‘Pokémon Sun And Moon'
'Pokémon Stars' has been rumored for nearly a year, and new evidence suggests it may be a Switch and 3DS game. New job listings at GameFreak show the developer is working on a major RPG for both platforms. The Pokémon Company/Nintendo

Pokémon Stars rumors originate from a Eurogamer report last fall, and new alleged evidence from GameFreak seemingly sweetens the deal. Developer job listings from May 22 indicate the next big Pokémon game may be a Switch-3DS dual release.

Our story stems from a new ecareer job listing that appears to advertise for a 3D drawing programmer working on an unannounced 3DS RPG. Considering GameFreak has basically been consumed by mainline Pokémon titles for the past two decades, it’s not particularly hard to guess what franchise this project might be related to. There’s always the chance it could be a new IP, but, given that a third-pillar Pokémon Sun And Moon game still hasn’t arrived, one would have to assume it’s tied to Stars.

Read: Pokémon Mobile Game Magikarp Jump Released For Android and iOS

That source alone would suggest Pokémon Stars may be exclusive to Nintendo’s legacy hardware, but we’re not done. Not only did the original Pokémon Stars rumor report say the game would be playable on Switch, but we also have job listings to prove that point as well. Back in March, GameFreak was reportedly asking for a 3D CG designer and character modeler for a globally recognized RPG with Wii U and Vita-quality graphics. 3DS obviously isn’t powerful enough for that level of detail, so the reference to Switch seems pretty obvious.

Taking these two listings at face value, it would suggest GameFreak is working on a simultaneous project for both Switch and 3DS. While it’s possible they’re separate entities, having a dual release for a game like Pokémon Stars makes too much sense. By putting the game on both platforms, GameFreak’s partners at Nintendo are not only able to sell more Switch hardware, but the Pokémon Company also benefits from being able to dip into that 70 million-strong 3DS install base.

It also doesn’t hurt that mainline Pokémon games have a long history of releasing on legacy hardware. All the way back to Red And Blue in 1996, the title released on a Game Boy that was already seven years old. Pokémon Emerald graced the Game Boy Advance even though the Nintendo DS had already been on the market for a whole year.

Read: Pokémon Go Anti-Cheat Hides Rare Monsters From Scanners

With Pokémon Stars it’s clear the evidence and rumors point in two directions. Either this game is releasing on both platforms, or it’s seemingly switched production to 3DS. Regardless, if the developer is still trying to fill critical jobs as of this week, it may be reasonable to suppose we may not see a finished product until the fall of 2018.

In terms of features, it’s believed that Stars will essentially be a trumped-up port of Sun And Moon. Both titles not only push the 3DS hardware to its absolute limits, but data miners also found HD walking animations for almost every monster in the game. Those assets would make a lot of sense on an HD device like the Switch. Until it’s officially confirmed, however, everything about Pokémon Stars should be taken as a rumor.

Do you think Pokémon Stars will come to 3DS and Switch? Which platform do you prefer to buy it for? Tell us in the comments section!