Pokémon’s Days on 3DS Are Coming To An End
Pokémon has always been a staple on Nintendo’s handheld systems. There hasn’t been a generation of handhelds that have gone without having at least one main Pokémon game on it. But that’s changing now.
Pokémon is something that means a lot to me. I’m an avid fan of the franchise, with Pokémon Sapphire being my first ever video game and one of my all-time favorites. I was absolutely delighted to hear that it was being remade. Admittedly, Pokémon Moon is probably my third or fourth favourite Pokémon game. So I’m super keen for Pokémon Ultra Moon.
Which has now, along with its sister game Ultra Sun, been declared the last mainstream game for 3DS.
Say what now?
Yes. I’m as shocked as you were. I found the news on Serebii.net and did a little digging.
In an interview with IGN, Game Freak director Shigeru Ohmori has confirmed that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are the “culmination” of what they can do with the 3DS system.
“When we were making Pokémon X and Y, we really were trying to push the 3DS system to its absolute limits – which is what we thought we’d done,” he stated. He then went on to state that they completely “redesigned the system” when Sun and Moon came around, pushing the 3DS further than they believed possible. But now, that process of improvement’s finally over. Ohmori explains that they’ve tried to really push the system to its absolute limits, and the result is Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
This follows a core Pokémon RPG development announcement on the Switch during the 2017 E3. Kazumasa Iwao, the director of these latest games, explains that the development team for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is “around half the size” of Sun and Moon’s staff. The team is young, compared to the teams in charge of other Pokémon games. It can be assumed that the other half of the team that worked on Sun and Moon are focused on the Switch game, which is slated for a 2018 release.
What does this mean for the Nintendo 3DS and the Pokémon franchise?
Honestly, I can’t give a definitive answer for this. This doesn’t mean that the 3DS will be phased out, although it certainly seems like it’s a possibility. It would make sense, at least somewhat: the Nintendo Switch is a marvel. It functions both as a home console and a handheld (hence its name). And it’s Nintendo’s claim to fame right now, their focus.
This could also be another big incentive for people to buy the Switch (as if all the indie games and Metroid Prime 4 wasn’t enough). Pokémon is one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, with Sun and Moon selling 14.69 million copies by Dec. 31, 2016. To put that into perspective, Sun and Moon were released worldwide on Nov. 18, 2016. That is only 44 days, averaging at around 334,000 copies per day. It’s hard to say if this will be surpassed by Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, but a mainstream Switch game could certainly overcome this.
I don’t believe this move is a bad thing. At all. If Nintendo believes they can do no more with Pokémon on the 3DS, then it’s the best thing to move to their newest console. The Switch boasts higher quality graphics and audio: Pokkén Tournament XD is a testament to that.
My thoughts on the matter?
I’m still shocked that this has happened.
I wasn’t surprised when Miiverse was shut down. It was good when it first came out but soon became somewhat forgotten, just like Pokémon GO. For the record, I still play that; I’m excited for Generation 3’s inclusion this Halloween. But I digress.
I guess it’ll only be a matter of time before we see what Nintendo’s plans are. The Switch’s versatility means there will potentially be no need for the 3DS. In fact, the only function the 3DS has over the Switch is the capability of viewing gameplay in 3D, but that only seemed to be a selling point for so long.
Is the 3DS being discontinued? Will everything be moved to the Switch?
As I said earlier, there is no way of knowing this. I doubt the 3DS will be discontinued for a while yet, and I doubt everything is going to move to the Switch. But what I do know is this: having more games follow the path of Pokémon could mean more entries into game series that have been dead for a while. And I am excited to see where Pokémon goes on the Switch. More detailed models of Pokémon, better character avatars, and spectacular music is what I want, plus a jam-packed, emotionally fraught adventure that sits with me long after the close.
That still doesn’t mean I am heartbroken over this decision. While I understand it, Nintendo’s handheld line has been a go-to thing for me when it comes to Pokémon games. They’re the primary reason I buy Nintendo consoles, actually.
This begs the question: what do YOU think?
I know how I feel about the end of Pokémon on the 3DS: stunned. I know how I feel about the beginning of Pokémon on the Switch: excited. But I am one in a sea of millions of players, so I must ask: what are your thoughts and feelings on this? Do you think it’ll be good for Nintendo and the Switch, or do you think it’s a stupid decision?