If a new report is to believed, then Pokemon fans may finally see one of their biggest wishes come true in 2017: the arrival of a full-fledged Pokemon RPG on a home console.
Eurogamer cites multiple anonymous sources in reporting that a new version of Pokemon Sun and Moon, which released today for Nintendo 3DS, will be coming to the Nintendo Switch next year and that the package currently bears the codename Pokemon Stars.
As Eurogamer notes, this would not be the first time that a paired Pokemon release was repackaged as a single game with new features. In fact, this is a clear trend for Nintendo with the very first games in the series,the Game Boy’s Pokemon Red and Blue, later being bundled into one game Game Boy release called Pokemon Yellow. Most recently, Pokemon Diamond released for Nintendo DS as an updated combo package of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl about two years after those games launched.
The deviations to this long-running strategy for Pokemon Stars being that the game would come to a home platform for the first time. Previous re-bundled and updated Pokemon offerings were not only relegated to handhelds, but also to the same handhelds the original games had first appeared on.
Game Freak, the same studio behind Sun and Moon and all the main Pokemon games, is said to be handling development of Pokemon Stars. For its part, Game Freak, which owns the Pokemon IP and licenses it to Game Freak, confirmed back in September that it would make games for the Switch.
Many gamers may have even unknowingly already seen a brief glimpse of Game Freak’s work on Pokemon Stars earlier this year. Pokemon Sun and Moon’s February reveal teaser showed some in-game concept art and models, and one of them is new bird-type Pokemon Pikipek. The model shown in the video (and pictured above) is said to be from the Switch release.
That release may not come until late next year, as Eurogamer’s sources point to Stars having slipped from the summer 2017 release originally planned for it. If and when it does release, Pokemon Stars will feature higher-resolution assets than Sun and Moon, the ability to trade Pokemon with Sun and Moon, and will possibly — not all sources corroborated this last point — feature more Pokemon than the 3DS games.
Pokemon has been rumored to be making its way to Switch during the console’s first year on the market since before we knew the console’s real name. Back in August, when the console was still codenamed the Nintendo NX, a report claimed that Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon games would arrive on the platform within its first six months on the market. Eurogamer’s report seems to corroborate at least the Pokemon portion of that leak.