Game Freak veteran Junichi Masuda has been very vocal about the success of Pokémon and how he was interested in bringing Pokémon trainers back to the adventures on the 3DS and potentially the Nintendo Switch. Speaking to IGN, Masuda said:
“I think the remakes, like Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, are still an approach we’re interested in. With the Virtual Console releases of the original games, specifically there had never been a way to bring those Pokémon over to the latest generation. It had always been that you couldn’t get those Pokémon.”
It has only been until this point where multi-generation transferring between games has been possible due to the Pokémon Bank’s functionality between games. The only games that have yet to receive a compatibility update are the virtual console editions of Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow versions.
While the compatibility of old games and Pokémon Bank support is a good reason to play the old games, the Pokémon Company started releasing Red, Blue and Yellow remakes as part of the third generation of Pokémon, with Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen for the Game Boy Advance being released back in 2004.
Pokémon remakes since then have been a good way of retelling existing stories and adding new areas and points of interest that players may find rewarding. In the case of many Pokémon games, remakes have tied up loopholes and story problems from the original to allow the story in the Pokémon universe to make sense.
Masuda also explained that there were no plans at the moment to re-distribute Pokémon Gold and Silver games on Virtual Console when he was asked, but said the following.
“With the 20th anniversary, it was the right timing to release the original games, I think that we really want to give people the experience of bringing these Pokémon from the original Game Boy and seeing what they look like in Pokémon Sun and Moon. That is something that I want people to enjoy.”
Masuda was also asked how Pokémon Bank would work when transferring Pokémon from Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow to the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon, to which he responded in a delightfully vague fashion:
“I wonder how they’re going to change; I hope that’s something people will look forward to seeing how it works.”
On top of the interest in remakes, Masuda seemingly has let slip the fact GameFreak already has an interest in bringing Pokémon games to the Nintendo Switch. It wouldn’t be too unrealistic to imagine what a full Pokémon game on the Nintendo Switch would look like.
In the here and now, Masuda has given us a lot of Pokémon-related content this year and promises much more to come, starting with the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon release in November and a Bank compatibility update to follow soon after.