With the eighth generation of Pokémon officially coming to Switch, The Pokémon Company is looking to switch up game mechanics too.
News around Pokémon for Switch has been relatively quiet of late but now, thanks to the latest issue of Nintendo Official Magazine (NOM), we have a new slither of information around what we can expect.
The news comes specifically from the Spanish edition of the magazine and states that it's going to be the eight generation of the series, indicating that The Pokémon Company is looking to make changes to the long-running series. Few details are given, but with references to the eight generation it's clear that we'll be seeing entirely new Pokémon arrive as part of this Switch game – meaning it's not simply a rehash of Sun and Moon and their sequels.
It's not really too much of a surprise to learn that Pokémon on Switch would be the next mainline entry into the series, but NOM's allusion to new mechanics could be quite revelatory. Is it likely we'll see an open-world Pokémon adventure this time around? Perhaps there are plans to mix up the battle system now we're moving from 2D fights to full 3D fighting arenas, although I'd hold off any hopes for a Â Pokémon Tournament-like system.
Before you go shouting from the rafters about this exciting new Pokémon for Switch news, you need to keep in mind that, despite being an "official" publication, it's not actually an official statement from Nintendo. The Spanish magazine has made errors in the past around Pokémon games, so it's really best to wait until you hear something official from The Pokémon Company or Nintendo before becoming too hopeful.
Nintendo doesn't attend E3, however they do usually host a Nintendo Direct around the same time in June so expect to hear more on PokÃ©mon for Switch around then.
Pokémon for Switch: What can you expect?
When's it coming out?
Currently, we have no idea about when a Pokémon game on Nintendo Switch will actually arrive. Thanks to a teaser from Pokémon creators Game Freak during a Pokémon Nintendo Direct at E3, we've been told it could arrive as early as this year, but it could also be coming later. 'Later' is a rather tricky time frame as, well, any date after 2018 counts as 'later', and if Nintendo's plans are to be believed, we could see the Nintendo Switch sticking around for quite a few years yet.
Pokémon for Switch gameplay: Will it be a complete overhaul for the console?
If you're wondering how a Pokémon game on Switch would work, so are we. Our first thoughts would lean towards it playing out rather similarly to its handheld siblings, but seeing as this is also a home-console adventure instead of a purely portable one, Game Freak are likely to overhaul the series somewhat.
Going by past console entries into the Pokémon series, such as the Gamecube's Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD games, weâll have a bigger and more immersive 3D environment to explore. Combat will follow similar rules, but choices will be made with face buttons instead of menu options. Due to the success and interest around Pokken Tournament Deluxe on Switch, we may even see a more action-oriented combat mechanic come into play.
We may also see the end of Pokémon making rather bizarre and computerised sounds and instead find parity with the anime series where they all speak their own names as their cries. It may seem jarring to some long-time Pokémon players, but it'll bring parity to the series and the Nintendo Switch is more than capable enough of handling those audio files.
Pokémon for Switch: Is this the end of 3DS Pokémon games?
If youâre wondering about the future of Pokémon on the 3DS, it's time to say goodbye as Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were the last entries on Nintendo's handheld.
Speaking to IGN, Game Freak director Shigeru Ohmori said the company is done and dusted with Nintendo's aging console.
"When we were making Pokémon X and Y, we really were trying to push the 3DS system to its absolute limits - which is what we thought we'd done," he said. "But when Sun and Moon came around, we completely redesigned the system, and actually ended up pushing the 3DS even further to what we thought was the most we could draw out of it.
"With Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon we've tried to eke that out more and really, really push the system to its absolute limits and we're now feeling that perhaps this is the maximum of what we can get out. So we're really treating Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon as the culmination of our work with the 3DS system."
Interestingly, Ohmori explained that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were actually very beneficial for the development stages of Pokémon on Switch. The 3DS titles were built mostly by younger members of staff, with veteran employees heading up the early stages of Switch development.
"This time with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, we can treat it mainly as a project for our younger staff to work on and grow and develop their skills, while perhaps the more veteran, established members of the company can work on the upcoming [Switch] project,â he explained.
"That's an approach we often take: having a growth-based project for younger staff members and then a new project for the existing veterans. Using this project management style ensures all of our projects have a positive effect on one another as they go."