Fans Are Buzzing About A Possible Pokémon Switch Leak 

Seemingly every big Pokémon game leaks ahead of time, and a new generation of entries may follow suit. Over the last few days, a series of online posts purporting knowledge of the next major pocket monsters game have caught fire within the Pokémon community.

If real, these leaks promise Pokémon games that are simultaneously familiar yet different from what fans typically expect.

Yesterday, anonymous users on 4Chan uploaded what they claimed to be the names and logos of upcoming Pokémon games: Pokémon Let's GO! Pikachu Edition and Pokémon Let's GO! Eevee Edition:

This rumour sparked the recirculation of another 4Chan thread posted in late March, which listed a variety of features that also revolve around Pikachu and Eevee-centric Pokémon games and suggests they'd be for the Switch:

Fake Pokémon leaks are a dime a dozen, and tricksters try to play off manufactured photoshops all the time. But people have latched onto these recent rumours for a few reasons. For one, we do know that Game Freak is exploring ways to connect their games to the wildly popular Pokémon Go - they confirmed this to Kotaku back in 2016:

More recently, internet sleuths discovered that websites "pokemonletsgopikachu.com" and "pokemonletsgoeevee.com" were registered by CSC Corporate Domains, Inc. - the same company that acts as a tech contact for the official pokemon-sunmoon.com website.

The latest domain registrations do not, however, name Nintendo, Game Freak, or The Pokémon Company, which the listings for pokemon-sunmoon.com do.

It's possible that another entity has used CSC Corporate to squat the domain names, but there are a few other details that are adding fuel to the fire. The March leak says that "following" Pokémon will make a return, and as we reported back in 2016, Game Freak included unused walking animations for every single monster in the game.

So, that aspect of the leak seems to jive, as Game Freak has seemingly already worked on the functionality of letting creatures in modern games follow the player around on the main map.

Earlier this year, an extremely blurry screenshot that bizarrely showed an Eevee riding a Lapras appeared online. It seemed to depict a route from the original Pokémon games:

At the time, the screenshot was dismissed as a fake: the visuals looked too much like the 3DS generation of Pokémon to be a Switch game. That, and why was an Eevee seemingly riding on the trainer's head? It seemed too weird. But the more recent leaks say something curious: "catching Pokémon works like in Go."

This could mean a variety of things, but based on the screenshot above, a possible explanation is that the new game will get rid of random encounters, and instead show you the actual monsters on the map. Similarly, Pokémon Go shows you creatures on your screen before you engage with them, rather than thrusting you into battle without knowing what you're up against.

Beyond that, a remake of Yellow would explain why the route seems familiar to veteran players. Yellow remains one of the few old-school games that Game Freak has yet to renew for a modern system, so that move would make sense.

Pokémon Yellow, which was released back in 1998, was the third version of the original Red and Blue release. In it, instead of picking a starter as you normally do, players embark on a journey with a Pikachu. Your rival, however, carries an Eevee.

In this game, Pikachu could follow you around on the map, and you could also stop to have a conversation with it to see how the monster felt. As the game was already the third version of two existing games, there was no Eevee-centric entry available at the time.

Still, given how your rival worked, having a modern remake embrace Eevee as the Pikachu counterpart makes sense.

Other pieces of evidence about the possible new games are more circumstantial. In April, an official Pokémon account seemingly winked at the leaked screenshot with some plushies:

Actually, the account seems to have a penchant for pairing up Pikachu and Eevee, possibly because the account is Eevee-centric, of course:

Pokémon Sun and Moon producer Junichi Masuda keeps highlighting the pairing of Pikachu and Eevee on his social media as well:

Granted, these pictures may mean nothing. Pikachu is the Pokémon mascot, and prone to show up in nearly anything Pokémon-related. Anecdotally, Eevee seems to be the second most popular monster out there, with nearly every game in the series introducing a new form of the fluffy critter.

Having both Pikachu and Eevee paired together may be simple fan service. Then again, given how beloved both Pokémon seem to be, entries focused on them makes a lot of sense.

One aspect that makes this leak confusing is that Pokémon fans are expecting a new entry into the mainline franchise, as Game Freak announced a "core" title last year. Remakes don't seem to fit the bill, and it's disappointing to think that the next Pokémon game on Switch will look so much like the 3DS games.

Shouldn't there be a big graphical or mechanical leap? These leaks don't promise any of that, and instead seem to be focused on capturing the attention of existing Pokémon Go players, or old-school fans.

Nintendo and The Pokémon Company did not return a request for comment initially, with the Pokémon Company later saying that it "does not comment on rumour or speculation."


Comments

    If the next game is a lot like Pokemon Go I will have serious buyers remorse for my switch.

      Honestly, the worst-case scenario is that it's just a retread of that step counter thing used for the Gold/Silver remakes. As I understand it, the Switch doesn't really have the hardware to support Pokemon Go-esque geopositioning. They definitely won't be copying anything like the awful battle systems.

        How about if they force Smartphone and Switch interaction? I could definitely see that garbage going ahead.

        Also what I thought would come to pass probably has - it's made in the 3DS engine with upscaled graphics.

        Such a waste.

      If the current rumours all pan out to be true, and your worst fears come to pass, I still wouldn't count this as a mainline Pokemon entry. I would still expect a proper Switch Pokemon title within a few years.

    The evidence for this being true has reached critical mass so I'm accepting this as truth, and a truth of which I'm unsure of my reaction. In any case I'm still excited for a Pokemon game on the Switch and keen to find out more details, which will surely come at E3 next month.

    I went from hating this, to thinking this may actually be a Pokemon game I would finish. If the only thing being taken from Go is that they are replacing random encounters with a radar, I'd be all over that. Random encounters is something that becomes a deal breaker for me, it's the only thing stopping me from being all about JRPGs.

      That's a good call. If random encounters are replaced by seering the actual pokemon (who still appear randomly) giving you the choice to fight or not then i may end up buying a Switch.

      On a side note, if thats all can I recommend you try Crono Trigger?
      You can see the enemies that you will be fighting.
      Also Tales of Symphonia has a system where you can see the enemy but not know what kind of enemy.

        Perfect. Both of those were on my radar, but I’ll bump them up. Cheers, buddy!

        You're description sounds like Yokai Watch. Though especially the second game can be really difficult.

    Until the Pokemon Company announces anything don't get exited or angry. Personally i've never played pokemon yellow... and I've always wanted to... but are they really going to start the pokemon switch series with a remake?

    I was hoping they'd take the opportunity to evolve the Pokemon franchise in the same way Mario or Zelda have had evolutions to their ideas but I feel like this is all a bit of a step back, assuming it's all true. I'll wait to see what they do with it though before I make that call, but I'm more worried than excited for Pokemon Switch now.

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