Pokemon Sword & Shield: All The Latest From The Nintendo Direct

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Now Playing: Pokemon Sword & Shield Nintendo Switch Release Window, Starters, And More Revealed - GS News Update

It's been a big week for Pokemon. Wednesday was Pokemon Day, and it brought us not just a Detective PIkachu trailer early in the week, but also Nintendo revealing the next generation of Pokemon games, called Pokemon Sword and Shield. The two games are releasing exclusively for Nintendo Switch--not 3DS--in late 2019, and the seven-minute Nintendo Direct video explained the finer points and left some intriguing clues. Here's everything we learned about Gen 8, and you can still rewatch the Direct to see it all for yourself.

Three New Starters

One of the most iconic parts of any new Pokemon game are its three starters--the Pokemon you select from at the beginning of the game. Nintendo made them the star of the debut, holding back on any mention of other Pokemon or new legendaries. They follow the usual elemental types from prior games: the Grass-type chimp Grookey, Fire-type rabbit Scorbunny, and Water-type lizard Sobble. So far we haven't seen their ultimate evolutions, so it remains to be seen what other types and abilities they could have once they're leveled up.

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The New Galar Region

As usual for new main Pokemon games, Sword and Shield introduces a new setting. The Galar region is full of cottages and Victorian architecture, and even has a structure resembling the Big Ben clock tower in London, England. All of this suggests that the new region is based loosely on the UK, similarly to Alola (Hawaii) or Kalos (France). A full look at the map provides an overview of all the sights, including what appear to be elemental gyms.

Mysterious Stones And Carvings

The Galar region is home to more than quaint homes and bustling cities. A handful of the views of the environment showed stones with mysterious carvings, and one hill featured a carving of what could be a new legendary Pokemon. It remains to be seen if these carvings mean anything to the gameplay or story, but they're intriguing nonetheless.

Returning Favorites

As the eighth generation of Pokemon, Sword and Shield are bound to introduce plenty of new monsters to collect, trade, and battle. But each game also includes a selection of Pokemon from previous games as their foundation, and this one is no different. We saw no less than a dozen returning Pokemon, from classic mainstays like Pikachu to more recent ones like Grubbin from Sun and Moon.

A Traditional Pokemon

Though they weren't made as part of the formal announcement, the glimpses at footage revealed a few other details. Random encounters and wild battles appear to be back, along with gyms. While Sword and Shield are sure to introduce new gameplay elements, these revelations show that it's a traditional Pokemon game at heart--even eschewing some of the experiments from the Let's Go games. You can check out some of our biggest takeaways for more details.

For more details on Pokemon Sword and Shield, check out our pre-order guide.

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