The long era of Pokémon games on the DS and 3DS is drawing to a close.
Game Freak, the developer of the main series of games, revealed today that Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon will be the series’ final curtain call on the 3DS. After those games release this November, we won’t ever see a main Pokémon game on the 3DS ever again.
This isn’t because the series is failing; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. According to Game Freak director Shigeru Ohmori, the team has pushed the 3DS to its absolute limits to make the best game possible for that system, and it’s time to move on.
“When we were making Pokémon X and Y, we really were trying to push the 3DS system to its absolute limits—which is what we thought we’d done,” Ohmori told IGN. “But when Sun and Moon came around, we completely redesigned the system, and actually ended up pushing the 3DS even further to what we thought was the most we could draw out of it.
“With Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, we’ve tried to eke that out more and really, really push the system to its absolute limits, and we’re now feeling that perhaps this is the maximum of what we can get out. So we’re really treating Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon as the culmination of our work with the 3DS system.”
This news doesn’t come as a total shock, since Nintendo announced the development of a new “Pokémon RPG” on the Nintendo Switch at this year’s E3. With Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon packing in twice the amount of story and a much larger area (at least, according to the developers), it does make sense that the developers would want to move on to a more powerful console.
Still, we’ve had a good decade of Pokémon games on Nintendo DS hardware, going all the way back to Pokémon Diamond and Pearl in 2006, and it’s bittersweet to see that era drawing to a close. We can only hope that Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon will be the swan song the system deserves.
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon release on November 17th, the final Pokémon games exclusively on the 3DS.