Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara has told The Wall Street Journal that Pokémon titles will be forthcoming on the new Nintendo NX, a system which he describes as blurring the lines between home console and handheld.
Ishihara refused to confirm if a Pokémon title would launch alongside the NX in March next year, but did enthusiastically confirm that the company would support the platform:
The NX is trying to change the concept of what it means to be a home console device or a hand-held device. We will make games for the NX.
While Ishihara's support for the NX is perhaps unsurprising given that Pokémon games are common on pretty much every Nintendo system since the Game Boy, it does open up speculation regarding the future of the mainline series. The core Pokémon franchise has traditionally been exclusive to handhelds - Pokémon Sun and Moon being the latest entry - and if NX is indeed a fusion of home and portable, it will almost certainly be getting the next "main" instalment in the series and not a spin-off release, as has been the case with previous home console versions.
Ishihara also stated that he has been surprised by the impact that Pokémon GO has had since it launched, and that one-on-one battles will be coming in the future - something that Niantic boss John Hanke has also mentioned:
I feel like the reaction we saw was 10 times or even 100 times bigger than we expected.
Battling is a category that we do best at Pokémon, after all... it's important to really carefully consider any feature that may increase the difficulty and raise the barrier to entry for more casual users.
Plans to expand the game into China were also mentioned, but Ishihara stated that issues - such as the limitations placed on Google Maps in the region - need addressing first, as the game relies heavily on the service.
Ishihara also confirmed that Pokémon merchandise sales are running 30 to 50 percent ahead of what would normally be expected thanks to the publicity generated by the app.