The release of last year's Pokémon Sun and Moon was a noteworthy 3DS game, but it's still missing the usual third game for its generation. This has been a trend since Pokémon Red and Blue was followed by Pokémon Yellow, and continued through the various generations of the series. However, for Gen 7, GameFreak may have something special planned: a Nintendo Switch game potentially called Pokémon Stars.
Pokémon Stars Nintendo Switch release date rumors: GameFreak posts two job openings
GameFreak's ad for a character creator asks for about a year of employment (if Google Translate is to be believed), creating characters. The job lasts into 2018, suggesting Pokémon Stars won't be available until then.
The other job listing asks for a game designer and also terminates around May 2018. With the listing confirming they'd be working on a character modeling "of [a] global popular RPG game," it's more than likely this is Pokémon we're talking about. According to the post, GameFreak is hiring someone to work on modeling and textures so the rumored Pokémon Stars could bring a new look along with it.
Most interestingly, Siliconera's translation of one listing reveals that "the platform is a console," leading many to believe the Pokémon game will come to a home console instead of a handheld system for a change. While the Switch is both types of console, Nintendo has marketed the machine as a replacement to the Wii U.
Pokémon Stars Nintendo Switch release date: Is this what GameFreak is talking about?
We already know that some sort of Pokémon game is coming to the Switch eventually, but it's still unclear if it will be connected to Sun and Moon or something new entirely. Bringing Pokémon Stars to the Switch would be a big change for the company, which typically sticks to a single for every iteration of each generation — one exception: Pokémon Red and Blue were released for the Game Boy, while Pokémon Yellow was available for the Game Boy Color.
The difference between the 3DS and Nintendo Switch is much more stark. Pokémon Sun and Moon brought to the Switch would likely require more than just a fresh coat of paint. It could potentially need a total revamp with better graphics designed to run smoothly on the new system. At least, one would hope.
Pokémon Stars release date rumors: When can we expect Pokémon on the Nintendo Switch?
In a recent interview, Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara revealed bringing the series to the Switch would require a significant reimagining of the Pokémon experience. That means it could take a while before Pokémon Stars gets an official launch.
Knowing Pokémon's ability to increase a game console's sales (like, really increase it), Nintendo may want to hold off on releasing the game in 2017. The company has plenty of heavy hitters for its launch year, including Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart coming to the Switch. Then again, it's possible gamers could be in for a treat come E3 2017.
Check out more Pokémon Stars news and coverage
Also check out Mic's Pokémon Sun and Moon guides for picking the right starter, Sun and Moon cheats, using a damage calculator, how to catch the new legendary Pokémon, how to customize your character, how to use QR codes and picking between Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon.