Bloomberg recently had the chance to sit down with Tsunekazu Ishihara, the Pokémon Company’s CEO, to discuss the franchise’s future following the major success of the franchise last year. Quite a few interesting tidbits were shared, so let’s dive into them…

Pokémon on Switch

Being Nintendo’s most recent console it’s no surprise Bloomberg touched on the Switch in its interview. That said, few could have expected this quote to come out of the accompanying video…

“I told Nintendo that Switch wouldn’t be a success before it went on sale, because I thought that in the age of the smartphone, no one would carry out a game console. It’s obvious I was wrong. I came to realize the key to a successful game is quite simple: software with absolute quality leads sales of hardware. Playing style can be flexible if the software is attractive enough. Currently, it’s popular among the early adopters, but there needs to be one more step to attract a wider audience. I see more potential in Switch, but one shouldn’t overestimate its potential.”

This could help explain why the only Switch Pokémon news early on regarded Pokkén Tournament DX, with Game Freak only announcing a mainline entry during the E3 Spotlight.

As for the Switch game, while he doesn’t give specifics, Ishihara says the company sees it “as a chance to create Pokémon that goes deeper and with a higher level of expression” and that docking it to the TV lets them “express a whole different world with graphics and sound.”

Likewise, he makes reference to how the Joy-Con let multiple people easily play on one system while out and about, which is something they may take advantage of, provided “it’s not complicated.” He also mentions that the connectivity of the platform is comparable to the DS/3DS line of systems.

Finally, when asked about potential accessories he states: “I can’t say that we’ll release accessories, but I’d like to think of that possibility.”

Pokémon on Mobile

Naturally, being the massive success it was, Pokémon GO got quite a bit of attention. The main piece of information is that Ishihara believes they’ve only “accomplished 10 percent” of what they’re trying to do with the game, and notes trading and peer-to-peer battling as future inclusions that are “fundamental Pokémon experiences.”

The CEO also discusses the potential future for AR technologies, noting that while it’s obvious the likes of Pikachu are overlaid on background images, soon enough they’ll be able to cast shadows on surfaces and interact more convincingly with the player and environment. He also believes haptic feedback and rumble technology can be used to enhance the experience.

Perhaps most odd of all, though, is a reference to the prevalence of voice-activated assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home, and how “we could see these dialogue-based devices give birth of a new form of entertainment.” Hey You Pikachu 2, perhaps?

We’ll be sure to bring more news on future Pokémon projects as they’re announced.

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Written by Tom Brown

Whether it’s an exciting new entry in a series long established or a weird experiment meant only for the dedicated, Tom is eager to report on it. Rest assured, if Nintendo ever announces Elite Beat Agents 2, he’ll be there.

Tom Brown