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System choice for Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon causes controversy.

During the surprise Pokémon Direct stream that took place on June 6th, fans witnessed many shocking reveals they didn’t see coming. The reaction has been both positive and negative.

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon, the newly announced games in the mainline series, stole the show in terms of buzz. Continuing the 7th Generation of Pokémon titles, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon were promised to “offer an alternate story taking place in the world of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon.” Though scant few details were revealed beyond this, “new Pokémon forms” were teased on the official Pokémon twitter account.

Current speculation points to the pair of games being similar in scope to 2012’s Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. Though the term “alternate story” is a bit vague, this is presumed to mean the games won’t be mere rehashes of Pokémon Sun and Moon. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon are set to launch worldwide on November 17th.

Yet more than anything about the games themselves, fans have been heatedly discussing the system these games will debut on. Despite the wildly successful launch of the Nintendo Switch in March, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon will be 3DS exclusives. Though a Switch port of the games was briefly listed as “TBA” on the Pokémon Company’s official website, this was later revealed to be a clerical error.

For those who haven’t been following Pokémon gossip, this might require a bit of context. Shortly after the reveal of the Nintendo Switch, rumors ran wild that an enhanced port of Pokémon Sun and Moon would be coming to the console. Dubbed “Pokémon Stars” by the community, this would have marked the first time a mainline Pokémon titled appeared on a home console. Many anticipated this to be announced during the 8 minute Pokémon Direct, so the news of 3DS exclusive titles was seen as a disappointment.

Taking everything we know into consideration, it’s perhaps too early to jump to conclusions. Historically, mainline Pokémon titles have taken their sweet time to make their way to a new console. Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, for example, were released for the DS well after the 3DS had hit the market. As things stand, the appearance of a proper Pokémon game on the Switch is a matter of when, not if. Perhaps the series will make its Switch debut with the launch of Generation 8, and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon are designed to tide us over until then. Besides, the Switch is already hard to find as it is. Nintendo may be anticipating a Gen 8 Pokémon game to boost system sales by the time its hype dies down a bit.

It bears repeating that we currently know very little about Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon. All speculation should be taken with a grain of salt until more is officially announced.

The 8 minute Pokémon Direct also revealed a Switch port of the Pokémon fighting game spin-off Pokken Tournament, as well as Virtual Console releases of Pokémon Gold and Silver. It remains to be seen if fellow Generation 2 title Pokémon Crystal will appear on Virtual Console as well.

Written by TimM
Tim is a video game aficionado who is fascinated by pop culture. He built his first collection in 1999 by catching all 151 monsters in Pokemon Red, and he hasn't stopped collecting since. His work has been featured multiple times on Destructoid.com.