A new patent application submitted by Gamefreak (the developer of the Pokemon series) and Nintendo could be suggestive of a new direction for the Pokemon series. The application is for an interactive trading card design that appears to be able to communicate with the Switch and shift appearances based on in-game activity.
The card is described as both a “non-limiting example game apparatus” and “information processing apparatus,” and will include a display screen with a character image on top of a composite image. The composite acts as a background layer behind the character image and can change its color, pattern, and background.
All of these paramaters can shift “according to an attitude of the game apparatus,” which although vague, probably means that your actions on the Switch are connected to the image on the trading card. Players can “collect” the character of the wild monster using the player character, as well as “raise” the character and its level.
Although it looks like this technology will be used for Switch, it could be used elsewhere. While the definition of the application’s main apparatus is “a portable information processing apparatus” with buttons, a touch screen, and gyro sensors, the patent goes on to state that it “is not necessary to be limited to a game dedicated machine.”
There is still no guarantee that this technology will even be released, but it nevertheless shines some light on Gamefreak and Nintendo’s ideas for Pokemon moving forward. It could very well be a device that interacts with Pokemon on the Switch and Pokemon GO, essentially merging the game mechanics of both games.
Back at E3 2017, Nintendo announced that a mainline Pokemon game would be making its way to Switch, which definitely makes it likely that this new device is intended for the console. Rumors suggest that the game could be coming as early as 2018.
For anyone wondering, Pokémon Switch materials have been undergoing localization since late Feb (possibly earlier).
I’ve already had confirmation that it’s targeting a 2018 release. Educated guess (based on previous Pokémon localization timing) it should be ready for Nov/Dec
— Pixelpar (@pixelpar) April 13, 2018