Given how the Switch is a console-handheld hybrid machine, it’s been the hope of a lot of people that Nintendo would start putting mainline Pokemon games onto it. There has never been a game in the main series you could play on a console (aside from using a Super Game Boy, but you know what I mean). People have commented that now that Nintendo is consolidating its two markets into one, they should have no choice, right?
Well…not so fast. Since the rumors of a Switch version of Pokemon Sun and Moon (called Pokemon Stars) began, Nintendo has since come out and stated more clearly what their plans are, and currently, it’s to keep producing separate handheld devices. Because of this, The Pokemon Company isn’t likely to budge on moving a series they’ve repeatedly stated is for handhelds only.
Or are they? If recent comments from Pokemon CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara are to be believed, they’re still trying to decide how to handle this new Switch thing.
“Pokemon has been about being portable, but now there is the Switch, which is a portable home console, so it has a bigger screen and higher specs than we’re used to,” Ishihara said to a Japanese business website. “Apart from main games, we make stuff like Pokkén [Tournament] and [Pokémon Mystery] Dungeon, so I am thinking we should make games that suit the Switch, but at this time I cannot confirm any projects.”
Sounds like he’s leaning more toward the traditional “spinoff” strategy, but the possibility of a mainline game hitting the Switch is in his mind. The main barrier, as he suggested, would be the higher cost of producing a game with 300-plus monsters that contained the polished visuals required of a console title.
Right now, based on that comment, we would put the odds of ever seeing a Pokemon Stars at around 25% to 30%. But there is still hope…wish on a Jirachi.