When The Pokémon Company announced it would hold a Pokémon Direct event, one that's only eight minutes in length, fans immediately gravitated to Pokémon Stars, the long-rumored Pokémon Sun and Moon port for the Switch.
But there was none. Instead, the company announced that the Switch is getting a Pokken Tournament port late September, called Pokken Tournament DX. In addition, new mainline entries are hitting the 3DS, called Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, on November.
To expect The Pokémon Company to unveil a mainline Pokémon title for the Switch is a bit of a stretch, especially since Nintendo's hybrid machine is barely half-a-year-old. For the company to come out saying it's making a mainline entry means, whatever that game is, it should have already entered development long ago, even before the Switch was released, or even announced.
Part of why fans are so disappointed is doubt — doubt if The Pokémon Company is ever planning on putting mainline Pokémon entries on the Switch. Of course it's planning exactly that, right? It's almost a punishable mishap not to, seeing as how the Switch is a handheld, and the company makes mainline entries for handhelds.
Moreover, the Switch is selling like hotcakes, and Pokémon is one of the hottest franchises the gaming world has ever seen. Put two and two together and you have a potential bestseller in the form the world's first HD mainline Pokémon entry.
That doubt has wormed itself on the psyche of Pokémon fans since The Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara said that the company would need to rethink how it'll handle a Pokémon game suppose it comes to the Switch. Offering a statement that's both promising and vague, Ishihara seemed to confirm that Pokémon is a shoo-in for the Switch, but maybe not how fans expect it to be.
So, here's an argument for you. The Switch needs a mainline RPG Pokémon title, even if it takes a while before arriving. Here are compelling reasons why the Switch will be the perfect platform for the eighth-generation Pokémon game.
Duh, The Switch Is A Handheld
There has never been a mainline Pokémon entry on home consoles, ever. The Switch is marketed as a home console, but it's also a handheld, so by all means, it qualifies for a proper Pokémon entry — technically.
Because Pokémon features gameplay elements that compel players to move — trading Pokémon, battling other players, joining big-scale tournaments, and such — the series needs to be on a handheld. Portability is fundamental to the Pokémon experience, and the Switch can handle that perfectly, no questions asked.
Traditionally Handheld Games Are Coming To The Switch, Too
Monster Hunter XX, released for the 3DS in Japan, is coming to the Switch. An iteration of Nintendo's popular strategy series, Fire Emblem, will also be making headway toward the Switch. Both of these are traditionally handheld-based titles, proving there's absolutely no reason why a mainline Pokémon entry can't come to the Switch.
The Switch Momentum
The Switch is an important inflection point for Nintendo, especially after the resounding failure that was the Wii U. It's selling well, thankfully, and its games are, too. Suppose the Switch ferries this optimistic momentum all year-round and beyond, it's going to be the hottest console in the market, the one everybody wants, or at least needs to have.
Pokémon, similarly, will be the game the Switch just needs to have. It's such a clear concept, it's almost what the laws of nature are dictating. Doing otherwise would almost be sinful.
More than anything else, Pokémon will cause an enormous upswing for the Switch's momentum, too, since it'll signal forthcoming releases of additional mainline entries, because a system typically gets two to three Pokémon titles in its lifetime. We simply can't wait.
The Other Possibility
Nintendo, speaking frankly, is a stubborn company. Sometimes, it pulls off miracles, sometimes it doesn't, because it often fails to keep up with the times. An example of this is the Switch requiring a smartphone for voice chat functionality, which boggles even the most loyal stalwart of Nintendo's fanbase.
The Pokémon Company, on the other hand, is protective of its franchise, and rightfully so. Pokémon is a crucial, popular, and integral franchise for both companies, for gaming audiences, and for the world of video games. One misstep could launch it into oblivion; one bad decision could ring a death knell to the franchise entirely.
The key metrics at play here, however, are all suited to Nintendo and The Pokémon Company's favor. The franchise has gained a rekindled swerve of popularity after the smash hit Pokémon GO, the Switch is on its way to becoming incredibly successful, and the next-generation Pokémon game is ripe with possibilities, especially since the Switch offers so much in terms of technology.
Either the company puts all hands on deck to ferry the ship toward stellar lengths, or sink it.
Your move, The Pokémon Company.