Pokémon Company CEO Talks Series’ Future On Nintendo Switch

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

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Pokémon Company CEO Tsunnekazu Ishihara admits his trepidation about the Nintendo Switch’s performance has been proven false. Speaking to Bloomberg, he says he told Nintendo itself that he didn’t think the Switch would be a hit in today’s mobile phone world.

I told Nintendo that Switch wouldn’t be a success before it went on sale because I thought that in the age of the smartphone, no one would carry out a game console. It’s obvious I was wrong. I came to realize the key to a successful game is quite simple: software with absolute quality leads sales of hardware. Playing style can be flexible if the software is attractive enough.

Despite the console’s success in its first six month, Ishihara still wants it to sell to a broader, wider market before the much-anticipated Pokémon installment hits the system. Speaking to that game, he spoke a bit about what his company, and developer Game Freak, could do with the system’s capabilities.

Ishihara believes they can go “deeper and with a higher level of expression” on the Switch. But if you’re expecting this Pokémon to be an all-encompassing dream MMO, you’d be wrong. Ishihara admits the Switch isn’t like a mobile phone with its always-on connectivity. “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,” he said.

Ishihara does see the Switch as allowing a new evolution in the series’ multiplayer play style. “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?” There was also the hint of accessories for such a game, a’la the PokéWalker from 2010’s Heart Gold and Soul Silver installments.

Image result for pokewalker

The PokéWalker accessory

For now, Pokémon on the Nintendo Switch is a distant release, merely confirmed to exist at E3 following a mixed reception to the upcoming Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon only coming to 3DS this November.

About Alex Irish

When he's not writing about games, Alex Irish is an illustrator and animation expert. His favorite gaming franchise is Pokémon, full-stop, but his favorite game of all time is Resident Evil 4. He attended the first-ever IGN House Party and is a five-time attendee of the Ottowa International Animation Festival.