nintendo 3DS’s stereoscopic 3D effect in “certain cinematics and battle sequences,” IGN report. Most of the game, they say, is displayed in 2D.


According to Game Freak director Junichi Masuda, “We chose not to use 3D in areas where we wanted to put more focus on the game’s beauty. We also felt that using 3D sparingly would make it have more impact when it did show up.”


Pokémon X and Pokémon Y will be available October 12th.

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  • malek86

    Well things certainly are gonna get heated if the biggest 3DS title to date is not gonna use 3D for a good part of the gameplay. Other developers might choose to go for a similar route, forgoing the 3D effect in favor of better graphics. Considering how much Nintendo pushed the 3D at the start, this and the 2DS were probably not easily expected.

  • handsome human

    That sucks and stupid when people have choice to turn off 3D. I personally like 3D so this is kind of sad news.

    • I’m the same, I really like the 3D. (Which is weird, cause I was sure I wouldn’t use it at all.) Maybe they just don’t have the time to do it for launch and will patch it in later?

      • Linhua

        … somehow… I doubt that’s possible… =

      • andibad

        i think not.
        ” the game will not receive any post-release patches to alter the components of the game for rebalance.”

        • Not sure where that quote is from, but it seems unrelated as it is specific to balance updates, likely for competitive play.

  • Jesse

    Eh, oh well. I almost never use the 3D setting on the 3DS, anyway. As long as the rest of the game is good, I’ll be fine. ^^

  • MasterScrub

    I’m sure all 5 people who use the 3D function will be disappointed.

    • Yes, of course. All “five” people. That’s why the vast majority of 3DS games continue to use the feature. Because no one uses it. That makes total sense.

      • Malon

        Then tell me why the 2DS has been created.

        • drproton

          To sell cheap 3DSes with a wider profit margin.

        • To sell the device to kids under the age of 7 (or their concerned parents), for whom 3D is not recommended.

          In case you hadn’t noticed, despite the 2DS being announced, they’re still pushing the 3DS and 3DS XL as their main portables.

          • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

            Seem like people still dont know 2DS reason to exists.

        • Suicunesol

          Oy oy. The new Vita model doesn’t have an OLED screen. But that doesn’t mean people don’t like OLED screens.

      • Flandre Scarlet

        You act like, for a very long time during the DS’s life time, Nintendo and other developers didn’t heavily push the touch screen to the point many games only controlled with it. This died off later in the system’s life when it proved to be unpopular.

        The 3D is an optional feature and the mere fact the 2DS exists without it is reason enough to believe Nintendo thinks there’s a wide market out there that would buy them simply because they’re cheaper due to lacking the 3D option, thus improving profit margins by selling a cheaper device lacking a relatively unused optional, yet expensive and battery draining, feature.

        • This isn’t about the touch screen or control issues or gameplay or anything of the sort. This is strictly visually-related. It is the equivalent of releasing a 480p game on the Xbox 360 or PS3, which would be unforgivable in this day and age.

          If I only have an SD TV and can only play an HD game in standard definition, that’s my loss. That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone else needs to suffer.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Actually it’d be like releasing a 540p game. Sounds like every game that came out at launch

          • FirstaLasto

            I’d say its more like a DS game with menu buttons on the bottom screen not having the option to click on them with the stylus. Its convinient to use the touchscreen sometimes, but not required, because you can stil select them using the arrows and abxy buttons. Like people are saying, you can turn off the 3D function via hardware already, so complaining about games that have the 3D effect option is completely ridiculous.

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          Its all about the implementation,

          TWEWY is awesome yo

          It was unpopular because Phantom Hourglass had meh dungeons

    • Showmeyomoves

      Lots of people use the 3D feature. You just don’t hear them whining about it to everyone on the internet.

    • Niermyico

      I am disappointed.

  • J_Joestar

    that’s sad to hear…
    on the other hand though, if they never told us i would probably never have known since i only turn it on during cinematic sequences anyways…

  • Kai2591

    Fortunately, I am not disappoint :)

  • SlickRoach

    This was pretty much expected. Heck, I’m a bit surprised they implemented 3D in cutscenes. It’ll be fun seeing battles in 3D during story mode battles but post game chances are I’ll have it off the entire time. I mean, most people play with 3D off to save battery anyway.

    • roydgriffin

      Not to mean any disrespect at all, but how was that expected?
      Every 3DS title that I know of to date fully uses the 3D.

      • SlickRoach

        Well battles are the bread and butter of Pokemon so naturally they would have to make them as polished as possible. Other than gazing at certain structures or landscapes in the environment they wouldn’t be much use for 3D outside of battle.

        • Eric Harris

          how bout every single structure and landscape in actual 3D. It’s not that hard to do. There is use for 3D everywhere.

        • Makar85

          i was disappointed at first but then come to think of it it’ll be kinda cool to have the 3d effect pop up during battles, like it’s something really special (even tho i’m pretty sure it was due to technical limitations and not a design choice)

        • roydgriffin

          Even the flat overworld map in fire emblem is 3D.
          But yeah, as long as at least the battles are in 3D it’s okay, I guess.

  • tubers

    So they can add the “added” 3D for later titles and call it an “improvement”. :P

    Very smart. xD

    • Go2hell66

      Pokemon Z will have full 3D

  • School Idol Addict

    As long as we get 3D for battles i’m happy.

  • jugss

    I don’t use 3d when I play 3ds games. It makes me dizzy.

  • Lynx



    I’m being trolled. As in cutscene cinematics, right?

    I don’t recall Pokemon ever having ‘cinematic’ cinematics, aside from maybe the openings.

  • drproton

    This is pretty lazy on Gamefreak’s part.

    I like the 3D and think it adds to immersion. Much more impressive games run at full 3D 100% of the time.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      LIke Zeruda

    • MH3U… I never expected the 3D to look THAT good.

  • Eric Harris

    hmmm. Kinda lame if you ask me. I might wait til Z. And I thought I’d never say that.

  • LegoBaka

    This is incredibly disappointing. What’s the point of switching to those polygon designs when you just wanted to make another sprite-based game? Should of just went with animated sprites instead of this half-both version that we’ll look at and think of what might have been.

    • FirstaLasto

      My guess is that they used 3D character models because it makes it easier to add customization. Otherwise, every piece of clothing would need a ton of sprites. A single model that has its animations fused to the player model is much easier.

      That said, I still would have liked to see the Pokemon world in stereovision.

    • Aaronrules380

      Uh, what? It isn’t sprite based at all. They just mean there’s none of the 3ds 3d effect, not that 3d models won’t be used in the over world. That should be obvious just looking at screens

      • Makar85


  • Magnumsally

    who cares really

    • RisukuAozora

      I dunno… may be some of the people that posted before you? after you?
      I’m kinda disappointed, but it’s not exactly a swaying point to buy the game or not. I’ll probably still get it.

  • thaKingRocka

    Poor form.

  • Serpenter Rex

    Wouldn’t 3d have been better suited to over world things? falling rain or leaves, fog and sun effects, depth from cliffs and high altitudes, and minor things like the special effect when HMs are used (And fly is activated). Really; that where it should have been done.

    • Eric Harris

      well those are the sort of things I was looking forward to. And those down low segments on bridges and alleys like in black 2. It just seemed that gamefreak was ready for actual 3D. But we won’t see anything like that.

  • Still going to be great games regardless though.

  • zferolie

    Well that will save on Battery life at least. Still would be beautiful

  • DriftSlave

    Why would you have 3D on outside of Battles or Cut-scenes?

  • Cazar

    Wait did I miss something? Why is that Skiddo in the screen shot buried in the ground?

    “We chose not to use 3D in areas where we wanted to put more focus on the
    game’s beauty. We also felt that using 3D sparingly would make it have
    more impact when it did show up.”

    I’m gonna call BS on this. Some people who played the demo reported that there were frame rate issues during battles when 3D was enabled. It was likely cut for performance issues. I fear that Nintendo my have rushed this game out the door.

    • Lynx

      -I fear that Nintendo my have rushed this game out the door.

      I dunno. Given a lot of the new things included, rushed isn’t the word I would use.

      Gamefreak have never been the best programmers. Pokemon games have always had their little glitches and what not.

    • AkuLord3

      It was stated that the demos there had frame rate issues with or without 3D on and its going have 3D in battles so what your saying doesn’t make sense

  • hickorypan

    Who on earth still has the 3D effect enabled on their 3DS?

    I used it for maybe 2 weeks on my original 3DS and only for Super Mario 3D Land since no other game was actually improved by it. Since I bought my XL, I haven’t turned up the 3D slider even once.

    • British_Otaku

      Playing Conception 2’s demo in 3D right now, it’s like my waifu is in the room with me.

    • Touma

      Me. Other then the fact that it broke stuck on the 3D second I personally love the 3D effect. I’d have it on allll the time even without it being broken.

  • DrakeClawfang

    “Were you looking forward to playing Pokémon X and Pokémon Y in 3D?” – No. I always keep the 3D on my 3DS off.

  • James Enk

    i like 3D if it’s done right it compliments the game but at the same time it’s not something that can effect how good or bad a game is…always imoho of course:)

  • Skye Johnson

    I’m not a fan of the 3D, since it gives me headaches so I never have it on, so I can’t say I care. But I think it’s probably a smarter choice to use it sparingly, since a lot of younger kids play these games (you could monitor/turn it off, yes, but kids), and constant 3D isn’t a good thing for their eyes, or so I understand. But using it only in certain sequences would be a nice way for them to enjoy it without having to monitor things.

    • InfectedAI

      Game developers shouldn’t have to coddle kids. It’s the parents job to take 5 minutes to figure out how to use the parental controls. Also, it does no good if every other game on the system uses 3D. There’s also no proof it’s harmful, they just have the warning to cover their butts in case it’s proven to be in the future.

      • Skye Johnson

        Of course not. But younger kids are a good part of the demographic! And it’d be nice to just say “leave it to the parents,” but a lot of parents don’t. The 2DS is probably at least partially created to cater to younger kids for whom the 3D is potentially harmful for developing eyes. Add that to cost-cutting measures and things, too, of course.

        So it wouldn’t surprise me if the younger demographic is a sliver of the reasoning to limit 3D. Not saying it is, but I can definitely see that as a potential reasoning, even if some older players wants to vocally protest the decision and find such limitations silly or unfortunate.

    • Touma

      It can be turned off by the parents permantly with a password protect. So thats a horrible defense.

  • TruSpindash

    That is too bad, would have like to see how they could use 3D for the overworld, maybe for Z then.

  • Suicunesol

    I’m really bugged about this. How is it that nearly every game, even the most niche of games, use stereoscopic 3D and Pokemon does not? The overworld doesn’t even look that visually demanding; some have even said it looks lackluster. And yet it’s too much to ask for stereoscopic 3D? The only game in recent memory that had this problem is Senran Kagura which was developed by Tamsoft, a studio with far less of a reputation than Game Freak.

    It doesn’t even matter whether or not you use the function. It’s just ridiculous that they’re not doing it for one of the biggest 3DS games ever. Stuff like this makes me consider not wanting to buy anymore. But that would be a damn stupid thing to do after all this time. Argh.

    I wonder if they’ll put it back in Pokemon Z. Yeah, Gamefreak. You got me. If this was their plan to make me buy Z, then it worked.

  • Robgoro

    I imagine they did this because of their target demographic, but maybe the framerate issues from PAX were legitimately from the gameplay and not the traffic. Strange, I don’t recall the screen being flat during the demo either.

  • Pockystix

    saves my eyes the trouble

  • Steven Higgins

    I’m actually okay with this. I normally use the 3D at all times, but I get so used to it I stop noticing.
    The battles and cinematics (i.e. Xerneas’ appearance) were what I was most looking forward to in 3D anyway so no huge loss for me.
    Better to do this than use it only in the overworld and leave battles in 2D. If they were gonna cut it somewhere I’m glad that’s where they chose.

  • Christopher McNair

    Thank goodness for that decision. I hate the 3D, now I can buy a 3DS and Pokemon Y and not worry about that supid effect.

    • ninjabart122

      Because we all know, that it’s better for them to disable 3D most of the time than having you use your frail fingers to slide the 3D off.

    • s07195

      Or you could buy the 2DS, and not worry about it at all. :/

    • Touma

      can be disabled. permanently if you so desired with a handy dandy password. people who like it shouldn’t have to suffer because the people who don’t can be happy. 2 minutes is all it takes my friend, and if you hate it, it’ll be well worth the 2 measly minutes.

  • AkuLord3

    Not really bother since i came for the gameplay and 3D is nice for people but…its not gameplay so yeah. Even though i’m not a fan of 3D, i can understand peoples reacts towards this news

  • 3PointDecoupage

    Well that sucks. Pokemon was one of the few games I think the 3D would look amazing with. Especially for the battles.

    • Makar85

      i think the battles will all be in 3d

    • yeah, all of the battles and cinematics are going to be in 3d.

      • 3PointDecoupage

        Oh then why do people care? I don’t need 3d to watch a guy walk across a field.

        • i understand why, but i think it is a bit of an overreaction.

  • I think that its ridiculous that people are calling gamefreak lazy about the lack of 3d in the overworld. the fact that there will be 700-800 pokemon models in game, not counting shiny pokemon, alternate forms, costume models, hq music, over 600 animations for the attacks themselves, and even several animations for each of the models is enough to say that they werent being lazy. to be honest, i think they are omitting 3d in the overworld, so that there isnt a framerate issue or some other problem like that.

    i admit that i, too, was bummed upon initially hearing the news, but its certainly not game breaking. anyway, at this point they have said that they wanted to focus on the beauty of the world, and it is not our place to say their artistic choice was wrong.

    • Makar85

      again, my thought exactly!

    • Magnumsally


  • GH56734

    As long as the 3D effect is kept during battles, I don’t really mind them being cheap/stingy. They better make a good job on the non-3D areas modeling, though.
    The idea of the effect being used sparingly and only during major cut scenes is definitely interesting, and could benefit actually to the game.

    Kind of, like when the really interesting 3D effects (the agressive ones jumping from the screen right at the player) from Wario Land Virtual Boy were kept only for boss battles. It made them more memorable.
    If it’s just an artistic design choice, I’m fine with it. For example, they could make the water in Wind Waker transparent, but they chose not to (of course cutting corners on the sea landscape modeling and such could have been factored in this). Now it’s part of the identity of the game.

  • Scissors

    The honest answer is they wouldn’t be able to release the game this year if they made it full 3D. It’s not for extra detail because the overworld isn’t really that impressive, not from lack of horse power because if they do have roadblocks they know how to work around it cause it’s Nintendo hardware, definitely not from lack of budget.

    It is purely lack of time. It’s a big game, and making it full 3D would extend the development time. If they did take the extra time to properly implement 3D it would push the release until after the 2013 holiday shopping season and that would be a bad business move for this game.

  • InfectedAI

    This is possibly the biggest release for the system and Game Freak is practically a first party developer. This game should be a perfect example of everything the system is capable of. It doesn’t even have 3D in the overworld? When used right it can be fantastic and immersive, and they’re not even trying? I expected first party quality like A Link Between Worlds which runs at 60 FPS with 3D on. The 3D is one of the reasons I chose a 3DS over the Vita. As big a fan as I am and as much as I was looking forward to this, I’ll be skipping on this. I’m not paying full price day 1 for lesser quality.

  • Vernauth

    “We chose not to use 3D in areas where we wanted to put more focus on the game’s beauty. We also felt that using 3D sparingly would make it have more impact when it did show up”

    in other words: sorry we didn’t had time for that

    such a shame for series that always had million sales

  • isotrex

    What the?! I demand you postpone this release and enable/add the 3D elements and effect outside the world.

  • SlickRoach

    If 3D is such a big deal then Pokemon may not be the series for you, haha. Seems like the minority that actually use 3D are crawling out the woodwork.

  • Touma

    couldn’t they have made this, you know, an option? some of us don’t want our decisions made for us. if we wanted it to have more “impact” on the cutscenes then we could’ve made the choice to turn it off ourselves. thanks for damping the excitement for me gamefreak.

    not that i’m not excited anymore, its just…why?

  • Yumaol

    Pokemon Z in full 3D?

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