Pokémon Black & White 2 includes 3D models alongside traditional 2D animation, but Gamefreak isn't keen on ditching sprites altogether.
"There are definitely good aspects to both 3D and 2D. For example if you look at the Pokémon on the package you can really see how cool it looks as a 2D illustration and in the games," Black & White 2 producer Junichi Masuda told GameInformer.
"For the Pokémon characters, one of the reasons we use sprites, at least currently, is because we like to have more of a comical, kind of look like an animation, this kind of visual style is what we want to do for the Pokémon games. If we were able to take that style we have now and have it translate into 3D with no problems; that is definitely something we would be into.
"However, it’s not just about the visual appearance either. The feeling and the control of the character is also very important to us. There is definitely a certain feeling you have when you control these 2D characters. It may be different if we switched over to 3D."
Pokémon Black & White 2, the first numbered sequel the series has produced, is due in October.