Nintendo has been absolutely killing it lately – their new Switch console-handheld hybrid powerhouse has been flying off the shelves. Games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and even recently new IP Arms have been highly-praised experiences, while the hype for the likes of Splatoon 2 and Monster Hunter XX will undoubtedly prolong the drastic hardware shortage all over the world. “How then, can we propel the demand into the stratosphere?” a Nintendo market researcher likely asked themselves. “Pokémon!” the people yelled, largely unprompted. After all, the Switch is practically a super-powered handheld that just so happens to convert to a TV console, right? Finally moving mainline Pokémon over to the TV has long been clamored for, and what better time then now? And hey, there have been plenty of leaks and even job postings over at Game Freak which honestly seemed to indicate as much.
More Pokémon can never be a bad thing though, no matter the circumstances, right? Just today at 9 am EST, Nintendo broadcasted one of their popular live video news updates in the form of a Pokémon Direct. Included in the approximately 8-minute long broadcast were announcements for a Nintendo Switch version of 2015’s surprise Pokémon 3D fighting game ‘Pokken Tournament’, 2 new entries in the Pokémon mainline series on the Nintendo 3DS known as ‘Ultra Sun’ and ‘Ultra Moon’, and finally Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console releases of both ‘Pokémon Gold Version’ and ‘Pokémon Silver Version’.
You can check out the full Direct stream below:
Taking up most of the stream spotlight was the Switch re-release of ‘Pokkén Tournament DX’, with the “DX” standing for “Deluxe”. And that would make sense, considering the game is an enhanced version of the original 2015 WiiU release. The game adds new fighters — all of the characters from the arcade version of the game, plus Decidueye, Popplio and Litten from ‘Sun’ and ‘Moon’. It will also feature a new 3v3 mode and an improved online experience. The game is slated for release on September 22.
Next, we got an ultra sneak peek at two ultra divisive games — ‘Pokémon Ultra Sun’ and ‘Ultra Moon’ for the Nintendo 3DS. All that was mentioned after the new footage rolled was that the games will contain an “alternate story” set in the ‘Sun’ and ‘Moon’ region of Alola. Oh, and definitely expect some new Pokémon as well. More information is set to be revealed soon.
Lastly, on the same day that ‘Pokken Tournament DX’ goes live for the Switch, Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console versions of ‘Pokémon Gold Version’ and ‘Pokémon Silver Version’ will become available for all my fellow nostalgia players out there. I know many who consider it to be the absolute best generation, so this sounds like a definite win to me. As a nice bonus, the titles will also be compatible with the Pokémon Bank app, a cloud storage service for all your Pocket Monsters, which is admittedly a technology I would have never expected to become as prominent as it has.
So yes, we did technically get a Nintendo Switch Pokémon game, but it wasn’t the shiny high definition version of Sun and Moon that most folks were expecting — that world is still reserved for the 3DS for the time being. The fans have endearingly even given such a possible title a hypothetical name: Stars. As you may be able to surmise, not everyone is thrilled:
People who want Pokemon Stars be like pic.twitter.com/LfRE4tXUen
— Akfamilyhome (@akfamilyhomeak) June 6, 2017
Given everything we’ve seen up to this point however, never give up hope I say. After all, E3 is just around the corner.
Be sure to keep an eye on the official Pokémon site here for more information as it becomes available, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that eventually it updates to include some of that Switch goodness.