New Pokemon Switch games are called Sword and Shield, here's everything we know so far

Pokemon Switch games: Pokemon Sword and Shield

A duo of new Pokemon Switch games are coming, and they're called Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. All we've had so far is the game's very first trailer (which you can watch below), and confirmation that they're set in a brand new region based on the UK called Galar, and will 100% feature all new Gen 8 Pokemon. Huzzah! Plus, the pair of games are still scheduled to arrive at the end of 2019. From the confirmed Pokemon, the first trailer and more gameplay deets, read on for everything we know so far about the pair of new Pokemon Switch games.

Watch the first gameplay trailer below.

Pokémon Switch release date set for late 2019

Pokemon Switch games: Pokemon Sword and Shield

Start counting down to one of the biggest Switch games yet, as Pokemon Sword and Shield are coming this year. The Pokemon Switch release date has been set as late 2019, which we already knew from previous teasers. 

"The next introduction to its popular core RPG series, which was teased last year at E3, will arrive in late 2019 on Nintendo Switch for the first time," The Pokémon Company said in a statement in 2018. That's now been backed up by the first official gameplay trailer for Pokemon Sword and Shield, which confirms the late 2019 release date. 

Interestingly, a new Reddit post via a 4Chan leak suggests that the release date will lie somewhere in the region of November 15 - 20, 2019, which would be about right for the general release window we've had so far. 

Pokemon Shield and Sword are set in a brand new region

Move over Kanto, because there's a new idyllic paradise on the way that's also full of Pokemon. Pokemon Sword and Shield will be set in the Galar region, a brand new locale for the long-running JRPG series. Based on the UK's varied landscape, Galar's main appeal is its variety of landscapes, and weather conditions, something that's quite fresh for the series as a whole. In the first trailer, we got a look at thick forests, snow-covered mountains, cities, idyllic countryside villages, glittering caves and more. According to the official website, "the people and Pokemon live together in this region, and they've worked together to develop the industries here", so no doubt it'll be British with a twist. 

As you can see from the gif above, we're looking at some mighty pretty-looking environments, so hopefully we'll see some equally unique, and potentially location-themed Pokemon. 

Take a look at the full Galar map below:

Pokemon Switch: Galar region map

Pokémon Switch will contain Gen 8 Pokémon

Pokemon Switch starter Pokemon

The Pokemon Company confirmed the three Pokemon Generation 8 Starters with the first Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer, and as you can see above they are as follows:

- Grass type monkey, Grookey
- Fire type rabbit, Scorbunny
- Water type lizard, Sobble

If the trailer is indictative of the kind of moves they'll have, Sobble may well be able to turn invisible, Grookey attacks with a stick it keeps in its hair, and Scorbunny (judging by the plaster on its nose) may be melee focused. 

Interestingly, the trailer doesn't feature the other confirmed Gen 8 Pokemon that is Meltan, which was introduced through Pokemon Go and Pokemon Let's Go

It's also worth noting that there are a lot of older Gen 2 and Gen 5 Pokemon featured in the trailer. Could that mean the world is littered with a range of Pokemon, a Pokemon Go tie-in, or something else entirely?

Pokemon Switch gameplay features confirmed so far

Pokemon Switch gameplay

  • Gyms are returning, and you'll be once again questing to become Champion
  • You'll be battling wild Pokemon that attack you in long grass
  • Choice of male or female character, which seem to be a lot older than in previous games
  • You may use a train to travel around the region
  • Doesn't look like your mum will be there to help you out this time
  • Original battle noises still present, rather than anything revamped

Pokemon Switch and Sword will take full advantage of the Switch in handheld mode

For those who balked at all that big screen TV mode stuff and motion controls for Pokemon Let's Go, you'll be pleased to hear that for the duo of new Pokemon Switch games, we're going full handheld. 

"Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are being developed to emphasize the fun of playing Nintendo Switch in handheld mode," the report reads. "We want these games to be played not only by longtime Pokemon fans, but also by consumers whose first encounter with the series was on a dedicated video game platform with Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let's Go Eevee."

Could Pokemon Sword and Shield actually feature two regions?

There's a new theory floating around that Pokemon Sword and Shield could actually feature the Galar region, and another locale entirely. The theory goes that Sword and Shield could also feature the Kalos region from Pokemon X and Y. Now, bear with me here, because it's not so farfetch'd as you'd assume (H/T Dexterto). 

In the story of Pokemon X and Y you discover that a 3,000-year-old king once used an ultimate weapon to stop a war that rage in Kalos. It used the energy from Legendary Pokemon Xerneas and Yvelta, which actually led to the creation of Mega Evolutions. However, that's not the interesting bit. It's that the war in Kalos was with some unknown region, which this theory suggests could be Galar. That's because Galar is based on the UK, while Kalos is supposed to be set in France, and there have been many a real-life war fought involving the two countries. 

Also, in Pokemon X and Y, there's a train station in Couriway Town that you could never access. Strange then that trains are so prominent in the Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer. Could it be that the trains connect Galar (the UK) and Kalos (France) like the real-life Channel Tunnel and the Eurostar? 

For an added WTF, Couriway town's slogan is "a town connecting differences". *strokes metaphorical thinking beard* Were Pokemon X and Y really foreshadowing a connection to a Nintendo Switch title back in 2013?