With Nintendo Switch Coming, Pokemon Dev Discusses Franchise's Future on 3DS

Will Sun and Moon be the last mainline games for 3DS? Junichi Masuda weighs in.

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Nintendo does not plan to discontinue the 3DS after the Switch console comes out next year, but will there be any more mainline Pokemon games for 3DS following the hybrid console's release? That's the question that Game Informer put to veteran producer Junichi Masuda in the magazine's newest issue.

Masuda responded by saying developer Game Freak is always thinking about what platforms make the most sense for its games, in its effort to have them reach the widest possible audience. He confirmed that Game Freak is thinking about what's coming after Sun and Moon, but didn't commit one way or the other when asked if those games would be the last for the 3DS.

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"When it comes to the main series, thinking of Pokemon RPGs that we develop at Game Freak, we always really considered the timing of when we released them," Masuda said. "There has to be a certain point where we're able to release the games and get them into the hands of enough people, to make sure the audience is big enough. This year, with Pokemon Sun and Moon, obviously we're going to be starting to think about the next title, and then depending on what that timing is, I think that will determine which platform we would release it on."

The Switch is a console/mobile hybrid device that supports gaming at home or on the go, meaning it will compete in a sense with the 3DS. Nintendo has said it does not think the Switch will cannibalize its 3DS business, though it remains to be seen what impact the Switch's launch will have on it.

"Thanks to our software, the 3DS hardware is still growing," Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said in an interview. "So that business still has momentum. And certainly rather than being cannibalized by the Switch, we think the 3DS can continue in its own form."

Indeed, Nintendo just recently reported that it sold 2.7 million 3DS units during the last quarter, an increase compared to the same period last year. Additionally, Nintendo said Pokemon Sun and Moon are the "best pre-selling games in Nintendo history."

Nintendo has not announced any games for Switch beyond The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A report claimed there would be a Pokemon game for the console out sometime within six months of the system's release, though no announcements have been made yet.

More details about the Switch, including its price, system specs, and launch lineup, will be announced during a January 2017 news event. Nintendo has said not to expect any further news on the console until then.

As for Sun and Moon, the games launch on November 18 for 3DS. A week later, on Black Friday, Nintendo will offer the New Nintendo 3DS (not the XL edition) for only $100.

Game Informer's December issue is available now.

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