Now that the Nintendo Switch has been fully unveiled as the long rumoured part handheld and part living room console gaming device the question I want to know the answer to is can and will Pokémon come to the Nintendo Switch?
For years Pokémon fans have enjoyed the ever present handheld game, but the question has always been there in the background. ‘Will Pokémon ever come to a console’.
Part of Pokémon appeal ahs always been its pick up and play anywhere nature, further cemented by the popularity if Pokémon Go this summer just gone. However the graphical art style while appealing has left some fans curious over the years about what a graphical improvement could do for the series. The notion of walking through a full field of grass and seeing something wandering through and seeking it out is an attractive prospect for those that wanna catch em all. Yes this has been improved in the latest DS iterations of Pokémon but not the level that a full powered console would allow.
So now seems to be the perfect time for Nintendo to provide a solution that would appease both long time handheld fans and those who think a denser experience would be a treat.
The ability to switch between what is essentially a large handheld 2ds crossed with a PlayStation Vita and then a fully powered TV via the switch docking system would fulfil these ideas. You could play in the tube, on the bus, a lunch break at work and then once home be able to sit on the Sofa and continue playing through your HD TV.
While this may sound a fantasy and somewhat farfetched this idea and notion of cross platform play for a single game with progress carrying between the handheld and TV version is not new.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3ds had a system much like this. If you bought both copies of the game you were able to transfer your saves between the 2. You were able to play your DS version and grind for gear and equipment on your morning and evening commute before sitting down in the evening to take on that big monster you have been aiming for in full sized better graphically rendered glory.
So how about this for Pokémon?
Why not be able to grind and level up your Poke party on your breaks at work or your commute and then come home to take on the next gym Leader in glorious 1080p with full graphical rendering and dramatic surround sound.
I’m not the only one wondering about Pokémon on the Nintendo Switch, the rumours have been circling since November 2016 that a version of Pokémon Sun and Moon may come to the Nintendo Switch in the rumoured title Pokémon Stars. Fuel to this fire was added in January 2017 around the time of the Nintendo Switch full reveal as a keen eyed NeoGaf member found that a GameStop description of the Console stated:
‘Nintendo Switch games will include new title offerings from Mario, Splatoon, Zelda, the NBA and more! You will even be able to play Skyrim on the go, or Pokémon at home with the Nintendo Switch.’
This phrasing was later removed, take this as you will. It could be an accidental slip up and therefore a information leak, or very possibly just a description written by a standard employee who simply knows a link between Nintendo and Pokémon, Pokémon is big at the moment due to Pokémon Go an therefore there must be a Pokémon game for the new Nintendo Switch – add it to the description.
The later of those theories seems unlikely given this is GameStop who ahs been found out before for leaking game details or even games themselves ahead of time accidently, however it is also a big company with a PR team and web team who do not have to be gamers or even gaming fans, just normal people like you or me who go to work and do a job.
One things that does concern me for my hope of a cross device (but still Nintendo) version of a Pokémon game would be that it hardly sells the functionality of the Switch as a portable console. Nintendo will not want it described as an extra large one screened version of the DS, and if you were able to play games on the DS and the Switch then why would you take the Switch with you in its portable form instead of the smaller, subtler and easier to transport Nintendo DS. I’m sure the console will sell well but Nintendo have reason to be cautious given the poor initial sales of the Wii U (partly down to the limited number of units at time of launch followed by the critical reception).
Word of mouth will be important for Nintendo and the sale of the new console as the average consumer or family buyer wont read technical reviews or the thoughts of the gaming community but will follow the thoughts of people around them and what they see.
So if you know about the Switch from the TV but you only see people playing on the DS when on the train and never the Switch then you would naturally be hesitant in investing the £279.99 needed to purchase the device when its likely you may already have a Wii U at home already.
A parent might not know the benefits of upgrading the console for the TV in preparation for upcoming enhanced games when they see that some of the games will initially be coming to the Wii U anyway.
This could be a reason that a cross device Pokémon game would not happen, at least not for a while however it also provides reason that a Pokémon game on the Switch would be a good idea and just as much of a console seller as the announced Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (not available on Switch launch day).
A Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch would make sense but given the lack of non DS Pokémon games it would be a surprise to see it announced in the short run. Perhaps once the Switch has found its player base and the Pokémon company sees it will be worth the development costs it may become a reality in some form or another.
Would you like to see a Pokémon game on the Nintendo Switch? Would you want a brand new adventure or a upgraded version of a currently released game such as Pokémon Sun and Moon? Would you want it to be cross play with a Nintendo DS version of the game? How about a shared world multiplayer component included?