Pokemon: Let’s Go seemingly does not require motion controls according to IGN. IGN’s Casey DeFreitas reports that, according to a Nintendo representative, motion controls are not required in handheld mode. The Pokemon company says, however, that there is no option to actually turn off motion controls. These statements are not entirely contrary, but they do cause more confusion rather than clarify things.
IGN was able to watch a video wherein a player did indeed catch Pokemon without using motion controls, but the Switch was lying flat on a table, while the right stick and buttons were used with the Joy-Cons still attached to the system. In other words, the Switch itself didn’t move, so there’s no telling whether or not the motion controls would kick in if one were to pick it up or shift it in some way. The ability to move the camera during a catching encounter also exists, done by moving the left stick, although the purpose of this is unknown at this point.
Pokemon: Let’s Go Eevee! and its counterpart Let’s Go Pikachu! come out Nov. 16, and by then, we’ll hopefully know exactly what the deal is.