Pokemon Nintendo Switch NEWS: Release date, RPG gameplay rumours, 2018 Updates
Pokemon Switch – Reboot Rumour Update
New rumours have surfaced about Pokemon for Nintendo Switch, and they have pretty shocking implications if they turn out to be true.
The newest set of rumours come from a trusted source in the Pokemon community, known as Lavandula.
The community member – who is known for not sharing information irresponsibly – shared information from a Chinese source that claims to be close to the Pokemon project, stating the Switch version of the game will be a ‘reboot’ for the series.
“Chinese Riddler openly posted that the Pokemon Switch title will be a reboot of the franchise,” reads a tweet revealing the origin of the information. “However, the thread is quickly deleted.”
It’s worth bearing in mind that ‘reboot’ in this sense doesn’t mean a total withdrawal from the series so far: it’s likely referring to a ‘soft’ reboot, which Pokemon saw with Generation 5 (Black & White), which will rethink some mechanics, set a core 151 monsters and revolve around a single, well-defined map.
There is still no information solidly available for the game, so take these rumours with a pinch of salt. There is online chatter that these games will go back to the original 151 Pokemon, and be set in the first region, Kanto. None of this has been confirmed, however.
Want to know more? Keep reading to discover everything we know about the new Pokemon game on Nintendo Switch so far…
Pokemon Switch: At a glance
Release Date: “2018 or later”
Developer: Game Freak
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Adventure RPG
Pokemon Nintendo Switch – What we know so far
A new Pokemon game is due to release on the Nintendo Switch – we know that for certain.
But the release date has been kept a secret by publisher Nintendo and developer Game Freak.
New comments from staffers close to the series suggest Nintendo’s successful new console could see the highly-anticipated Pokemon game release this year, however.
Speaking to Japanese magazine Famitsu (with quotes via GoNintendo), Game Freak designer Kazumasa Iwao has stated that the company intends to ‘hype up’ the long-running franchise in 2018.
His quote to the magazine reads:
“Happy New Year. In 2017 we were able to release Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, and we express our deep gratitude to everyone who has been playing it. In 2018 we will still continue to hype up Pokemon, so please look forward to it.”
Nintendo Switch – Neon Red/Neon Blue
Pokemon Nintendo Switch – Release Date
On its own, the news about a new Pokemon ‘being hyped up’ may not be the most conclusive evidence that a new game will release this year, but alongside new job listings and a statement from Game Freak that the Switch will see a ‘main Pokemon RPG’, we expect to hear news about the new project sooner rather than later.
Typically, Pokemon games release in early March or mid-October.
It’s too late for a mid-March release, but a Q3 release for the game isn’t out of the question – especially if Nintendo wants to hit its projected 25-30 million Switch sales target by the end of the year.
Traditionally, Pokemon games are seen as ‘system sellers’ for Nintendo consoles: it’s estimated that thanks to the release of Diamond and Pearl on the Nintendo DS, for example, Pokemon helped sell an additional 500,000 DS units the year it was released.
An early release on the Switch would break with tradition for the series, however: Pokemon games usually come to Nintendo formats later, rather than sooner.
Still, if that means we get a full, home console Pokemon game sooner rather than later, we won’t complain.
Pokemon Nintendo Switch – COMING 2018?
It looks like we could very well see the Switch’s first Pokemon game land on the console this year.
As of January 2018, and Nintendo’s most recent earnings call, we’re still seeing the unannounced Pokemon game listed by Nintendo, targeting a release date of ‘2018 or later’.
The game is referred to in the company’s earnings paper, released late January – you can see it here.
Whilst this likely means within Nintendo’s financial year (ending March 2019), the very fact the company has listed 2018 means that’s likely what the studio is aiming for.
Very little is known about the game at this time – but we’re hoping to hear about the project in detail at either E3 or a Nintendo Direct pretty soon.
Pokemon Nintendo Switch – Development
In 2017, a job listing was discovered relating to a new Pokemon game.
The job listing from Creatures Inc. appears to show the UI for high-end game engine Unreal Engine 4 – which has been used to make games like Tekken 7, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Street Fighter V, Fortnite and more besides.
The engine is known for its versatility and compatibility with various platforms – including the Nintendo Switch.
If Creatures, Inc is moving away from its own engine and plans to make a new Pokemon game in Unreal, we could see more detail and better quality graphics than we’ve ever seen before in a Pokemon game.
It would make sense for the studio to shift to a 3D engine for its first true HD Pokemon project.
This job ad was originally spotted by user nmkd on Reddit.
Pokemon Nintendo Switch – Localisation Update
New Pokemon Nintendo Switch rumours have been spotted out in the wild, and these could point to a more solid release window for the title.
The Pokemon Company has posted job listings for localisers and translators to work on its newest project. This would mean that work on the new title for Nintendo Switch may be nearly complete since localisation tasks tend to be completed during the later stages of a game’s development process.
Originally spotted by Twitter user Pixelpar, these job listings state editors are being hired on a six-month contract, with work on localisation targeting completion between April and June.
Previous mainline Pokemon games for the 3DS – Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon – began their translation process in early January, too, and those games saw a launch on November 18 2016… does that mean we can see Nintendo planning a similar schedule for the first Switch Pokemon game?
It would make sense.
We already know Nintendo is aiming for a ‘2018 or later’ release date for the Pokemon Switch RPG, and we imagine for Nintendo to hit its sales target of 20 million Switches sold by the end of the year, it’s going to want to leverage some of Pokemon’s infamous selling power.
We’re still waiting on an official release date from Nintendo – as well as an actual title for the game – but we expect to hear more information soon.
Pokemon Nintendo Switch – Gameplay
We may also see the removal of the fixed camera that’s been in the games since they launched back on the original Game Boy.
The job listing shows Unreal Engine 4 open beside an image of a high-polygon model of a Pikachu – another hint we could see high-resolution monsters in the next iteration of the franchise.
We’ve seen other Nintendo titles – such as the Yoshi game coming to Switch – developed in Unreal 4, so it wouldn’t be a total surprise to see Pokemon migrate to that engine, too.
Of course, this is all rumour at the moment.
There could be any number of reasons Creatures, Inc wants to hire an Unreal programmer – but it’s still likely both Nintendo and Creatures, Inc wants to experiment with the options available for the first Pokemon Switch game.
With the continued success of Pokemon Go and the impressive sales of mainline Pokemon games on the Nintendo 3DS bolstering the IP, we’re expecting Nintendo to put everything it’s got into the first Switch Pokemon game to really leverage the impressive install-base the console has already managed to accrue.