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Tsunekazu Ishihara talks Pokémon on Switch (ToyoKeizai Online Interview)

RichiRamjag

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Nov 6, 2014
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Enough for me, I'll chill out. I just never like the tone they set in their interviews. The translation is probably the issue tbh.
 

Coffinhal

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Nov 12, 2014
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Na, if a game is to come out, they'd aim it for the autumn without a doubt for a variety of reasons including how they market new Pokémon stuff in Japan. If there isn't one this year, then it won't be until towards the end of next year

Yep true that they always release at the end of the year. (But by the end of 2018 they would need to have a proper sequel for SM or a new gen haha)

IIRC Pokken was released during the Spring or early summer for arcade, so Q1 2018 release for a DE would work for it don't you think ?
 
Aug 8, 2012
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GameFreak is always slow to adopt Nintendo's newest hardware.
Black and White 2 came out on the DS nearly two years after the 3DS was released.
Assuming they are working on some Sun/Moon sequel/third version, it will definitely be a 3DS release.

What they should do, however, is simultaneously release a Switch version. Like how the first Mystery Dungeon was released on both the GBA and the DS.
 

StreetsAhead

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Jun 13, 2011
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Translation is not 1:1, I did it while still in bed. So don't pay too much attention to tone/word choice. Give me a bit and I can do a proper translation.
 

Aleh

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If I were to guess, considering third versions don't require as much work as a remake or a new gen, Stars is a stop gap to make a more complete jump to the Switch with Gen 8 in 2018. They have probably been working on Stars since a little before Sun and Moon released, while also working on Switch. If I remember correctly they always have two teams that work on the mainline games at the same time, usually one focusing on new gens and the other working on third versions/remakes, so it wouldn't be unprecedented.
If anything Stars can also be on Switch and 3DS
 

JoeM86

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Yep true that they always release at the end of the year. (But by the end of 2018 they would need to have a proper sequel for SM or a new gen haha)

IIRC Pokken was released during the Spring or early summer for arcade, so Q1 2018 release for a DE would work for it don't you think ?

I hope so. I was hoping for a surprise one this Spring ahead of Worlds, but they then made the ridiculous choice to have Worlds happen for Pokkén on the Wii U, despite being 4 characters and 2 patches behind.

Spin-offs are going to happen, though less on dedicated devices now thanks to mobile, but hey...Splash! Magikarp is intriguing :p
 

StreetsAhead

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Jun 13, 2011
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(Better?) translation

Q: How will Pokemon be handled on the Switch?

Until now we've developed Pokemon exclusively for portable games consoles. With no connection to home-play, a pro for portable consoles has been trading and battling with friends on the go. The Switch, however, being a portable home console, has some different qualities compared to portables. The screen is bigger, the specs are higher.

Because of that, if we are to release Pokemon on the Switch, we cannot go about software the way we have been so far. Apart from mainline Pokemon games, we also develop spin-off titles like Pokken Tournament, a fighting game, and Mystery Dungeon, a dungeon crawler. From among those titles, I am thinking it is a good idea to support, in turn, the ones that make sense for the hardware. My apologies but at this time, however, I am not in a position to announce anything specific.
 
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*sigh* This is exactly why I wish we would have Z/another Gen 6 game on 3DS last year and then Sun and Moon this or next year on Switch running on hardware that can actually support the game. The thought of having to wait until 2019 for the next generation on Switch is agonising.
 

JoeM86

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*sigh* This is exactly why I wish we would have Z/another Gen 6 game on 3DS last year and then Sun and Moon this or next year on Switch running on hardware that can actually support the game. The thought of having to wait until 2019 for the next generation on Switch is agonising.

I am still of the belief that Sun & Moon was originally planned as a Switch launch title, but when word that Switch was being delayed happened in late 2015 internally/early 2016 externally, they shifted development to the 3DS using an altered version of the XYORAS engine, and downported the overworld.

Far too many compromises have been made for single screen gaming already. Game Freak aren't that crazy to have made such questionable choices for 3DS.

Note: The above is speculation and is not indicative of insider knowledge
 

Delio

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Pretty obvious there will be Pokemon on the switch at some point but I wouldn't go expecting Stars to be on it. That will be on the 3ds for sure probably this holiday.
 

Neonep

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May 13, 2015
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Again, won't buy a Switch until it gets a mainline Pokemon game. I'll even take a remake.
 
Jun 13, 2014
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I am still of the belief that Sun & Moon was originally planned as a Switch launch title, but when word that Switch was being delayed happened in late 2015 internally/early 2016 externally, they shifted development to the 3DS using an altered version of the XYORAS engine, and downported the overworld.

Far too many compromises have been made for single screen gaming already. Game Freak aren't that crazy to have made such questionable choices for 3DS.

Note: The above is speculation and is not indicative of insider knowledge

If that was the case then damn, what a shame. Would've been a hell of a start to a new console, and an even better way to celebrate the series' 20th anniversary. I just don't see Stars being a thing for Switch, exclusively anyway. Hopefully they'll throw it on the 3DS and put the generation to bed, there's no point limiting their talents on outdated hardware. If it means a shorter generation in exchange for getting true next generation Pokemon on the Switch more quickly then so be it.
 

Malakai

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Jun 23, 2015
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He is lying. The 3DS already received a Switch Pokemon game down port last year. The name of those games are Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon. Or maybe he is waiting for the Switch Go or Switch Mini to be released alas 2DS style w/ the OG 3DS and 3DS XL and then release Pokemon.
 

Neoxon

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Jul 28, 2013
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Saw this coming after the LKD rumors didn't happen. My guess is Stars is a 3DS game and we're not getting a Pokemon game for Switch for a few more years.
The Stars rumor originated from Eurogamer, with MCV reporting that we'd get Mario, Zelda, & Pokémon (from Game Freak) games within the Switch's first year.
 

Agent Unknown

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Because of that, if we are to release Pokemon on the Switch, we cannot go about software the way we have been so far]

This is like the type of completely moronic excuse a finnicky third party would make about the DS or the Wii U just because they have touch screens. It's like back in 2013/14 when Kohima was asked if he'd make a game on Wii U and he used the excuse that he felt he'd have to make a game that fully took advantage of the Gamepad. Again, someone from NCL should be on the phone with the Pokémon Company and pointedly asking them what exactly about the Switch do they find so daunting or confusing that they feel compelled to have a senior rep act like a Pokémon RPG might not work on a fully portable system just because it has a high definition screen and can be docked to a TV.
 

ArchedThunder

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This is like the type of completely moronic excuse a finnicky third party would make about the DS or the Wii U just because they have touch screens. It's like back in 2013/14 when Kohima was asked if he'd make a game on Wii U and he used the excuse that he felt he'd have to make a game that fully took advantage of the Gamepad. Again, someone from NCL should be on the phone with the Pokémon Company and pointedly asking them what exactly about the Switch do they find so daunting or confusing that they feel compelled to have a senior rep act like a Pokémon RPG might not work on a fully portable system just because it has a high definition screen and can be docked to a TV.

Oh my god, he literally said "I am not in a position to announce anything specific."
They aren't ready to talk about their plans, and understandably since they JUST released Sun and Moon.
His comment makes it sound like they want to do something new when they move to Switch instead of just doing the same thing, which is understandable, they're moving from weak handheld hardware to Wii U+ level hardware, they'll probably be doing a lot with the world to make it feel more alive.
 

Neoxon

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Jul 28, 2013
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Oh my god, he literally said "I am not in a position to announce anything specific."
They aren't ready to talk about their plans, and understandably since they JUST released Sun and Moon.
His comment makes it sound like they want to do something new when they move to Switch instead of just doing the same thing, which is understandable, they're moving from weak handheld hardware to Wii U+ level hardware, they'll probably be doing a lot with the world to make it feel more alive.
This guy gets it.

Let's wait until E3 before we all panic over Pokémon on the Switch.
 

Zalman

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I don't know why people get the impression that they're just starting to think about this now or that they aren't far along in development. There's nothing in this interview that indicates so. He's just giving a rough idea of their mindset going into the Switch.
 

JoeM86

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I don't know why people get the impression that they're just starting to think about this now or that they aren't far along in development. There's nothing in this interview that indicates so. He's just giving a rough idea of their mindset going into the Switch.

A lot of people are still of the mindset that development only really begins when things are announced. Not necessarily outright but subconsciously.

That's where people get such asinine notions such as X/Y, Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire and Sun/Moon being "rushed"
 

jnWake

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Mar 30, 2013
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GameFreak is always slow to adopt Nintendo's newest hardware.
Black and White 2 came out on the DS nearly two years after the 3DS was released.
Assuming they are working on some Sun/Moon sequel/third version, it will definitely be a 3DS release.

What they should do, however, is simultaneously release a Switch version. Like how the first Mystery Dungeon was released on both the GBA and the DS.

Always slow as proved by 1 example?
 

Pokemaniac

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Mar 20, 2015
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I am still of the belief that Sun & Moon was originally planned as a Switch launch title, but when word that Switch was being delayed happened in late 2015 internally/early 2016 externally, they shifted development to the 3DS using an altered version of the XYORAS engine, and downported the overworld.

Far too many compromises have been made for single screen gaming already. Game Freak aren't that crazy to have made such questionable choices for 3DS.

Note: The above is speculation and is not indicative of insider knowledge

Yeah, it's pretty obvious that Z was the original plan. I'd guess they didn't want to miss the anniversary with Sun and Moon.
 

KtSlime

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How I feel in a nutshell. It created a negative tone imo. People shouldn't even have to question whether or not this is coming to the switch.

The original quote did not really have a negative tone. Japanese tends to use lots of negative sentence structures.

In feeling it is more like "If Pokemon were to come out, we'll do something a bit different"


(Better?) translation

I feel this is a much better translation, without so much of the negative tone people are reading into the other translation.

This is like the type of completely moronic excuse a finnicky third party would make about the DS or the Wii U just because they have touch screens. It's like back in 2013/14 when Kohima was asked if he'd make a game on Wii U and he used the excuse that he felt he'd have to make a game that fully took advantage of the Gamepad. Again, someone from NCL should be on the phone with the Pokémon Company and pointedly asking them what exactly about the Switch do they find so daunting or confusing that they feel compelled to have a senior rep act like a Pokémon RPG might not work on a fully portable system just because it has a high definition screen and can be docked to a TV.

I think you may be reading too much into it. He just said they will release pokemon games for Switch, he thinks it is best they release them in a suitable order, and if (when) they release a main Pokemon game for the Switch they will do something a bit different than before, but has no games to announce at the moment.

Nintendo is not releasing a successor to the 3DS unless the Switch flops, so that leaves the pokemon company 2 options, release on Switch, or don't make pokemon games. The answer is clear.
 

Agent Unknown

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Oh my god, he literally said "I am not in a position to announce anything specific."

All in the middle of talking as though they feel Switch would be better suited to spin off series. Even if that's not the reality of what their actual plans are, what's so hard to understand why people wouldn't like to hear him talk that way about a system they're about to spend $299 on with the perfectly reasonable expectation it will have a fully unified library per Iwata's original vision for NX? Like I said, this is the type of weak comment a non-commital third party should be making, not Nintendo's biggest partner which they own 33% stake in. Do I really think he meant it the way it comes off? Not really. But any way you cut it, this is a stupid comment for them to make assuming Switch is supposed to be the future home of ALL Pokémon games post-3DS (which it should be unless they suddenly wanted to go all in on phones for the mainline RPGs).
 

RichiRamjag

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Nov 6, 2014
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The original quote did not really have a negative tone. Japanese tends to use lots of negative sentence structures.

In feeling it is more like "If Pokemon were to come out, we'll do something a bit different"




I feel this is a much better translation, without so much of the negative tone people are reading into the other translation.



I think you may be reading too much into it. He just said they will release pokemon games for Switch, he thinks it is best they release them in a suitable order, and if (when) they release a main Pokemon game for the Switch they will do something a bit different than before, but has no games to announce at the moment.

Nintendo is not releasing a successor to the 3DS unless the Switch flops, so that leaves the pokemon company 2 options, release on Switch, or don't make pokemon games. The answer is clear.

Thank you for the explanation (no sarcasm). It probably explains why I'm always put off by most translated interviews.
 

Agent Unknown

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The original quote did not really have a negative tone. Japanese tends to use lots of negative sentence structures.

In feeling it is more like "If Pokemon were to come out, we'll do something a bit different"




I feel this is a much better translation, without so much of the negative tone people are reading into the other translation.



I think you may be reading too much into it. He just said they will release pokemon games for Switch, he thinks it is best they release them in a suitable order, and if (when) they release a main Pokemon game for the Switch they will do something a bit different than before, but has no games to announce at the moment.

Nintendo is not releasing a successor to the 3DS unless the Switch flops, so that leaves the pokemon company 2 options, release on Switch, or don't make pokemon games. The answer is clear.

Ok, thanks for summarizing that.
 

KtSlime

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All in the middle of talking as though they feel Switch would be better suited to spin off series. Even if that's not the reality of what their actual plans are, what's so hard to understand why people wouldn't like to hear him talk that way about a system they're about to spend $299 on with the perfectly reasonable expectation it will have a fully unified library per Iwata's original vision for NX? Any way you cut it, this is a stupid comment for them to make assuming Switch is supposed to be the future home of ALL Pokémon games post-3DS (which it should be unless they want to go all in on phones for the mainline RPGs) Like I said, this is the type of comment a non-commital third party should be making, not Nintendo's biggest partner which they own 33% stake in.

私たちはポケモン本編以外にも、格闘ゲームの『ポッ拳』やダンジョンRPGの 『不思議のダンジョン』などの派生タイトルを作っている。それらの中で、スイッチに適合しやすいものから順番に対応していこうと考えている

Besides the main Pokemon series, we make derived titles such as the fighting game "Pokken" and the dungeon RPG "Mystery Dungeon". Of these, We are thinking of going in order of easiest to adapt to/suit the Switch.

tl;dr Side games come first, main game comes later.

Agent Unknown, RichiRamjag. No problem.
 

solaaire

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Apr 6, 2013
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I am still of the belief that Sun & Moon was originally planned as a Switch launch title, but when word that Switch was being delayed happened in late 2015 internally/early 2016 externally, they shifted development to the 3DS using an altered version of the XYORAS engine, and downported the overworld.

Far too many compromises have been made for single screen gaming already. Game Freak aren't that crazy to have made such questionable choices for 3DS.

Note: The above is speculation and is not indicative of insider knowledge

Would you mind elaborating on this a bit more? Specifically, the single screen compromises. I haven't played a mainline Pokémon since Gold so I'm a bit out of the loop.
 

lvl99 Pixel

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Oct 28, 2011
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seriously going to be pissed if they try to give Switch a spin-off and not something closer to the mainline games

what if its a really good spinoff?
What could they possibly do thats similar to the main games at this point that would be worth doing on Switch if its not cross compatible with sun/moon now?

I think at best we would get something like Pokemon Stadium to play using the 3ds/Bank pokemon but in HD.
 

Illucio

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Oct 7, 2014
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I feel like Game freak is currently going:

"Fuck we now HAVE to make HD games now. We can't hide behind handheld hardware any longer. "
 

Mr-Joker

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Mar 7, 2013
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Yeah, it's pretty obvious that Z was the original plan. I'd guess they didn't want to miss the anniversary with Sun and Moon.

Honestly I am still annoyed that we didn't get "Pokémon Z" as it means that gen 6 and Kalos never reached its full potential.

I feel like Game freak is currently going:

"Fuck we now HAVE to make HD games now. We can't hide behind handheld hardware any longer. "

I doubt it, by moving a more powerful console they can finally create a good 3D region, without being held back.

Of course that doesn't mean much with them dumbing down the game play and getting aggressively handholdy.
 

Neoxon

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Jul 28, 2013
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Would you mind elaborating on this a bit more? Specifically, the single screen compromises. I haven't played a mainline Pokémon since Gold so I'm a bit out of the loop.
They axed most of the 3DS-specific features from Sun/Moon & significantly decreased the games' reliance on the 2nd screen compared to X/Y & OR/AS.
 

KtSlime

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For what it is worth, I feel JoeM86's assessment to probably be pretty close to real situation. When I first looked at Sun/Moon I felt that the models/map etc were not intended for the 3DS, when I got my copy of Moon I was disappointed by features I had grown to expect from previous games that used the lower screen. Sun/Moon feel like games that were made for a single screen with a secondary screen tacked on at the last minute which is not a feeling I had with the previous games.
 

Macka

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If Pokemon Stars is not at the very least cross-generational (although imo it should be Switch exclusive) I'll throw my hands up. It would be utterly ridiculous.

And yes - I know that Nintendo doesn't own GameFreak outright and that they do their own thing, but Nintendo do have enough sway over them to say they can't fuck around like they were doing when they released B2/W2 on the DS a year after the 3DS launched. They NEED Pokemon on the Switch this year to help the Switch sales. It's in GameFreak's best interests as well.
 

Lynd7

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Dec 8, 2012
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If they don't get proper mainline pokemon games on Switch it would be the single most stupid thing imaginable. All of this "it was designed to be played on a handheld for trading and battling" is 100% crap. I expect most people trade and battle with the internet now anyway, which can be done from your home.

Pokemon Stars, upscaled to higher resolutions on Switch would sell gangbusters.

This, who cares about trading in person etc. It wouldn't even stop that from happening anymore, god, the Pokemon company is annoying.
 

Azuran

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Oct 11, 2007
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For what it is worth, I feel JoeM86's assessment to probably be pretty close to real situation. When I first looked at Sun/Moon I felt that the models/map etc were not intended for the 3DS, when I got my copy of Moon I was disappointed by features I had grown to expect from previous games that used the lower screen. Sun/Moon feel like games that were made for a single screen with a secondary screen tacked on at the last minute which is not a feeling I had with the previous games.

Garbage Plaza replacing the PSS made this pretty obvious. I know Game Freak are incompetent, but I refuse to believe even they would scrap one of the best additions to the series for that trash. The addition of Garbage Plaza is not making me hopeful for the return of Pokemon to a single screen if crap like that is what they're going to do.
 

bman94

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May 23, 2015
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This is so ass backwards. There's nothing mechanically about the mainline Pokemon games that you would have to change to make it "work" on the Switch. He's making a big deal out of nothing, just have the same core experience with bigger set pieces and better model and resolution.
 
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I know that no Pokémon title is confirmed for Switch yet, but the mention of Mystery Dungeon pleases me. It's still a relevant spin-off series.
 

Yoshimitsu126

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Jun 18, 2016
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There might be a Pokemon RPG on Switch after all because of the gameplay changes in Sun and Moon.
For example, the use of Trials help the developers use less assets. Sun and Moon also use a lot of their 3D engine.

Trials can save developers money by not making cities with gyms. They can now make trials that are fewer than eight and those can use wild routes, caves, or water instead of eight large towns with a unique gym.
In fact, most of Sun and Moon's trials use routes and aren't even located in cities.

Sun and Moon's 3D engine hints a future Switch Pokemon game too. Not only are all trainers in 3D (the first in Pokemon!) but they appear next to their Pokemon in battles.
The Pokemon battle setting is also unique to where you battled the trainer as well. All of these designs are something you expect in a console like experience.

There's a real chance a mainline RPG Pokemon game is coming to Switch thanks to these gameplay changes in Sun and Moon! I hope it does happen and I'll probably buy the Switch asap once its announced!
 

Spyder_Monkey

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Aug 6, 2014
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Meh Eurogamer's track record has been strong enough to make me think this is happening outside of how obvious of a no brainer it is to bring Pokemon to the Switch.