Nintendo and the Pokemon Company released the first Pokemon games for Switch in 2018, Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee. They are reimaginings of the classic Pokemon Yellow, designed for newcomers to the franchise and inspired by Pokemon Go's more accessible mechanics. But the Let's Go games are not the same kind of core Pokemon experience fans have been getting on Nintendo's portable consoles for two decades. That will come with the system's second set of Pokemon games, Sword and Shield.
Nearly two years after the initial E3 2017 teaser, Nintendo and the Pokemon Company officially revealed Pokemon Sword and Shield. They mark the eighth generation of Pokemon games and are set in an entirely new region with all-new Pokemon, meaning anticipation is high. In addition to the Sword and Shield Direct presentation on June 5, during which we learned a ton about the games' new features, Pokemon, characters, and more, we'll likely see more during E3 proper. Here's everything we know so far and what we expect to see in the coming days.
What We Know So Far
The February 2019 reveal trailer for Sword and Shield contained a number of key details about the Gen 8 Pokemon games. Set in the UK-inspired Galar region, Sword and Shield will include a mix of old and new Pokemon and will see the return of random encounters and wild Pokemon battles after a brief break with Let's Go. Gyms are also back in Gen 8 after a break from the formula in Sun and Moon. We were also introduced to the three new starter Pokemon: the Grass-type monkey Grookey, the Fire-type rabbit Scorbunny, and the Water-type chameleon Sobble.
A press conference on May 28 detailed a new cloud-based service called Pokemon Home, which will be compatible with Sword and Shield. Pokemon Home seems to work much like the existing Pokemon Bank on 3DS; you'll be able to transfer Pokemon from Go, Let's Go, Pokemon Bank, and Sword and Shield into Pokemon Home, and from Pokemon Home into Sword and Shield. This means you'll almost certainly be able to transfer your shiny Pokemon from Let's Go (where it's much easier to catch shiny Pokemon) into Sword and Shield, for example.
The June 5 Direct gave a ton of new information about the games. There's a new mechanic called Dynamaxing which can be used once per battle to make a Pokemon giant and more powerful for three turns; we were introduced to several new Pokemon as well as the Gen 8 legendaries; and we got an overview of the games' story and characters. Pokemon will roam the overworld like in Let's Go (at least in certain areas), which changes how wild Pokemon encounters work, and it seems like your in-game Rotom smartphone might replace HMs. We were also shown a new multiplayer activity featuring the Dynamax mechanic, called Max Raid battles. Finally, a release date of November 15 was confirmed.
What Is Confirmed For E3?
Nintendo's E3 2019 Direct presentation takes place June 11 at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET / 5 PM BST (2 AM AET on June 12). It will focus on "Nintendo Switch titles for 2019," which includes Pokemon, although we don't know how prominent they'll be after the June 5 presentation. Nintendo hasn't shared many details thus far, but we do know that the E3 presentation will be followed by three days of Treehouse streams; those often include developer interviews and in-depth looks at gameplay. If there's more to show after the June 5 Direct and Nintendo's full E3 presentation, we'll likely see it during these streams.
What We Hope To See At E3 2019
Now that we know way more about Sword and Shield, we're hoping for gameplay! We want to be able to get our hands on the games and see just how big the Galar region really is, maybe meet some more new Pokemon, and try our hands at the Max Raid multiplayer activity. The June 5 presentation got us excited for Galar, and the sooner we can see it for ourselves, the better.