Boss Rush Banter: Are We Getting The Original Pokémon Games on Switch?

We’ve got a Pokémon Presents presentation coming our way Monday, February 27th in celebration of Pokémon Day (the anniversary of the original release of Red and Green for Game Boy). Similar to a Nintendo Direct or Playstation State of Play, a Pokémon Presents is filled with announcements for the coming months. Last February, for example, we got our first look at Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. And while there’s a good chance we’ll see some downloadable content for those games, there’s another announcement many fans seem to be hoping for. 

Earlier this month, it was announced via Nintendo Direct that Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games were coming to the Nintendo Switch Online service. Tons of fan favorite games were brought to the service like Metroid II: Return of Samus, Kirby’s Dream Land, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. But when most people think about these handheld systems, the first franchise that pops into nearly everyone’s heads has to be Pokémon.

Ever since that announcement, fans have been hoping for classic Pokémon games to come to Switch. The 3DS saw games like Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal versions come to virtual console, and with Game Boy Advance on Switch, that also opens possibilities like FireRed, LeafGreen, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald versions coming to the service as well. 

There is one Pokémon game confirmed for a future release on NSO, and that’s the Pokémon Trading Card Game. This is a Game Boy game based not around the typical battle system, but is instead based off of the actual card game. Aside from this, however, it’s yet to be confirmed if any other Pokémon games will be coming to the service.

Certain restrictions may make these games difficult to come to Switch, mainly due to one mechanic: Gambling. The ESRB, or the Entertainment Software Rating Board, and PEGI, Pan-European Game Information, have added new requirements for game ratings since these games were first released that would require these games to be rated T and 18+, respectively, due to the presence of the Game Corner. The Game Corner is an in-game casino where players can gamble for coins they can use to trade for special items or Pokémon which occurs in the first four generations of Pokémon games. This means that if these Pokémon games were to be re-released, they would probably have a much higher rating, despite still being a basic Pokémon game meant for kids, which would definitely impact sales.

On the other side of the argument, though, we also know that the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance emulators on NSO support online functionality. This means, hypothetically, we could easily trade across multiple systems. With this seeming to be one of the main focuses of the original Game Boy games, it just makes sense to bring them over.

Even more noteworthy, however, is that Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Stadium 2 are heading onto Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack for the Nintendo 64. While the initial announcement had a footnote explaining the games would not support transfers from other games, having the original Game Boy games could change this. It seems crazy, especially since the more modern Pokémon entries can already do all of this pretty easily, but The Pokémon Company’s surprised us before. 

We’ll have to wait and see next Monday to learn the fate of these classic Pokémon games. Maybe they’ll just never make their way to the Switch. What do you think the fate of these games will be? Let us know below in a comment, or join the conversation on the Boss Rush Discord

Featured Image: The Pokémon Company

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