In 2018, Nintendo and the Pokemon Company announced and released the first Pokemon games for Switch, 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 mechanics. While the Let’s Go games are mainline Pokemon RPGs and the first on Switch, they’re not the same kind of core Pokemon experience fans have been getting on Nintendo’s handhelds 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. Because they are set for a late 2019 launch, it’s also highly likely we’ll see more of them at E3 2019. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about Sword and Shield so far and what we can expect at E3 2019.
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. Based on this Grass-Fire-Water setup, which has been present in every Pokemon game aside from Yellow and Let’s Go, we can assume that Sword and Shield aren’t totally overhauling the Pokemon formula.
What Is Confirmed For E3?
While Sword and Shield haven’t been confirmed outright for E3 2019, we do know that Nintendo’s Direct presentation will focus on “Nintendo Switch titles for 2019,” which includes Pokemon. Nintendo hasn’t shared many details thus far, but we do know that the presentation will be followed by three days of Treehouse streams; those often include developer interviews and in-depth looks at gameplay. Nintendo’s presentation takes place June 11 at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET / 5 PM BST (2 AM AET on June 12).
What We Hope To See At E3 2019
The reveal trailer showed quite a bit about Sword and Shield: basic Pokemon battles, trainer customization, the starters, and bits and pieces of the varied Galar region. But there are still a lot of question marks. One of the big mysteries so far is a red and blue circular symbol found throughout the trailer, including on a Gym and even in the games’ logo. Sun and Moon also had a symbol in their logo–a crystal, which ended up representing the games’ new Z-Crystal battle mechanic. Fans have speculated that the circular symbol in Sword and Shield could also represent a new battle mechanic, so we’re hoping to find out what that is at E3.
We’re also hoping to see more of the Galar region and its new Pokemon. It looks to be an expansive region, and it even has trains that might be used for fast travel, but we can’t know for sure from a trailer alone. Gameplay of the player character walking around a city, for example, could give us a better idea of Galar’s scale. We also hope to see more of the region’s Pokemon, especially legendaries; a mysterious hill carving in the trailer showed what might be a legendary Pokemon.
Lastly, we’re hoping we get answers to some burning questions. Are there any special surprises in store (like travel to another existing region)? Will Sword and Shield be compatible with Pokemon Bank? How will online work? The Direct presentation and any potential follow-up streams could answer the big gameplay questions and provide smaller details fans are looking for. Regardless, with the games’ launch fast approaching, it’s likely we’ll get answers to some of our questions at E3.