The Nintendo Switch just keeps breaking new ground. First, they sell over 5 million consoles in 4 months, a rate not seen since the Wii’s release back in 2006. Second, they announce, in a first for Nintendo, cross platform compatible multiplayer titles Rocket League and Minecraft will be coming to the Switch.
Now, Pokémon is coming in 2018... or later.
We already knew that Pokémon would eventually come to the Switch from the Nintendo event at E3 this year, we just didn’t know when. But now, buried in Nintendo’s second quarter earnings report, is the line “Pokémon RPG for Switch: 2018 or later.” Given the enormous success of the console, Pokémon will probably make an appearance sooner rather than later.
The Switch already has one Pokémon game, Pokkén Tournament DX, which is a port of Pokkén Tournament from the Wii U. The game is more or less a fighting game, where players control a particular Pokémon and fight out an actual battle in real time. The game has seen modest success, but it's a large departure from the RPG roots of the series.
This announcement confirms that the Switch will receive a proper Pokémon RPG, which means it's time for some good ol’ fashioned wild speculation!
It could just be a port of Pokémon Sun and Moon, which would be rather disappointing but relatively easy for Nintendo to do. Likely it would include updated graphics, some new features, and maybe a legendary Pokémon or two, but considering most people who want to play Pokémon already own Sun or Moon (or both) for the 3DS it would be a huge waste of potential.
What we all want is something grand in scope, like Zelda: Breath of the Wild, where no longer are you as a trainer confined to beaten paths and 2 dimensions. We want a 3D sandbox, where players can go anywhere, where battles can happen on mountain tops or cities or anywhere in between. Where tall grass actually is actually, y’know, tall, and using Fly actually takes you high into the air on your Pokémon’s back.
Best of all would be full multiplayer support where you can quest with your friends, or better yet, have your friend as your rival!
C’mon, Nintendo - you’re on a roll. Hit this new Pokémon game out of the park!