God knows I hope so. But I just watched THIS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNXK1JH0daw
The Q&A snippet at the end was especially useful to me as I hadn't seen it yet. It answered my topic last night on how much customization we would have. It also made it seem like we might not be able to trade up Pokemon from previous games. But the BIG part for me was when they mentioned how riding Pokemon can be used to navigate especially difficult terrain and that Pokemon like Rhyhorn can smash through rocks in your path.
So there goes a couple of HMs right there. I don't find having to bring a Pokemon to ride on nearly as bad as having to use up a move slot in battle. Also enjoyed the bit about grid-based movement and how using rollerskates can make it much better. I did notice that one trailer where he had on the skates and appeared to be moving diagonally.
Seems even worse if i have to catch specific pokemon to get past terrain.
Maybe you'll be able to rent or just be given Pokemon for their use? Like you have a pet Rhyhorn at your house in this game. Maybe Pokemon that are given to you to ride won't be fighters with the rest of your Pokemon. Like the difference between an attack dog and a house pet.
After how dull and linear Unova was, my hate towards HMs has been mitigated somewhat. I actually wouldnt mind more areas that require HM's if it means areas are more varied with more puzzles and hidden stuff tucked away. Seriously, just add a secondary field move list separate from the battle moveset, and all my gripes about HMs suddenly vanish.
I just hope that gamefreak putting less focus on HMs doesnt translate into an even more linear world.