Update 5/30: The rumors were true. Nintendo has officially announced Pokémon Let’s Go! Pikachu and Pokémon Let’s Go! Eevee, which are hitting the Switch on Nov. 16. These new 3D adventures are inspired by the original Pokémon games, but will feature motion-based capture gameplay inspired by Pokémon Go (you'll even be able to import Pokémon from the mobile game). The Pokémon Company has also released Pokémon Quest, a free-to-start action game available on Switch right now, and plans to release a proper new Pokémon RPG in 2019.
Below is our rumor story as it was originally published.
There’s a whole lot of talk about the next Pokémon game for Nintendo Switch, which is already confirmed to be in development. We may be treated to some unexpected news regarding Pokémon’s highly anticipated home console debut, so here are all the rumors and leaks we know about so far.
Game Title and Pokémon Go Integration
Let’s start with the potential name of the new games: Pokémon Let’s Go! Pikachu Edition and Pokémon Let’s Go! Eevee Edition. There’s even a logo floating around that seems to legitimize things further. If accurate, the name may be an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Pokémon Go, released in 2016 for mobile devices.
Given Switch’s mobility, it’s not a big leap to make that Pokemon Go connectivity might play a role, as Joe Merrick, creator of Pokemon fansite Serebii, outlined in a piece for NintendoLife that discusses how both games could potentially interact.
We already know that the Pokemon developers are interested in Pokemon Go connectivity with the main games. “We want to have a kind of way to connect the two, or have a way for people who enjoyed one to enjoy some of their progress in the other. But that will definitely come down the road,” producer/director Junichi Masuda told Game Informer in a 2016 interview.
The rumors got toastier when French Pokemon fansite Pokekalos discovered that domain names were later registered for both pokemonletsgopikachu.com and pokemonletsgoeevee.com by the same company that has registered domains for Pokemon games in the past.
The three principle companies that own the Pokemon license — Nintendo, Game Freak and The Pokemon Company — are not tied to this registration, however, and it’s possible that these rumors triggered the registration to prevent unofficial misuse.
Pokemon Switch Release Date: Coming This Year?
A list of possible gameplay features has been making the rounds that predict online play, a capture mechanic based on Pokemon Go, and a 2018 release date. The 2018 release window is backed up by other reliable rumor sources, like Emily Rogers, who has stated we’ll find out more about the game sometime in May.
If Pokémon Switch is indeed coming this year, we'll likely hear about it during Nintendo's E3 2018 showcase on June 12.
Pokemon Switch Gameplay: RPG or Real-Time?
In another interview with Game Informer in 2017, Pokémon developers stated specifically that Pokemon for Switch would be a traditional role-playing game. Other rumors seem to suggest Pokemon Go connectivity could influence gameplay of the Switch release.
We may be getting a traditional Pokémon game with some Pokémon minigames and integration built in, or we may be looking at something more unexpected with a focus on real-time gameplay.
The Start of Generation 8
A magazine handed out at the Barcelona International Comic Fair seems to mention that the Switch title will be part of the 8th Generation. This could mean a whole slew of new Pokémon and potentially new types of Pokémon would make their way to this game. Joe Merrick, however, warned fans on Twitter that this particular rumor should be taken with a few grains of salt.