Ever since the rumors of Pokémon Stars began flying around, players became excited at the thought of a Pokémon game coming to console. And I don’t mean like Pokkén Tournament DX, I mean a real Pokémon game that will let you catch wild Pokémon and battle Trainers like you do in the main Pokémon games.
Games similar to the main Pokémon games have come to console previously, in the forms of Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Stadium 2, and Pokémon Battle Revolution. Other games include Pokémon Snap (arguably one of the most loved Pokémon console games), Pokémon Channel, My Pokémon Ranch, PokéPark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure, PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond and others.
Arguably, the two closest console games that nearly replicate the Pokémon main game formula are Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. The focus of both of these games is saving the Shadow Pokémon, or Pokémon that have been corrupted by an evil organization and could possibly be used to directly attack people, a taboo issue in the world of Pokémon.
To save these Shadow Pokémon, you must catch them like you would in the main Pokémon games. The only differences are that you are capturing them from a Trainer, and if the Pokémon faints, you cannot attempt to catch it again (unless it is the final boss) and you will be battling two Pokémon at once, but will also be using two Pokémon. But, the games also features your character running around to far-off lands and battling the many Trainers, while also saving the world from an evil organization.
Also, not to mention that in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, the player can go to certain points they unlock on the map to find Pokémon in the wild. What kind of Pokémon you will find, though, is restricted since there are only a few places that have this feature available. The Orre region (which is where these games take place) was said to be a place without wild Pokémon, differentiating it from the main Pokémon games while simultaneously partially including it into Pokémon’s storyline (although it is still considered a spin-off of the main series).
These games show the potential of what a possible Pokémon console game could look like. The gameplay will probably be different, considering that these games were more focused on taking down an evil organization than catching wild Pokémon and fighting in gyms, while also taking down an evil organization on the side. Most of the main Pokémon games focus more on going through gyms in the beginning, while slowly unlocking the rest of the story until before the final gym when you have to deal with catching the Legendary Pokémon and taking down the evil organization.
Both of these games proved to be popular with Pokémon fans, with Pokémon Colosseum selling over 2.54 million units while Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness sold over 1.25 million units according to VGChartz. For a game that was made exclusively for the GameCube, these sales speak for themselves and show off the possible demand of a Pokémon console game.
That being said, there will be a Pokémon game coming to the Nintendo Switch in either 2018 or later on according to Nintendo Life (meaning that it may not just be another Pokkén Tournament game. Bringing the main Pokémon games to the console could be a huge game-changer for the series, considered that the main games have only been available for handheld Nintendo systems. I’m not sure how Pokémon coming to consoles will specifically affect the gaming industry, but a possibility (and numerous rumors) have already left players and the press alike waiting to here news about it from Nintendo and The Pokémon Company.