When Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were announced back in June, many fans were expecting to see it come to the Nintendo Switch, given that it was the hot new thing from Nintendo, and it was mobile to boot. We were a bit surprised to see Game Freak not taking advantage of this, opting instead to release it exclusively for the 3DS.
Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon producer Shigeru Ohmori has since explained their decision on the matter in a talk with GameSpot.
“We’ve been working with the 3DS hardware since Pokemon X and Y. Even then we wanted to get the maximum power and maximum potential out of the 3DS, and ever since then we’ve continued to try [to do] that. With X and Y we thought we’d got as much as we could out, but then Sun and Moon came along and we pushed even harder and got as much as we could out of the system at that time. And now, again, with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, we’ve tried to make this the pinnacle of our work with the 3DS system and make it a culmination of all our efforts to get the absolute most out of the system that we can.”
There was a misguided rumor of a third version of Pokemon Sun and Moon unofficially called Pokemon Stars. Because it was a single title and not a “definitive edition”-type title like we eventually got, it led people to believe it was going to be different. On the topic of the latest title coming to Switch, Ohmori simply said, “there are [currently] no plans for that in particular.”
But don’t let this disappoint you, Game Freak does indeed have a “core RPG” Pokemon title in the works for the Nintendo Switch. Despite this announcement, we have no other facts on the game, other than Game Freak explaining that the eventual title is helped by Ultra Sun and Moon. While not outwardly stated, it’s likely that Ultra Sun and Moon didn’t come to Switch because Nintendo and Game Freak wanted the eventual Switch title to be the “next step” in the Pokemon series, as opposed to a half-step of a previously released game on a different console.
Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon launch on 3DS on November 17. It will feature an alternate story and new Pokemon, enticing players of the originals to return to the Alola region for another adventure.