Last year’s when Niantic launched their extra special Christmas event, the announcement was made two days before the December 25 start time.
However, given that Christmas falls on a Monday this year, we’re expecting Niantic to announce the new event on Friday, three days before the event would be due to get started.
For Pokemon GO trainers who may have forgotten, last year the event brought with it special in-store discounts, free incubators, festive Pikachus and increased hatch rates for Gen 2 baby Pokemon Togepi and Pichu.
This year it’s unlikely that well see the same generosity with free incubators given that last year it was meant to tie into the new baby Pokemon that would hatch from eggs.
But, it’s almost certain that the Santa hat Pikachu, or perhaps a new festive themed Pikachu of some variety will return.
That won’t be all though, because on top of the chance that Niantic could release even more Gen 3 Pokemon, perhaps Ice types befitting the weather, dataminers have also recently found evidence that Delibird is coming to the game as part of the Christmas event update.
However, like Ditto, Delibird (and fellow Gen 2 Smeargle) has moves which have likely delayed their introduction into the game so far.
Smeargle had a move called Sketch, which allows it to permanently learn the last move that it’s battle opponent used. In the main series of Pokemon games, you could get a Smeargle with pretty much ANY move set possible.
Delibird, on the other hand, has a move called Present, which will randomly damage or heal the opponent.
As such, it’s easy to see why this Pokemon might not have been added to the game, given the complexities they would bring to the existing battle mechanics.
Whilst we still can’t say for certain how this will work in practice in the game, it’s clear that Niantic are now ready to reveal something, be it a new feature or animation.
But that’s also not the last Christmas surprise Niantic has planned for some players.
The only problem was that these were scheduled for December 25th, Christmas day.
According to the Pokemon GO Hub, trainers have reported various raiding times, but they all are using the same 45 minute window time frame.
As you can expect this hasn’t gone down too well with fans, who were already pretty displeased with the way in which Niantic has been handling the Ex-Raid invites already.
Aside from people who likely don’t want to be out Raiding on Christmas day, even if it is to catch Mewtwo, there are numerous reports of people with invites for areas that are quite simply inaccessible given the time.
For instance, one instance that’s been reported is for an Ex Raid in America which is taking place on Christmas, but in a mall which is shut on the day.
Hopefully, the end of the year will conclude testing and Niantic can set about a new system for Ex Raids in 2018.