In an interview with several video game outlets this Thursday, the lead producer Shigeru Ohmori confirmed that Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon would be the last games of the series for the Nintendo 3DS. The next title of the iconic Game Freak franchise will come to the Nintendo Switch.
The news did not surprise as much as it should since the company itself said at E3 earlier this year that they were working on a core RPG Pokémon title for the new hybrid console. Little else is known about the upcoming game, and speculation will run wild until we get the first few details or at least a release date.
GameSpot and IGN got the scoop first but weren’t able to get much else. The team working on Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is even smaller than the one that worked on the prequels, which suggests that the company has relocated all that talent to a new project, possibly Pokémon for Switch.
The 3DS completed its cycle after 8 Pokémon games
The Nintendo 3DS as a platform saw two core generations on its dual screens and a reboot. Pokémon X & Y was the first one, and it had no third derivative title nor director’s cut version.
Then, it was time for yet another modern remake. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire came out in 2014, and many thought that would be the last we would see on the 3DS. Remarkably, the team was able to push the boundaries of the handheld system even further with Sun and Moon last year.
Now, Ohmori and his team say they have reached “the pinnacle” of their work on the Nintendo 3DS and that they consider Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon “a culmination” of their efforts over the last four years.
Will the Pokémon series ever come back to handheld?
It goes to show how fast things move nowadays, but the old has to make way for the new, and the Switch is the latest and hottest hybrid console Nintendo has ever released. Core Pokémon titles for this platform mean there is a chance Game Freak won’t go back to fully portable screens, but that is truly up to Nintendo.
The Japanese giant has a well-established market for both its handheld and its home consoles, but in mixing the two of them with the Switch; it has unintentionally blurred the line for consumers. People would now need to shell out $300 to get the hardware and pay twice the price for Pokémon cartridges.
It is unlikely that Nintendo ditches the portable market just like that, but there have been no signs related to the direction they plan to take with those consoles. In the meantime, it is safe to assume that Pokémon will have a home on the small screen as long as there is a machine worth putting it in.