The Pokemon franchise is leaving the Nintendo 3DS after Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Presumably, this means that the games will be moved over to Nintendo’s Switch hybrid console; a move that raises many questions about the future of the series.
Game Freak director Shigeru Ohmori explained the decision to leave the 3DS in an interview with IGN. The head of the Pokemon development studio said that his team has already pushed the hardware on the handheld console as far as it can go. The next two games represent the absolute limit of what’s capable; and that future games will be moving on to improved hardware.
It’s no secret that Game Freak is already working on a new Pokemon title for the Nintendo Switch. No details are available, and the company is being extra secretive about its plans.
Several concerns about moving consoles exist. For instance, will players have to join Nintendo’s online multiplayer subscription to trade Pokemon? Questions about importing Pokemon from the Pokemon Bank also exist; although we hope that the Switch will be made compatible with this Pokemon storage service.
More importantly, does this platform shift mark the beginning of the end for the 3DS? Pokemon is responsible for a large number of sales of the console, and losing one of its headliners could spell reduced sales. Especially since Monster Hunter is also branching out beyond the handheld.