Pokémon Diamond Version and Pearl Version (ポケットモンスター ダイヤモンド・パール Poketto Monsutā Daiyamondo & Pāru, “Pocket Monsters: Diamond & Pearl”) are role-playing games (RPGs) developed by Game Freak, published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. They are the first installments in the fourth generation of the Pokémon series of RPGs. They were first released in Japan on September 28, 2006, they were later released to North America, Australia, and Europe over the course of 2007. Pokémon Platinum, a special edition version, was released two years later in each region.
Like previous Pokémon games, Diamond and Pearl chronicle the adventures of a young Pokémon trainer as he/she trains and battles Pokémon while also thwarting the schemes of a criminal organization. The games add many new features, such as Internet play over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and changes to battle mechanics and Pokémon Contests, along with addition of 107 new Pokémon. The games are independent of each other but feature largely the same plot and while both can be played separately, it is necessary to trade between them in order to complete the games’ Pokédexes.
Development of Diamond and Pearl was announced at a Nintendo Press conference in the fourth calendar quarter of 2004. The games were designed with features of the DS. It was forecasted to be released in Japan in 2005, but was shipped in 2006. In promotion of the games, Nintendo sold a limited-edition Nintendo DS Lite in Japan, and held a release party celebrating their North American release.
The games received generally favorable reviews. Most critics praised the addition of Wi-Fi features and felt that the gameplay, though it had not received much updating from previous games, was still engaging. Reviewers were divided on the graphics, however, and the audio was criticized as being primitive. The games enjoyed more commercial success than their Game Boy Advance predecessors: with around 18 million units sold worldwide, Diamond and Pearl have sold over 2 million more units than Ruby and Sapphire and almost 6 million more units than FireRed and LeafGreen, while outselling their successors, Black and White, by over 2 million copies