A lot of fans including myself are enraged that the newest entry to the Pokemon series will not be available on the Nintendo Switch. I mean come on Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon look gorgeous and if the Switch truly is the merging of console and handheld then Pokemon is a sure fire way to exclaim this hybrid right? Well yes... but no. When taking into perspective the current install base of the 3DS vs the Switch and considering how these titles are created it almost makes too much sense for the game to be denied the Switch launch.
Currently Nintendo has over 60 million 3DS owners and while the Switch is selling even better than the Wii was out of the gate, the install base for Switch just isn’t close to what Nintendo worked 6 years to accumulate with the 3DS. From the standpoint of the Pokemon company they are guaranteed to have sales on the pre-established 3DS that has been proven to sell copies of their games in the past. If they were to release the game for the Switch there would be less copies to make up for the production costs that are already higher for a Switch version.
The angle that lends itself to the production cost is that the assets for building these games are already in sync with the 3DS hardware. This is because the original Sun and Moon was released for the 3DS meaning the engine and coding is similar and there is familiarity for programmers with the preexisting hardware. In turn the development cost is pushed down if they are to deny the games from a Switch launch. It is cost efficient for the Pokemon Company to release the games on 3DS since the install base and knowledge present for 3DS equate to more revenue while a Switch version would cause the reverse effect. At the moment it makes more sense for Pokemon Company/Nintendo to release these Pokemon games for 3DS only.
But, no need to be too pessimistic; Pokemon company releases a game every 2-4 years (whether remake or new generation) and I am willing to wager the next game built from the ground up (unlike the Ultras that rely on the current 3DS assets) will be released on the Nintendo Switch. If sales continue over projection for for the Switch (as they are now) then the dated 3DS will slowly begin losing its support. This bestows the Pokemon Company confidence and an opportunity to work their latest entry for the Nintendo Switch.