What was ‘Pokémon Stars?’: Everything we know about the rumored Switch game

'Pokémon Stars' development reportedly pivots to a new game

pokemon stars release date trailer gameplay news sun moon 010
With the Nintendo Switch burning up the sales charts in its first nine months, lots of early adopters have one question on their minds: When will we get a proper, new Pokémon game?

We know that a new role-playing Pokémon game is in development for Nintendo Switch, but The Pokémon Company has been tight-lipped on just what that game is going to look like. Here is what we know about Pokémon for Nintendo Switch, including official announcements as well as reports and rumors.

Is it an HD remake of Pokémon Sun and Moon … or something more?

In December 2017, Eurogamer reported that Nintendo ultimately decided to develop an all-new Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch, instead of its initial plan to release an enhanced port.

Nintendo decided against an upgraded port for the Switch due to the new console’s strong sales figures, reassuring them that they didn’t need to rush the game out the door. Instead, development apparently began on a new Pokémon game in late 2016, and the game is scheduled to be revealed in 2018.

The decision to alter development was reportedly also made, in part, to continue supporting the 3DS alongside the Switch. Though development of most of Nintendo’s lineup has shifted to the Switch, recent titles like Monster Hunter Stories and Metroid: Samus Returns have released as 3DS exclusives, keeping the dedicated handheld relevant more than six years after it launched, and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon released in 2017.

Rumors surrounding a Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch date back to November 2016. Eurogamer reported that Nintendo planned to release Pokémon Sun and Moon for the Switch as a new title code-named Pokémon Stars. It’s not the first time two Pokémon games have later been followed by a third, updated version — it happened with Pokémon Yellow coming after Red and Blue, and Pokémon Platinum succeeding Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.

According to the report, Pokemon Stars would launch in 2017, featuring the same map as Sun and Moon, but with new, higher-resolution art assets. The game would also include new Pokémon that didn’t appear in the first two games, with Pokémon being tradable between all three titles with the Pokémon Bank app. The story also noted shots from the Pokemon Sun and Moon announcement trailer, which shows developers working on 3D models for Sun and Moon that are far beyond the rendering capabilities of the New Nintendo 3DS.

In the meantime, there is a Pokémon game available on the Switch, Pokkén Tournament DX, which is an enhanced version of the fighting game originally released on Wii U. It was never as popular as the main role-playing games, but it developed a modest esports following supported by the 2017 Pokkén Tournament Championship Series.

It’s unlikely that the majority of the ideas for Pokémon Stars will make their way into Pokémon for Nintendo Switch. In fact, they’re likely two entirely different titles, and we expect the Switch game to have changed substantially over time. If Eurogamer’s report is correct, we should know more in 2018.


Epic Games is offering $100 million to game developers with no catch

Epic Games launched a new grant program called Epic MegaGrants. The program will dish out $100 million in funds to developers working in the 3D graphics community, even if they don't use Unreal Engine.

Get a new Nintendo Switch? You'll need to grab these accessories

The Switch is a capable console right out of the box, but it has its limitations. Thankfully, these Nintendo Switch accessories will allow you to make the most of Nintendo's latest console.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for March 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of…

Have an issue with your 3DS? We can help you fix it with these common solutions

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.

The best PUBG weapons to win you that coveted chicken dinner

Which weapons in PUBG are worth the time to scout out and fit with attachments? Which are going to help you become the last player standing? We've got the answers you need in our best PUBG weapons guide.

Intel Command Center lays foundation for next year’s ‘Arctic Sound’ GPU

Intel revealed its new Command Center driver software at GDC 2019. The updated interface will control current Intel integrated graphics and also lays the groundwork for next year's Intel video card.

Here's what we know about the Dark Souls developer's next game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software. Here is everything we know about the new game, including its setting and combat changes.

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.

Apex Legends

The latest news, guides, tips and tricks, updates, patch notes, and more so you can learn how to level up your game in Apex Legends. Related Categories: Apex Legends News | Guides | Features

G-Sync and FreeSync can make your games look better, but which is best?

There are some subtle differences between the two adaptive refresh technology offerings, and they affect cost, performance, and compatibility. Nvidia may have released it's feature first, but in recent years AMD has stepped up to the plate…

How to play the Mortal Kombat 11 closed beta and practice your fatalities

Mortal Kombat 11's closed beta begins on March 27. Here's everything you need to know about gaining access, as well as the content you can expect to play before the game releases April 23.

Get in the Dark Zone and blow away the competition with our The Division 2 guide

The Division 2 has three Dark Zones, specialized areas for PvE and PvP combat. Our Dark Zone guide teaches you the ropes, from the recon missions to the leveling system to the dangers and benefits of going Rogue.

Here are all the awesome award-winning indie games from IGF

Indie games are now offering experiences capable of matching -- and often surpassing -- that of big-budget blockbuster titles. The Independent Games Festival recognized the best of them on March 20.