Update: Updated with The Pokémon Company's President Tsunekazu Ishihara's recent reveals in Famitsu magazine.
If there's one thing we know for sure about Pokémon on the Switch, it's that it's definitely happening. In fact, The Pokémon Company already announced it back in 2017, during the E3 Nintendo Direct, and recently re-confirmed it for a 2019 release at a press event.
The initial rumours predicted it would be Pokémon Stars, an ultimate version of Pokémon Sun and Moon. But the subsequent launch of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon on the 3DS combined with comments made by The Pokémon Company has resulted in a move away from that rumour.
There were a bunch more rumours, including a return to the Kanto region, a tie-in with Pokémon GO, and rideable Pokémon, but it turns out that was all due for release in another Pokémon RPG coming to Nintendo Switch this year. That's Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee!, and we've covered them in a separate guide.
Those titles, Pokémon Quest, and a few more details on the upcoming major core Pokémon RPG coming to Switch in 2019 were announced at the Pokémon 2018 Video Game Press Event on May 30th.
In this guide, we're going to piece together what we know about the elusive Pokémon Switch, including rumours and a release date.
Pokémon Switch is a whole new game with improved visual quality
The Pokémon Company's President Tsunekazu Ishihara revealed in a recent issue of the Japanese magazine Famitsu that Pokémon Switch will definitely not be a remake, but a whole new game.
Ishihara also stressed that the franchise will receive a visual overhaul, and that this entry will have improved visual quality. Read the full story here.
Pokémon Switch will launch in 2019
Whatever it's called, whatever it features, Pokémon Switch will launch on Nintendo Switch in 2019. That much was confirmed at the Pokémon 2018 Video Game Press Event on May 30th.
Specifically, we're looking at the second half, so that's anytime between July and December 2019.
Pokémon Switch will mark the start of Generation Eight
In an issue of the Official Nintendo Magazine, The Pokémon Company confirmed that Pokémon Switch will mark the debut of Generation Eight. That suggests is that we'll visit a brand new region, too, as, each new entry in the Pokémon games has so far introduced a new region alongside a new generation.
Pokémon Switch will feature new mechanics
Also revealed in the issue of Official Nintendo Magazine, is that Pokémon Switch will feature all new mechanics. The Pokémon Company confirmed that it's rethinking the series entirely to provide a new way to play.
That's all we know at a factual level, but our brains are already whirring at the possibilities. Will this be Pokémon's Breath of the Wild? We can only hope.
Pokémon Switch will likely feature multiplayer
Pokémon always feels like it should be a true co-operative multiplayer experience, but it wasn't until Pokémon GO in 2016 that this side of the game started to bear fruit.
The Switch's online options, while admittedly not perfect, are far and away the best Nintendo's managed so far. That's something the Pokémon Company is well aware of, it seems, as it said the following quote in an interview of Bloomberg: "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?".
While that's not gold-plated proof that Pokémon Switch will feature multiplayer, it does suggest that some form of it will make it into the game.
Pokémon Switch isn't Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee!
A bunch of Pokémon Switch rumours detailed a return to Kanto, a tie-in with Pokémon GO, and other barmy rumours like rideable Pokémon. It turns out all of those rumours were right, they just weren't relating to the core Pokémon RPG coming to Switch.
Instead, they were referring to Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee!, two new upcoming core entries in the franchise also coming to Nintendo Switch. They serve as reimaginings of Pokémon Yellow, set in the same Kanto region, featuring the first generation, and tying into Pokémon GO. You can learn all about them in our everything we know guide.
When will Pokémon Switch release?
Nintendo has announced that Pokémon Switch will launch in the second half of 2019.
What do you think Pokémon Switch will be like? Are you hoping for anything in particular? Will Pokémon Quest and Let's Go Pikachu / Eevee suffice for now? Let us know in the comments below!