USgamer: Why Pokémon Switch almost certainly won’t be released in 2018

It could be a while before we get any substantial news on the first core console Pokémon RPG and Generation 8 Pokémon, but that hasn’t stopped people from sharing rumors of all sorts. A number of fans are really hoping to see a massive reveal at E3 2018 next month, but according to the folks at USgamer, the highly-anticipated game won’t even see a 2018 release. The following excerpts come from USgamer editor Kat Bailey:

Excitement for Pokemon on the Switch is growing. Every passing day brings with it new rumors and speculation. Will it be at E3? Will it be out in 2018? Surely Nintendo needs something massive this year, right? Well if you’re hoping for a big reveal this year, chances are you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

Game Freak and The Pokemon Company tend to be very conservative as far as developers go. They are slow to migrate to new platforms, have a fairly rigid process, and rarely rock the boat in terms of the formula. While Pokemon is closely associated with Nintendo, The Pokemon Company guards its independence jealously.

With that in mind, Pokemon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara’s comments on the Switch last year were revealing. “I told Nintendo that Switch wouldn’t be a success before it went on sale, because I thought that in the age of the smartphone, no one would carry out a game console. It’s obvious I was wrong.”

Ishihara’s attitude was similar to other mainstream publishers, many of whom are only now seriously revving up production for the Switch. Pokemon on the Switch was probably inevitable, but if the Switch had been slow out of the gate, Game Freak might have waited longer than usual for the system to build up its install base. Or god forbid, even transitioned to Nintendo’s mobile label.

Pokemon Switch was announced around E3 last year, but Game Freak had little else to say beyond that. We don’t know how far along it is in development, but given Ishihara’s comments, and the fact that Game Freak usually takes its time with new generations, it still feels like it’s a year away.



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