Pokémon is coming to the Nintendo Switch – prepare yourself!
Indeed, Nintendo says a “core RPG Pokémon title” is coming to the Nintendo Switch – not a spin-off, like “Pokémon Stadium” and “Pokémon Snap” way back on the Nintendo 64, but a full-on main series entry.
The beloved Pokémon series of games has always been a portable affair. With few exceptions, the only way to engage with the long-running series was on Nintendo’s handheld consoles. But with this new entry, that’s about to change.
Here’s what we know so far:
Nintendo announced the new Pokémon game in a brief statement from Tsunekazu Ishihara, the president of The Pokémon Company.
Without giving the game a name, or a release date, or even a look at the logo, Nintendo officially announced a new Pokémon game in June 2017.
“Game Freak has begun developing a core RPG Pokémon title on Nintendo Switch,” Tsunekazu Ishihara, president of The Pokémon Company, said in the video. “It may not release for more than a year, but we hope you’ll look forward to it all the same.”
As far as “official” statements go on the game, that’s pretty much all there is.
Of note: Ishihara specifically calls the game a “core RPG Pokémon title.” That seems to indicate it’s the next main entry in the long-running Pokémon game franchise – the successor to “Pokémon Ultra Sun” and “Pokémon Ultra Moon.”
The game shows up in Nintendo’s financials with a placeholder name and a vague release window.
I pulled the image above from Nintendo’s most recent financial report, issued in April.
It classifies the new “Pokémon” game with a placeholder name: “Pokémon RPG for Nintendo Switch.” And the release window it gives is extremely vague: “2018 or later.”
You may have noticed that “2018 or later” means, “Literally all times.” Indeed.
Ishihara said in June 2017 that the game may not launch “for more than a year,” and we’re coming up on that first year pretty quickly. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if this new Pokémon game were ready for holiday 2018, but it also wouldn’t be a huge surprise if it didn’t come out for another year or more.
Big, main entries in the Pokémon game series tend to launch every two to three years, but this one is an unknown given that it’s on an entirely new console: Nintendo’s Switch.
It may have some tie-in with the outrageously popular mobile Pokémon game, “Pokémon Go.”
The “Pokémon” games were already enormously popular – then “Pokémon Go” launched on iPhone and Android, and became the most popular “Pokémon” game by miles.
Nintendo’s clearly aware of the importance of “Pokémon Go” to the overall fan base, and the studio developing the new “Pokémon” game for Switch is reportedly, “exploring ways to connect the main games to Pokemon Go.” Kotaku deputy editor Patricia Hernandez confirmed as much back in October 2016.
Crucially, “Pokémon Go” is not the creation of Game Freak, the Japanese studio that makes major “Pokémon” games. It was made by Niantic Labs, a California game studio that was spun off from Google. The company’s first investors were a curious trio: Google, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company.
The new “Pokémon” game for Switch is being developed by Game Freak.
Rumours about the new “Pokémon” game are thin thus far.
The new “Pokémon” game might be called “Pokémon Let’s Go! Pikachu” and “Pokémon Let’s Go! Eevee.” It might allow captured Pokémon to walk around with their trainers, in the game’s open world. It’s capture mechanic may work more like “Pokémon Go,” where you can see the general region to find specific Pokémons on a map, and choose whether or not you want to engage.
Oh, and it might be a remake of “Pokémon Yellow,” the 1998 Game Boy game, which was itself an iteration of the original “Pokémon Red” and “Pokémon Blue.” That means it would be set in Kanto.
None of that is confirmed, though Eurogamer reports having heard some of the rumours before from “sources familiar with the project.” A blurry image also showed up online earlier this year, purporting to be snapped from the upcoming “Pokémon” game.
Though Nintendo is focusing on its new “Smash Bros.” game this year, it’s likely we’ll learn more about the next “Pokémon” game sooner than later.
With the video game industry’s big trade show (E3 2018) just around the corner in mid-June, it’s the perfect time to offer an update on the next major “Pokémon” game.
Though Nintendo’s presence at the show will focus on the upcoming “Smash Bros.” game on the Switch, the Japanese gaming powerhouse makes several major announcements every year at E3. It’s entirely likely – expected, even – that a portion of those announcements will be reserved for the new “Pokémon” game.
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