If you, like me, decided to hold off on buying Pokémon Sun or Moon for the Nintendo 3DS in the hopes that the games would eventually come to the Nintendo Switch, you’re being partially vindicated today. Eurogamer is reporting that a third version of the game, known for now as Pokémon Stars, is in development for Nintendo’s new console.
If true, this would be the first time a Pokémon title in the main series will come out for a Nintendo home console — until now, they’ve only been available on the handhelds. That makes sense, given what the Switch is — a hybrid portable/home console that will unify Nintendo’s game development under one platform. The expectation is that games that typically come out just for Nintendo handhelds, like Pokémon or Fire Emblem, will now be playable on the big screen.
What was less sure was whether or not these Pokémon games would come to the new console. If the report proves true, it looks like Nintendo has made a nice compromise. They wouldn’t want to undercut sales of Pokémon Sun and Moon with the announcement of a Switch version, so instead, they’ll use Pokémon history. Nintendo has always released third Pokémon titles with changes to gameplay and story, going all the way back to when Pokémon Yellow was released after Red and Blue. A Pokémon Stars would mean Nintendo could comfortably release the game well after sales of Sun and Moon have peaked, and would give them another strong game for next holiday season.
The Eurogamer report, which cites anonymous sources familiar with the game’s development, indicates that the plan is indeed for the game to come out late next year. The report also states that, as expected, the game is being developed by Game Freak, which has been responsible for every other main series Pokémon game. So, for those holding out for the Switch to get your real Pokémon fix, you’ll likely have to wait a lot longer. That’s a bummer, especially because the Switch version of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has also been delayed, but we’re willing to be patient. It’s also worth pointing out that there was a rumored Pokémon game being planned for the Switch launch — we don’t know if that was supposed to be Stars or something else that’s still being kept secret.