Today during a seven minute Pokémon focused Nintendo Direct, Nintendo, Game Freak, and The Pokémon Company announced Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. These titles are officially the eighth generation of the Pokémon games, and are a return to the core RPG mechanics of the mainline series after the more casual gameplay of the Pokémon Let’s Go titles released last year.
The Pokémon Company’s president and CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara opened up the presentation with debut a trailer for the new games. The footage showed the return of random encounters that were missing from the Pokémon Let’s Go titles along with the return of some fan favorite Pokémon including Pikachu and Lucario. The trailer also showcased the new Galar region, which appears to be based on Great Britain, that players will get to explore on their journey. Following this, the eighth generation’s starter trio was revealed. First, the fire type rabbit Pokémon Scorbunny was shown with the water type water lizard Pokémon Sobble debuting next, and, finally, the grass type chimp Pokémon Grookey appeared.
Returning as director of these games is Shigeru Ohmori who was the director of the Generation 3 remakes Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and the Generation 7 debut games Pokémon Sun and Moon on Nintendo 3DS. Longtime series director and producer, Junichi Masuda, will return as a producer for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield after serving as director for last year’s Pokémon Let’s Go titles, which were likely the last titles Masuda will be the director for.
To end the presentation, Ishihara told fans that the companies have “plenty in the works for the Pokémon brand” that will “delight” fans, and be announced over the course of the year. With the huge success of the Pokémon Let’s Go titles, the debut of Pokémon Sword and Shield, and the promise of more Pokémon news to come, the future of the brand appears as bright as ever. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will release worldwide on the Nintendo Switch come late 2019.
You can check out the full Pokémon Direct below: