I think its a fair assessment to say that Game Freak does not mess around when developing a new core series Pokemon game. Ever since Red and Blue first came out, they have consistently been pushing Nintendo's handheld hardware to its full potential. And that is why I am so excited to see Gen VIII release at the end of 2019. If we were to actually evaluate the graphical power of the 3DS, I would place it somewhere between the N64 and the Gamecube, meaning that Gen VIII could potentially see up to three generations of graphical and gameplay improvement in a single iteration of the franchise, and that is just something that every pokemon fan should be excited about. But with that excitement I do have a lot of hopes and expectations. While the games did push the limits of handheld hardware, they were also limited by it as well, so I have a lot of expectations as to what the series should evolve into next, and then some more hopes for how the series could transition to a hybrid platform like the Switch.
Pokemon models - the pokemon models we have now are the same models that we saw in X and Y in 2013. Its just a bit weird to think about that. The models that we are still seeing today are the the first models we ever got in a main series game, which will have been out for 6 years at the release of Gen VIII. I dont want to see the same models just recycled and retextured, I want new fully realized models that were built for the Switch's hardware. And on top of that I want them to be properly animated. Right now, each pokemon can be expected to have 3 - 5 animation that get used for all of the moves they can use. And I am starting to agree with the people calling this lazy. Game Freak should have the resources for each pokemon using specific moves. Yes, I understand that there will be over 900 pokemon and hundreds of moves to work with, but if every other company can do it, they can too.
Open World - i expect Gen VIII to have a fully realized open world. No more towns with 3 - 5 houses each. With Sun and Moon it definitely seemed like they were ready to move past from this, which is great to see. All of the towns and locations seemed a lot bigger, and with a lot more personality. And i think with the Switch's hardware, we could have pretty much every town the size of what Lumiose City was but without it being sectioned off.
Gyms - this one is something that I am hoping for, more that expecting to happen. I would like them to completely derail from linear storytelling and regions, and create a huge world with 18 cities and gyms (one for each type) and let the player choose their own path entirely. Which gyms do they want to face, and in what order. They can even stick to the same 'collect 8 badges' formula and just have 10 more gyms for players looking to accomplish more, or save it for the end game. This isnt even too much to ask for since Gold and Silver pretty much did this on the GameBoy. after you beat the Elite Four, all the Kanto Gyms opened up, bringing the total to 16. Except this time it would all be one huge region to explore.
Multiplayer - My favorite game mechanic from any pokemon game would have to be the Entralink from Black and White. Basically, this let you take your character and cross over in to other player's games who were nearby. You could interact with each other, give each other bonuses, but really I just liked that you could enter their game and see yourself walking around on their screen. It has always been something I want to see return and expanded upon. Let players experience the whole game with each other if they want to, and freely have battles with each other. And even expand this to online so you could see other real people just exploring the same world as you. It would feel like the Pokemon MMO game that people have been asking for for years now.