With The Nintendo Switch coming soon, will the next mainline game in the Pokemon series be released on the new hybrid handheld-console?
Nintendo has always stressed that a true Pokemon adventure has not come to a console because they want to retain the portable “catch ’em anywhere, any time” ethos harboured since the release of Red and Blue. However, given the portability of the incoming Switch, Nintendo are finally in a position to bring the Pokemon juggernaut onto their flagship home console without betraying their vision for the franchise.
Game Informer spoke to veteran producer Junichi Masuda in their latest issue and asked him whether Sun and Moon will be the final Pokemon games on the 3DS.
Junichi had this to say:
“When it comes to the main series, thinking of Pokemon RPGs that we develop at Game Freak, we always really considered the timing of when we released them. There has to be a certain point where we’re able to release the games and get them into the hands of enough people, to make sure the audience is big enough. This year, with Pokemon Sun and Moon, obviously we’re going to be starting to think about the next title, and then depending on what that timing is, I think that will determine which platform we would release it on.”
This may leave the franchise in a catch-22 situation. The 3DS has a strong market share due to the time it has been on the market, along with the forthcoming Black Friday sale that will no doubt shift additional units. On the other hand, Nintendo is under pressure to make the Switch a success following the disappointing Wii U; an extra blockbuster title would undoubtedly sell units.
Given that Pokemon Sun and Moon have already been confirmed as the most pre-ordered games in Nintendo’s history, the potential uplift in sales for the Switch could be substantial should the release coincide with the announcement of a full Pokemon adventure. Even without knowing the exact hardware of the Switch, it’s hard not to imagine the power available being capable of taking the Pokemon franchise to a whole new level.
While I love the idea of the Nintendo Switch, I’m still not entirely sold that it is a device that I need in my collection. A full Pokemon adventure would almost certainly be enough for me to start throwing money at my screen.