Nintendo confirms Pokémon Stadium Switch release date - Upcomer
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Nintendo of America announced Wednesday the official release date of the Nintendo Switch port of Pokémon Stadium. The Pokémon spin-off battle simulator will officially become available for select Switch users on April 12.

Pokémon Stadium originally launched on the Nintendo 64 in 1999. It was the sequel to the Japanese-exclusive Pocket Monsters’ Stadium and was the first game in the series that Nintendo released internationally. In 2000, it was followed up by Pokémon Stadium 2, which included newcomers from the second generation of Pokémon games.

The Nintendo Switch version of Pokémon Stadium was first revealed with a then-unconfirmed release date during a Nintendo Direct last September. Nintendo confirmed that it would join a number of Nintendo 64 titles on the Switch, including Pilotwings 64, Mario Party, Mario Party 2, Mario Party 3, 1080° Snowboarding, Excitebike 64, Pokémon Stadium 2 and GoldenEye 007.

While some of those titles made their way to the Switch in 2022, Pokémon Stadium is the second of them to arrive this year. The first was GoldenEye 007, which simultaneously launched on Switch and Xbox Game Pass in January of 2023.

How the Pokémon Stadium Switch release date works

Once the Pokémon Stadium Switch release date comes, the game will only become available to players who have purchased the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. In fact, all of the previously-mentioned Nintendo 64 ports are exclusive to the Expansion Pack.

Players can gain access to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack for about $50 a year. This costs about $30 more than the basic Nintendo Switch Online subscription plan, which lets users play Switch games online and grants them access to retro titles from the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

The core gameplay of Pokémon Stadium revolves around single battles. Trainers can rent any of the original 151 Pokémon from Generation 1 in order to create their teams. They can then take on CPU opponents in the Stadium Mode cups or the Gym Leader Castle.

The Nintendo Switch port comes with new functionality, including online multiplayer gameplay that allows players to challenge their friends in Pokémon battles or other minigames. However, the Switch version does not allow trainers to transfer in Pokémon from a main series Pokémon game as the original Nintendo 64 version did.

Although the Pokémon Stadium Switch port was announced alongside a Pokémon Stadium 2 port, Nintendo has not yet confirmed the Pokémon Stadium 2 release date. Nevertheless, it should still launch sometime this year.

Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.