- Pokémon Let's Go is the main event here: it's not the Pokémon RPG on Switch, but it's still a Pokémon RPG on Switch. It's a remix of Pokémon Yellow, taking us back to the Kanto region to experience a story with the original 151 Pokémon we've known for so many years now, just with the sort of slick-looking graphics we can expect out of a game built for Switch. The games will feature a ton of features not found in the mainline RPGs, like the ability to throw a Pokéball with motion controls and, crucially, Pokémon GO integration. Pokémon caught in GO can be ported over to Let's Go, and you'll be able to use a Pokéball peripheral to walk your Let's Go creatures for some sort of rewards. There are a lot of moving parts here, but the end goal is clear. Nintendo wants to get people that played Pokémon GO interested in playing a Pokémon game on the Switch.
Pokémon has long been a curious franchise for Nintendo. It is, bar none, one of the most popular properties the company owns the rights to. The Pokémon name has been cross-media essentially since go, spanning games, the card game, the anime, toys and movies for decades now --Pokémon GO was, in many ways, an expression of just how powerful that brand can be when it's not constrained by platform. And yet Nintendo has never really used it to sell living room consoles: it's been a handheld franchise for 20 years now aside from games like Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Snap. And while it's maintained a dedicated fanbase, it's never been quite so popular as it was in its first iteration, at least not until Pokémon GO.
Pokémon Let's Go is Nintendo and Game Freak's attempt to change that narrative, both by leveraging the massive success of Pokémon GO and by acknowledging that there are a ton of potential players that love Pokémon but might not have touched a mainline RPG in years. It's a game explicitly designed as an introductory experience to the modern Pokémon franchise, and from that perspective, it makes a lot of sense. Looking at it right now it looks a bit more geared to kids than adults, but the GO integration should bring a ton of adult players into the mix, as well.
That means that the fall for Nintendo is pretty set, aside from the possibility of an E3 surprise. It will be anchored by Smash Bros. and Pokémon Let's Go, the former designed to appeal to core Nintendo fans, the latter designed to bring new and returning customers to the platform. There'sno repeating the Mario/Zelda magic of last year, but this does come close.