Game Freak veteran Junichi Masuda discusses the future of the Pokemon franchise, hinting at whether the series will see release on Nintendo's Switch or 3DS.
Although the official reveal of the Nintendo Switch had many gamers talking about the console's specifics, it wasn't long before Nintendo fans' dreams started to drift towards what the future could hold for the device in terms of content. In particular, the console's hybrid of home and handheld gaming piqued the interested of Pokemon fans - after all, this could be the chance for a main series game to see release on a home console. Now, Game Freak's Junichi Masuda has discussed where Pokemon will release next - be it on the 3DS or on the Switch.
Speaking with Game Informer, Masuda remained coy about where Pokemon could end up in the future, suggesting that it will follow the largest possible audience rather than dedicating itself now. "When it comes to the main series, thinking of Pokemon RPGs that we develop at Game Freak, we always really considered the timing of when we released them," said Masuda said. "There has to be a certain point where we're able to release the games and get them into the hands of enough people, to make sure the audience is big enough."
From the sounds of it, discussions over where the main series will go will take place once the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon has been and gone. "This year, with Pokemon Sun and Moon, obviously we're going to be starting to think about the next title, and then depending on what that timing is, I think that will determine which platform we would release it on."
What this means for the Pokemon series, then, likely depends on the success of the Switch, and how Nintendo plans to utilize the device going forward. It's worth noting that the 3DS is continuing to sell well, with the popularity of Pokemon itself proving to be a major factor. With the Switch unable to play 3DS cartridges, it will be interesting to see whether Nintendo's new console is able to convert 3DS users over quickly.
Although not much is known about the Switch at this moment in time, the console has certainly stirred up a fair amount of interest from gamers. In particular, Nintendo fans have been intrigued by the console's supposed third party support, which has been something of a rare occurrence on Nintendo consoles over recent years. After all, although the chances for Red Dead Redemption 2 on Switch are poor, there are still other games that could prove valuable - including a surprise Ubisoft game.
Should the Switch want to gain the Pokemon series overall, though, it looks as though the device's popularity is going to be a major factor. Nintendo has set a target of 2 million units shipped in March, and will be aiming to avoid the pitfalls that befell the Switch's predecessor, the Wii U. It will need to toe a careful line to be a true success with fans, but should Nintendo get the Switch's price and battery life just right, then it could be a surprise smash.
Source: Game Informer (via GameSpot)