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Pokemon CEO Says Nintendo Switch Development is Harder Than Expected

Tsunekazu Ishihara

The Pokemon Company is coming off the end of development for its first two Nintendo Switch releases, Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let's Go Eevee. Considering how quickly The Pokemon Company and Game Freak were able to turn around from 3DS development and put out an impressive initial Nintendo Switch release, one might think that developing for the new hardware was no challenge for the Pokemon team. However, that's not entirely accurate, admits Pokemon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara.

In an interview with Japanese outlet Dime, Tsunekazu admits that Nintendo Switch development has been more difficult than expected. He acknowledges the challenges that come as a result of the Nintendo Switch's unique design and the importance of embracing that design to ensure quality gameplay regardless of how the player chooses to play. Whether it be on an HD television, in handheld mode, or otherwise, the game has to feel perfect. Tsunekazu goes on to say that Nintendo Switch development may have been five times more difficult than expected.

While Tsunekazu is initially describing development on the Nintendo Switch in general terms, he goes on to specifically focus on the development of the main series Pokemon game with his commentary. To make a main series Pokemon title on such new hardware is difficult. Considering The Pokemon Company and Game Freak began work on 2019's main series Pokemon title well before the launch of Pokemon Let's Go, before even the release of the Nintendo Switch itself, it's understandable that developing any game on the new console would feel like a great challenge. Especially so, considering the main series Pokemon had never been made for anything other than a handheld device before.

Development challenges aside, The Pokemon Company and Game Freaks' effort cannot be denied. Despite Pokemon Sun and Moon releasing in 2016 and Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon releasing in 2017, development of both Pokemon Let's Go and the next Pokemon main series title have apparently proceeded accordingly. Pokemon Let's Go released mid-November 2018 and received a stronger reception than may have been expected. And both Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have maintained that the next Pokemon main series title remains on-schedule for late 2019. Even if development on the Nintendo Switch has been a challenge, it seems The Pokemon Company and Game Freak have been more than able to meet it.

Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee are available now exclusively on Nintendo Switch. The next main series Pokemon title is planned for release in late 2019 for the Nintendo Switch.

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