Pokemon Scarlet and Violet dropping late 2022 with Gen 9

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet have been announced as part of today's surprise Pokemon Direct, along with the first three Gen 9 Pokemon. The trio don't yet have names, but we're loving the duck in the Mario-esque hat. 

The Gen 9 starter Pokemon from Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Capping off today's direct, the duo of games was revealed for a late 2022 drop on Nintendo Switch, and it looks to be offering a very similar open-world structure to January's Pokemon Legends Arceus.

According to the YouTube description it seems it might actually be truly open-world too, as it mentions that phrase twice:

"Welcome to the open world of Pokémon. Embark on an open-world adventure in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, arriving on Nintendo Switch in late 2022."

However, unlike the early timeline slot for Pokemon Legends Arceus, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet will offer a more modern storyline, complete with cities to accompany the more open, countryside areas. 

We got hints of what the world will look like, with the city area filled with color and flowers, with windmills adorning a hillside. It doesn't look to be a Pokemon region that we've seen before, so expect a brand new locale alongside those Gen 9 critters.

By the looks of some of the buildings in the teaser footage, it could well be an area that's based on Spain, as the church in the city definitely has a Sagrada Familia vibe to it. 

A city in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

It's also certainly got a Mediterranean feel to some of the buildings too. 

A home in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Many were convinced today's Direct would be used to reveal the next generation of Pokemon - as it's now been three years since Pokemon Sword and Shield, which debuted Gen 8. Turns out Game Freak is true to their three-year cycle and didn't disappoint today. 

For now, there's the first major update for Pokemon Legends Arceus dropping today, Software Update ver 1.1.0 aka Daybreak.

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.