'Pokémon Z' release date 2016: Sequel to come 2017 with 'Pokémon Sun and Moon' arriving 2016?

The upcoming Nintendo 3DS release "Pokémon Sun and Moon" finally gets a release date. Set to launch later in the year, is the game a reason for the delay of the much-rumored "Pokémon Z" sequel?

Nintendo and developer Game Freak have officially unveiled the "Pokémon Sun and Moon" and confirmed its release date for Nov. 18 this year. Aside from the launch date, the upcoming 3DS handheld game was also unveiled with a new trailer, complete with the introduction of the new starter Pokémon trio for the title.

Meanwhile, since "Pokémon Sun and Moon" has already gotten a 2016 release, does this mean that the much-awaited "Pokémon Z" game will release next year instead? It seems unlikely that Nintendo will come out with two 3DS titles from the same franchise just months apart.

Although a triple-title release for the franchise seems plausible (another title, "Pokémon GO," is also said to be released this year), Nintendo may have a hard time to focus on three simultaneous franchise releases. In addition, the other expected 2016 franchise release, "Pokémon GO," is the first augmented-reality game in the series, and Nintendo is expected to focus its resources in the making the game a success.

The fate of the rumored "Pokémon Z" title has been dicey from the start, even to the point that observers casted doubts on the game's authenticity. According to HNGN, since "Pokémon Sun and Moon" is said to feature the seventh generation of Pokémon, adding new starters and Legendary ones to the lineup, the upcoming 2016 release is more likely the successor to the "Pokémon X and Y" games. This means that the new game may be the expected "Pokémon Z" game itself, with tweaks and improvements, while the original follow-up rumored to be a direct sequel was already shelved by Nintendo and Game Freak.