For the last few months, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have been teasing new fans on social media, hinting that a brand new, core entry in the long-running series would be announced soon. Earlier this week, the official Pokémon Twitter account titillated fans with news of a new game, asking players what region they would want to explore next.
Earlier today, Nintendo released an all-new Nintendo Direct live stream, which finally pulled back the curtain on the next pair of upcoming Pokémon games.
As detailed by Polygon, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield were finally revealed. These new games will release exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, marking the first time that a traditional, core entry in the series will be released on a console. While the franchise has seen console titles in the past – with spin-off games such as Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Stadium, and Hey You, Pikachu! – the series’ main games have been relegated to Nintendo’s long line of handheld systems, including the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo 3DS.
Last year, Nintendo dipped their toes in the water with the release of both Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! These two titles serve as enhanced remakes of the original Pokémon Red and Blue, although developer Game Freak opted to simplify some mechanics – such as catching wild Pokémon and leveling up your team – bringing the pair of games more in line with the popular mobile game, Pokémon GO.
High resolution artwork of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield's brand new region, the Galar region. It's densely packed to say the least, with many routes and cities side by side.— PLDH (@PLDHnet) February 27, 2019
Right-click to open in a new tab, and add :orig at the end of the url to see max size. pic.twitter.com/gHe9rGRFPW
Pokémon Sword and Shield’s debut trailer showed off the games’ 3D environments, which have a similar art style to last year’s Pokémon Let’s Go titles. Director Shigeru Ohmori explained how Galar – the brand new region – is more modern and up-to-date compared to previous locales, and will feature an industrial aesthetic, featuring cranes and trains. In terms of cities, it seems that Galar will run the gamut, featuring wide open plains and snowy mountains.
“Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will be set in Galar, an expansive region with many environments—idyllic countryside, contemporary cities, thick forests, and craggy, snow-covered mountains. The people and Pokémon live together in this region, and they’ve worked together to develop the industries here,” the games’ official website details. “You’ll visit the various Gyms in the Galar region, aiming for the enviable and admirable title of Champion!”
Pokémon Sword and Shield are set to release later this year, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.