If there's one thing that a bunch of gamers have begged Nintendo for in order to expand and grow the prestige of the Switch's library, it's a brand-new Pokemon game. The company has been receiving requests for a console-sized version of Pokemon for ages, and after being pestered, begged, and pleaded with for a new game in the series for the hybrid console, Nintendo finally acquiesced with the upcoming Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu and Pokemon: Let's Go Eevee. With the two forthcoming Pokemon games now in the pipeline for release on the Switch, the developers explained precisely why now was the perfect time to release the two titles for the Switch at this point in its lifespan.
Pokemon Company president and CEO, Tsunekazu Ishihara recently spoke to Famitsu [via Nintendo Soup] about the success of the Switch, and why now the Pokemon Company decided to pull the trigger on developing two new games for the Nintendo Switch at this point in its lifespan, saying...
However, the reason why we can launch a title at this time is because we had already started the development at the time the console was launched. That's the point where we went from 'maybe the hardware will not sell?' To 'our game will help in console sales.' In a way, our second title this time will be one of the factors that will drive them.
Ishihara had originally held the belief that the Nintendo Switch would not succeed in the way that it did. It's kind of an indicator that even those working under Nintendo's umbrella were taken aback by the Switch's success, especially after it sold 18 million units during its first year on the market, breaking all expectations and garnering strong numbers during its run on the core sector.
Ishihara realized through Nintendo's strategy that it wasn't just the hardware selling just to be selling that made it hugely popular, but instead, it was Nintendo's smart strategy of having a strong line-up of unique titles available for the Switch that helped it sell in the way that it did. The system launched with the mega-million seller The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and then it was followed up with a consistent line-up of sequels from established brands such as Splatoon 2 along with brand new IP like the fighting game ARMS. Nearly all of Nintendo's major first-party AAA titles moved millions of copies for the Nintendo Switch, with games like Mario Kart 8: Deluxe and Super Mario Odyssey being the standout games that managed to move vast amounts of SKUs when they originally released.
The consistent flow of having nearly an AAA title released every month or every other month during the first year of the Nintendo Switch's lifespan on the market helped it move millions of stock keeping units throughout 2017, and Ishihara believes that perhaps the games Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee can actually help bolster the hardware sales even more.
The only reason the games aren't out now because Game Freak, the developers, didn't start development on the games until the release of the Switch after seeing how popular it was. But now that it's been established that the system is hugely popular, Ishihara is now all-in on the hybrid system.
You can look for Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu and Pokemon: Let's Go Eevee to launch this fall for the Nintendo Switch. Both games will also share some compatibility and trading functionality with Pokemon Go as well.