Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon launches on the Nintendo 3DS on Nov. 17, but the games’ release will be bittersweet. According to an interview with Game Freak director Shigeru Ohmori, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon are the last two Pokémon titles launching for the handheld system.
During an interview with IGN, Ohmori explained that Game Freak has constantly pushed the 3DS’ hardware capabilities, figuring out what the console can handle for a Pokémon title. The studio originally thought they reached the 3DS’ “absolute limits” with Pokémon X and Y, but after Sun and Moon entered development, Game Freak was able to push the 3DS’ hardware even further.
“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, Game Freak squeezed even more from the 3DS. Now, the the team believes the upcoming Pokémon game is the series’ peak achievement on the 3DS. It would be impossible to create a better 3DS Pokémon title, in other words.
“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,” Ohmori explained. “So we’re really treating Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon as the culmination of our work with the 3DS system.”
This may be the last Pokémon RPG for the Nintendo 3DS, but Game Freak has other plans for the franchise on a new console. IGN says “it can be assumed” the rest of Game Freak is working on the upcoming Nintendo Switch game, allegedly titled Pokémon Stars, which looks to be a main RPG installment for the series on Switch.
It remains unclear what Pokémon Stars will be like, where it will take place, and if it will introduce any new Pokémon to the series. More will be revealed once Game Freak feels ready to share, it seems. Until then, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon launches for the 3DS family Nov. 17.