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With the Nintendo Switch dominating the sales charts in its first nine months, many early adopters are eagerly awaiting the release of a new Pokémon game. While we know that a new role-playing Pokémon game is currently in development for the Nintendo Switch, The Pokémon Company has been tight-lipped about the specifics. In this article, we will delve into the details and separate the facts from the rumors.
Is it an HD Remake or Something More?
In December 2017, Eurogamer reported that Nintendo had made the decision to develop an entirely new Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch, abandoning their original plan for an enhanced port. This change in strategy was influenced by the impressive sales figures of the Switch, which reassured Nintendo that there was no need to rush the game’s release. Development for the new Pokémon game began towards the end of 2016, and it is set to be unveiled in 2018.
The decision to go with a new game also allowed Nintendo to continue supporting the 3DS alongside the Switch. While most of Nintendo’s focus has shifted to the Switch, recent titles such as Monster Hunter Stories and Metroid: Samus Returns have remained 3DS exclusives, keeping the handheld console relevant even after six years of its launch. Additionally, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were released for the 3DS in 2017.
Rumors surrounding a Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch first surfaced in November 2016. According to Eurogamer, Nintendo had plans to release Pokémon Sun and Moon for the Switch with the title “Pokémon Stars.” This would follow the tradition of releasing an updated third version alongside the original duo of games, as seen with Pokémon Yellow for Red and Blue, and Pokémon Platinum for Diamond and Pearl.
The report suggested that Pokémon Stars would launch in 2017, featuring the same map as Sun and Moon but with new, higher-resolution art assets. There would also be new Pokémon introduced in the game that were not present in the original two titles. Players would be able to trade Pokémon between all three games using the Pokémon Bank app. The report also included screenshots from the Pokémon Sun and Moon announcement trailer, showcasing developers working on 3D models that surpassed the rendering capabilities of the New Nintendo 3DS.
It is worth noting that there is already a Pokémon game available on the Switch called Pokkén Tournament DX, an enhanced version of the fighting game initially released on the Wii U. Although it did not reach the same level of popularity as the main role-playing games, it gained a modest esports following with the 2017 Pokkén Tournament Championship Series.
However, it is unlikely that most of the ideas presented in Pokémon Stars will be incorporated into the upcoming Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch. These two titles are likely to be entirely different, and it is expected that the Switch game has evolved significantly over time. If Eurogamer’s report is accurate, we can anticipate more information to be revealed in 2018.
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This article was written for OnSpec Electronic, Inc..