Nintendo and Tsunekazu Ishihara, chief executive officer of Tokyo-based Pokémon spoke about the future of their next core Pokemon game on the Nintendo Switch. With the success of Pokemon Go worldwide, it has given inspiration for the next big Pokemon game set to release in 2018. Ishihara stated:
- “With the Switch, we see it as a chance to create Pokémon that goes deeper and with a higher level of expression. As a result, that makes it an extremely important platform.”
- “Right now we’re using 7 to 8-inch screens, but on a high-definition TV you can express a whole different world with graphics and sound.”
- “Until now, games were made as one for one person, but now you can go home and play with everyone — so how do we tackle these themes, and how do we make sure it’s not complicated?”
- “I can’t say that we’ll release accessories, but I’d like to think of that possibility.”
- “Unlike smartphones, the Switch is not a game device that assumes that there’s constant network connectivity. So from our perspective, it’s really not that different from DS or 3DS in terms of connectivity.”
Artificial Reality for Pokemon?
In regards to augmented reality features such as Pokemon Go, Ishihara stated it fits with the overall theme of Pokemon and mixing reality and fantasy. He hopes to improve the features to create actual interactions with the AR Pokemon and its environment.
- “With current AR, even if you say Pikachu is there, no one really thinks that. But that reality is just one step away. For example, you’ll be able to find Pikachu, and it can sense this table and jump on it, and you can see its shadow on the table, and then it faces you and starts talking to you. We will see the birth of this reality that is another step up from the current Pokémon Go. And I’ve only mentioned the visual aspect, but you can add haptic and rumble technology to that.”
- “Voice-activated assistants are increasing. Whether it is Google Home or Amazon or Apple Homepod, there are many of them and we could see these dialogue-based devices give birth of a new form of entertainment.”
- “Switch is just one of the possible platforms. I think we will open up more possibilities from all these platforms. Playing in a more realistic way should be possible.”
What do you think about all of these comments from Ishihara? Many fans of Pokemon, including myself, have been waiting for the new console Pokemon experience since Pokemon Colosseum. More details on the game graphics which have always been slowed down by the capabilities of the handhelds won’t be a problem for the Switch. It’ll be easier for them to focus on Pokemon features because the Switch is still a handheld console as well. While AR sounds like an interesting concept, I prefer a more focused game story or more Pokemon to catch over all generations rather than simple interaction gimmicks. While the Pokemon Refresh feature in Sun and Moon were fun, I don’t really need more ways to interact with all of my Pokemon personally.
What do you think about these potential features on the new Pokemon game for the Switch? Are you still excited to play Pokemon or will this bring you back in? Or is it too late?