During a Nintendo Direct livestream today the company announced two brand new titles in the mainline Pokemon game series, Pokemon Sword, and Pokemon Shield.
The livestream featured key staff from The Pokemon Company and Game Freak, both of whom were excited to reveal the new games. While no release date has been confirmed the games are slated to launch in late 2019, which could put them in Q3 or the Holiday season.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are two variations of the new Pokemon game. Every new iteration of the Pokemon franchise always brings two versions of the game, each with its own unique Pokemon, in order to encourage engagement between fans.
The new Pokemon titles will both release for Nintendo Switch, with no other platform being confirmed as having them. This seems to add credence to promises from Nintendo that they will scale down support for the 3DS, which clearly means moving new Pokemon titles away from it as a platform.
A short video showing some in-game footage, though this was said not to be final, of the Pokemon trainers and the new world the games are set in. The new region Pokemon Sword and Shield are set on is named Galar, and will feature both familiar and brand new Pokemon that have never been seen before.
The region of Galar features the usual lush green countryside villages, sprawling cities, and snowy mountains. However, the core cities look to have more of a steampunk inspiration, and the terrain in all areas seems to have been enhanced to make them feel harsher or more welcoming, depending on the area.
During the livestream the game’s three new starter Pokemon were revealed. When players pick up Pokemon Sword and Shield they will be able to choose between; Grookey, the ape-type Pokemon which looks to use Ground and Grass elements, Scorbunny, the rabbit-type Pokemon which seems to use the Fire and potentially Normal elements, and finally Sobble, the iguana-type Pokemon which definitely uses the Water element, but may also use Electricity.
The story of Pokemon Sword and Shield hasn’t been revealed, but it’s likely to contain an enemy faction and a legendary Pokemon. Multiplayer also hasn’t been confirmed, but with online gaming being much more of a focus for the Nintendo Switch it seems likely that a new Pokemon League of some sort will be a feature in Pokemon Sword and Shield.