Pokemon Day Nintendo Direct: What To Expect [Update]
When you wish upon a Starmie.
The Nintendo Direct has aired, and it's brought the expected reveal of Nintendo Switch's new Gen 8 Pokemon games: Pokemon Sword and Shield. While the broadcast was relatively brief, it did offer us a look at the games in action, as well as revealing the Gen 8 starters: Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble. Nintendo and developer Game Freak also showcased the new region, Galar, and confirmed the games will release in late 2019. You can rewatch the Nintendo Direct presentation through the video below.
Nintendo has announced a new Nintendo Direct focusing on Pokemon. The presentation falls very conspicuously on Pokemon Day, February 27, the annual celebration marking the release of the very first Pokemon game. That paired with the previous announcement that the next big generation of Pokemon is set for release on Nintendo Switch this year means we can expect big things--but maybe not quite everything.
Nintendo Direct Details
The Nintendo Direct presentation will begin on February 27 at 6 AM PT / 9 AM ET / 2 PM GMT (1 AM AET on February 28). The annnouncement promised "roughly seven minutes of new information." You can watch the stream right here on GameSpot.
What Can We Expect?
Seven minutes isn't much, but Nintendo can pack a lot into a Nintendo Direct presentation. For example, the most recent Nintendo Direct that aired on February 13 was about 35 minutes and covered new information or announcements about roughly 20 games. It was tightly packed, giving less than two minutes apiece to its two biggest announcements: Super Mario Maker 2, and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. By comparison, seven minutes focusing on a single franchise is quite a bit of time.
The next Pokemon game for Nintendo Switch has already been announced as coming in the latter half of 2019. Last year's Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee were announced alongside the 2019 release date. While they were well-received, the timing of their announcement left many fans to assume they were a stopgap measure in the meantime. There is a chance Nintendo will devote some time to a smaller surprise-release like Pokemon Picross, but it's safe to assume that the presentation will at least begin to unwrap Generation 8, the next full iteration of Pokemon.
Just how much it will show of Gen 8 is difficult to tell, however.
When Nintendo debuted Pokemon X and Y, its first trailer showed the three starters and quite a bit of footage showing off the new fully rendered 3D graphics for the 3DS. When it came time to show off Sun and Moon, however, it kicked off the Pokemon Day festivities with a teaser trailer that celebrated the history of the series, and gave the names of the upcoming games, but showed absolutely no footage. The closest fans got were brief snippets of sketches. The release date trailer, which didn't release until the following May, finally showed environments and the three starters.
That teaser-trailer for Sun and Moon was largely regarded as disappointing, and came before Nintendo had established a reputation for presenting lengthy deep-dives into games as Nintendo Direct presentations. The teaser for this year's presentation also shows three Pokeballs, arranged in a manner similar to when players choose their starter in each game.
It seems likely, then, that Nintendo will learn from past mistakes and show off some of the Pokemon waiting in Gen 8, most likely the three starters. We may also hear what this set of games will be titled, and a release date. There is some chance that Nintendo plays its cards extremely close to the vest and shows nothing but a very vague tease, but it's hard to imagine how that would fill seven minutes of its usually fast-paced Nintendo Direct style. Either way, we'll know soon enough.
For more on Pokemon 2019, check out our roundup of what we'd like to see. Plus, if you're a connoisseur of fine cinema, you should definitely watch the latest trailer for future Academy Award winning film Detective Pikachu, and check out all the new Pokemon we spotted.
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