Today is a big day for Pokémon lovers, as Nintendo delivered something akin to a keynote centered around two new Pokémon games that will be released for the Nintendo Switch, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. We heard from Tsunekazu Ishihara, the President and CEO of the Pokémon Company, and two higher-ups at Game Freak, the video game developer behind all the Pokémon games.
It was only three months ago, in November 2018, that Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! and Let’s Go, Pikachu! were released for the Switch platform, but while those were re-treads of Game Boy games from the 1990s, these two new Pokémon games have crafted a completely new world for “trainers” to explore, along with brand-new creatures to encounter.
Here’s everything we know thus far about the two just-announced new Pokémon games:
The new Pokémon games are set in a brand new world.
“The setting of these games is known as the Galar region,” says Shigeru Ohmori, the director of the new games. “Galar is an expansive region with many environments, containing idyllic countryside and contemporary cities, vast plains and craggy, snow-covered mountains.”
He also says that as part of the games’ storyline, the Pokémon and people in Galar live and work together, developing the region’s industries.
Multiple Pokémon fans who have watched today’s introduction to the new games have said the new region resembles an upside-down United Kingdom, which makes sense as the regions of past games have loosely resembled New York City, Paris and Hawaii.
The new Pokémon games will feature brand-new Pokémon.
Pokémon games typically offer players a choice of which Pokémon they will begin the game with. Going back to the very first Pokémon Red and Blue games for Game Boy, those Pokémon included Bulbasaur (grass), Charmander (fire) and Squirtle (water).
In that same vein, Pokémon Sword and Shield players will begin with the same option, though this time the starter Pokémon include grass Pokémon Grookey (a mischievous chimp that is full of boundless curiosity), fire Pokémon Scorbunny (a rabbit that is always running about, bursting with energy) and water Pokémon Sobble (a somewhat timid lizard that shoots out attacks as it hides itself in the water).
A video released by Nintendo today (above) offers a look at the personalities of all three new starter Pokémon.
One old Pokémon in particular is unsurprisingly making a cameo.
With only two months and some change before the upcoming release of feature film Detective Pikachu (in which Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds will voice the electric mouse, arguably the world’s most famed Pokémon character), it’s wholly unsurprising that Pikachu would make an appearance in the new Pokémon games.
In the trailer for the new Pokémon games released today, we see a Pikachu that is either encountered in the wild or — perhaps more likely — is part of the games’ storyline.
These new Pokémon games don’t yet have a release date.
Unfortunately today’s Pokémon Direct talk didn’t offer up an official release date for those fans who know for sure they’ll be purchasing and playing the new games. As for now, all we have is a projected “late 2019” release.