A part of the Switch’s critical success can be attributed to Nintendo’s approach in making the console a new home for its beloved franchises. With games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, we can see how much more ambitious the Switch has allowed Nintendo to be when it comes to creating first-party games.
This has led many to wonder what impact the Switch will have on the next mainline Pokémon games, set to release later this year. So after some careful digging, we’ve managed to uncover a lot of information regarding the next Pokémon title, as well as some interesting rumors. We’ll be updating this story as more news is revealed, so make sure to check back.
Pokémon Switch Release Date
During E3 2017, we got a short announcement from Pokémon Company CEO, Tsunekazu Ishihara, saying that Game Freak had begun development on the next core RPG Pokémon title. We’ve since learn that the game is slated to release in late 2019, which matches the recent trend of Pokémon games releasing in September-November. With no indication of any other big games coming to Switch during the fall season, its likely Pokémon will be Nintendo’s main focus.
While we haven’t seen a trailer or even any artwork for the new mainline games, with February 27th being the official Pokémon Day, the holiday would be a perfect moment for Nintendo to make a huge reveal.
Pokémon Switch News
Although many fans have been speculating whether or not the new games will be anything like Let’s Go, in a recent interview the Pokémon CEO stated the following,
“The new title coming out in the second half of 2019 will be a completely different game from Pokémon Let’s Go. It is not an entry game, but a game that we want longtime fans of the Pokémon series to look forward to. The game will give a good understanding of what an evolved Pokémon game looks like after it has continued to succeed the traditions of Game Freak. We want to make Pokémon fans say ‘this is what I’ve been waiting for’ by delivering a brand-new product packed with gameplay elements and plenty of new Pokémon to encounter.”
For a long time, fans have been asking Game Freak to make a more fleshed out game, one that truly challenges people who have been playing Pokémon for years. During the release of Let’s Go, many players were worried that the series had gone in the opposite direction, simplifying many of its systems in order to attract a new audience. However, given this quote from Ishihara, it seems like veteran fans may finally get what they’ve been wanting, an epic new adventure in the Pokémon universe, similar to what Breath of the Wild did for Zelda.
Pokémon Switch Rumors
When it comes to rumors regarding the new games, it seems like everyone has a relative working at Game Freak, giving them the latest on all things Pokémon. However, there are some theories coming from more credible sources that offer some promising ideas. Previously there were rumors indicating that the 2019 games’ region would be inspired by the United Kingdom, include 106 new creatures, and a new form called “rarest shiny”.
Another rumor is that the new games will feature a redesigned capture system, which seems plausible given that Let’s Go were the first games to stray from the traditional catching formula. Other rumors have circulated that the games’ main antagonist is named “Kaesaru” and the evil organization you have to face will be called “Team Neon”. Lastly, the new games will have a Solar System theme in the form of its legendaries, which sounds like a continuation of Sun and Moon’s story.
Pokémon Switch Gameplay – What Could Be Changed?
What’s probably most exciting to ponder is what the new Pokémon games will play like. If the capture system does in fact get reworked, could this mean a change for battling mechanics as well? With the Switch offering more horsepower than the 3DS, Game Freak could be looking into developing an open-world, where battles take place in real time and have your Pokémon moving around the battlefield while you shout out commands.
If this were the case, we could see the new games take-on a more non-linear story, one where you could have the entire region available at the start and be able to explore different areas at your own pace. NPCs could offer sidequests for you to complete in exchange for items, or maybe information on where to find a rare Pokémon. This approach would put an emphasis on exploration and lead to more organic interactions with Pokémon and trainers out in the wild.
The Final Word
For a series with such a rich-history, it’s exciting to think about what the future for Pokémon games will be. The existence of the Switch has no doubt led Nintendo’s studios to search for ways to refine their tent-pole franchises, and much like Pokémon themselves, evolve for a new era of gaming. For now, all we can do is speculate what the next Pokémon RPG will be like as we anxiously await for an announcement from Nintendo.