Today’s Pokemon Direct revealed a lot of Pokemon related news to us today. We learned about a port of Pokken Tournament called Pokken Tournament DX that will become a Nintendo Switch title. We received news that Pokemon Gold and Silver and following in the footsteps of generation one and becoming the next generation of Virtual Console Pokemon titles. Finally, in what can be considered the biggest news of the day, we learned that Pokemon Sun and Moon are receiving enhanced sequels or sorts called Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
With Sun and Moon being 3DS exclusives and Nintendo recently announcing a New Nintendo 2DS XL, it comes as no surprise that these two Ultra titles are also coming to the 3DS. However, there were a lot of rumors about a mainline Pokemon game headed to the Switch and we were hoping these were going to be those titles. Maybe Nintendo and Game Freak decided the Switch couldn’t compete with the 65+ million Nintendo 3DS handhelds out in the wild compared to the Switch that can’t manage to stay in stock. It makes more sense from a business standpoint to release the titles on the 3DS, especially since Sun and Moon went on to become two of the best selling games in the franchise.
However, we think this is, and should be, the last of the mainline Pokemon titles to appear on the wildly popular handheld. We have a few reasons behind this so bear with us. The Nintendo 3DS is not a particularly powerful handheld. Its screen is only 240p which is a much worse resolution than any smartphone on the market released in the past few years. Pokemon Sun and Moon, despite having the best visuals in the series, ran choppy at best on the 3DS and experienced many framerate dips. The 3DS is showing its age and no amount of redesigns can fix that. That’s where the Nintendo Switch comes in. Just look at how fuzzy the picture above looks. Making a title for the Switch would alleviate this problem.
Depending on how you look at, The Switch is either an under-powered home console or the most powerful gaming handheld on the market. The console will not be receiving a lot of support in the way of AAA third-party home console titles such as Mass Effect, Call of Duty or Battlefield but it can make up for that by getting the support of the handheld market. The Switch in its handheld mode can output titles at a max of 720p, much more powerful than the 3DS. In docked mode, the Switch bumps up that resolution to 1080p. Could you imagine a full-HD mainline Pokemon title?
Last month, we learned that the Fire Emblem series was wrapping up production on the 3DS with Fire Emblem: Shadows of Valentia. We also have wind of a mainline Fire Emblem title coming to the Switch as early as next year. Sure, Nintendo and Intelligent Systems could keep on pumping out Fire Emblem titles for the 3DS, but why would you want to? Developers have a shiny new handheld/console hybrid in the Nintendo Switch just waiting for someone to come around and show its true potential. We saw what it can do with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but we want to see some strictly handheld titles get a crack at it.
We haven’t yet had a notable handheld game make the leap to the Switch so we can’t do any comparisons between versions just yet. Monster Hunter and Fire Emblem are coming and we can’t wait to see how those games perform on the Switch. Monster Hunter Double Cross is an expanded version of Monster Hunter Generations, a Nintendo 3DS title, and will become an HD title on the Switch.
Fire Emblem Warriors is in development along with Dragon Quest XI and both games will have a Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch version. We’re curious as to why something similar wasn’t done with Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon. The market is there and it’s ripe for home console Pokemon title. In fact, no mainline Pokemon title has ever been available on a home console so why not start with the Switch?
Despite the disappointment of Ultra Sun and Moon not coming to the Switch, we still have a lot to look forward to. We will likely end up seeing a Pokemon title that isn’t Pokken Tournament sooner rather than later. With so much of the marketing behind the Switch revolving around its portability, it just doesn’t make sense to not see a portable Pokemon title on the console in the future.