Pokemon reveals four new games for Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch gaming console Image copyright The Pokemon Company

Pokemon has brought its popular role-playing video game series to Nintendo Switch for the first time with the launch of Pokemon Quest.

Two more Switch titles are set for an autumn release, with another due to come out in 2019.

A games expert said they are likely to "broaden the appeal" of the device.

The Switch is a hybrid gaming console which can be used in connection with a TV or smart tablet, or as a stand-alone portable device.

Although Switch's worldwide sales have been strong so far, the new games are widely seen as a way to continue that momentum and avoid the fate of the console's predecessor, the Wii U.

That console was discontinued in 2017 after a five-year run, following what many considered to be a fatal dry spell of new games in its second year on the market.

Image copyright The Pokemon Company
Image caption Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! will support two-player mode

The teased autumn titles, Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, build on the popularity of the Pokemon Go augmented reality game for smartphones by allowing players to connect their Switch gameplay with the mobile app.

Piers Harding-Rolls, director of games research at IHS Markit, said that the games are "obvious strategic decisions" for Nintendo.

"The new games fit with their strategy and appeal to young users, female gamers and family audiences, with co-operative game play," he told the BBC.

"They are taking advantage of momentum on different platforms. Pokemon Go has a large addressable audience that's been engaged on mobile devices in the past."

"That shows me that their thinking is more all-encompassing than a single platform strategy."

Nintendo has also announced a new device, the Pokeball Plus, which can be used to play Pokemon Go and the new Switch titles instead of the Switch's Joy-Con controller.

Switch has sold more than 17 million units, more in its first year than the Wii U sold in its entire lifetime.

Nintendo share prices rose by more than 4% in early trading after the announcements were made in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Nintendo's next big scheduled update will be at E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles in June. Further details - including the as-of-yet unnamed fourth title for Switch - may be announced there.

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