Pokemon Switch Nintendo
Pokémon on Switch isn't likely to release until late 2018 at the earliest. The Pokémon Company

Super Mario Odyssey looks wonderfully weird, those new Kirby and Yoshi games look adorable, Mario + Rabbid is a delightful and Metroid Prime 4 was a huge surprise, but none of these games were the biggest Nintendo discussed at E3 this week.

It was a fleeting announcement, The Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara taking only a few seconds to confirm that Game Freak has begun work on a "core RPG Pokémon title" for Nintendo Switch.

There was never any doubt that Pokémon would make its way to the new console eventually, given the series' continued success and a banner year in 2016, but its confirmation is certainly cause for excitement.

"Core" Pokémon games have exclusively been the reserve of Nintendo's handheld consoles until now, leaving the home consoles with offshoots like Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Snap.

Nintendo Switch being both a home and handheld device - this is about to change.

Switch will offer a huge increase in power over the 3DS, home of the latest releases in the franchise. By that virtue alone, this new Pokémon adventure has the chance to represent a seismic shift for the series.

With that in mind, here are five features we want to see in Pokémon for Nintendo Switch.

Every. Single. Pokémon.

You can battle with every single Pokémon in November's 3DS games Sun and Moon, but not without contending with multiple games from multiple generations, and the convoluted Pokémon Bank app that's sure to return alongside this new title.

The enormous change arriving on the Switch entails will, presumably, mean a very different Pokémon game, and if it is to represent a big leap for Game Freak then putting all 802 of the little critters in it is a good way of marking the arrival of a new era.

If it means not having to use Pokémon Bank, as well as making it easier to use the app and catch them all in future releases, then that's a big win.

Pokémon as a live game

Treating games as service, meaning continued support and free updates long after a game's release, is currently a big industry trend. More recent Pokémon titles have received patches, but we're talking about the prospect of live events and free offerings that give this next Pokémon title a greater longevity.

The series is a perfect fit for this approach. Imagine special events introducing past Pokémon to the game with new story content, seasonal events that change the look the world or new challenges for players who've already bested the original release's greatest trainers?

The prospect of a Pokémon title getting DLC would be distasteful to most fans, but free DLC would be a perfect fit.

Complete overhaul of online play

Multiplayer is central to Pokémon, but its online options have long been marred by terrible design choices when it's come to the structure of how players battle and trade with other trainers around the world.

On Switch we want to see the structure of online play streamlined and simplified, trimming the fat so players can get on with playing the game.

The necessary use of Nintendo's premium online service to access these features will be strange for Pokémon fans given just how integral multiplayer is to the series. Local multiplayer will be free of course, but to offset this we'd also like to see Nintendo allow online trading to be free for all, leaving just battling behind the paywall.

Greater character customisation

The protagonists in Pokémon games have always been blank slates, avatars for the player's experience rather than characters in their own right. We don't want that to change, but we do want Game Freak to finally pull the trigger giving players deep customisation options for their characters' appearances.

Continue to shake up the formula

Pokémon Sun and Moon took the series' long-established formula and shook it up like no entry before. Game Freak ditched gyms, ditched HM moves and altered a ton of other features big and small. It felt fresh, and as good as core Pokémon titles always have been, that was rare.

Game Freak shouldn't let this up. Complete reinvention can't be expected every time but the developers can experiment with structure.

Gyms were replaced with short, dungeon-esque 'trials', usually with some narrative drive to them. Perhaps those could be expanded? Add some variety of optional co-op and suddenly Pokémon has its own version of MMO raids. It'd be a perfect fit.

Maybe gyms could return with an entirely different function. Let players become leaders, customise the Pokémon used in these gyms, train those who go there and accept challengers. Perhaps players could take these online to defend - similar to the Secret Base feature in 3DS remakes Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire - offering custom badges to the winners.

Or, maybe Game Freak has something entirely new up its sleeve?

Sun and Moon proved Pokémon could succeed without adhering completely to its winning formula, and knowing that Game Freak should endeavour to continue to do so.

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