At E3 2017, Nintendo made a big announcement: a major Pokémon game is coming to the Switch. A brief discussion about Pokkén Tournament DX coming to the console abruptly turned into the announcement of a mainline Pokémon RPG, which sparked excitement in nerds around the world. Even though the release date for the new Pokémon game isn't set until the second half of 2019, fans have been dying to learn more about the upcoming game.
What is the next Pokémon going to be? Although little information has been given to the public about the upcoming RPG, since the birth of Nintendo's handheld/home console hybrid, gamers have known that the platform presents a new realm of opportunities for the Pokémon franchise to conquer. The device's ability to connect to external toys and devices only fires up the anticipation for an all-new Pokémon Switch title.
On February 27, 2019, Nintendo announced that the game will be called Pokémon Sword and Shield. The official trailer reveals stunning three-dimensional graphics and plenty of new Pokémon, including the featured Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble.
Over the weekend of September 21, 2018, Pokémon Go users found a curious new addition to the game: a strange, Hex Nut Pokémon who turned into Ditto once it was caught. The Pokémon Company revealed that this is Meltan, a rare, mythical pocket monster that serves a critical purpose: it links the mobile game to the upcoming Pokémon: Let's Go! for the Nintendo Switch.
Meltan is a steel-type Pokémon, and allegedly, its Ditto-like body is actually liquid metal. It was officially introduced in a trailer for Pokémon: Let's Go! in which Professor Willow calls Professor Oak to discuss his discovery of the strangely adorable Pokémon. Oak explains to Willow that Meltan is an ancient Pokémon who has somehow escaped human detection until now.
Willow only caught a Ditto imitating a Meltan, so Oak sends the Ditto off on its way to find the original creature.
The Pokémon Switch's companion games, Let's Go, Pikachu!, and Let's Go, Eevee!, have an added incentive to pre-order the games, which come out on November 16, 2018: figurines and an exclusive art book. Unfortunately, these goodies aren't available to aspiring Pokémon masters outside of Japan.
The Japanese version comes with a figurine - depending on which game is purchased - and the art book comes with both games. For fans who don't live in Japan, start saving now - chances are these pre-orders will sell out fast, and it won’t be long before the pre-order swag hits eBay in other countries at crazy high prices.
In the UK, plush keychains of Pikachu and Eevee come with their respective games.
While catching Pokémon in the original Game Boy RPGs, it did get a little tedious having to battle wild Pokémon until they were on the brink of fainting. Like Pokémon Go, the two new Switch titles, Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! will feature a much simpler capture method.
Players do not have to wittle down a Pokémon's HP in order to capture them. Instead, gamers can tilt the Joy-Con roller at the screen to fling the Poké Ball at the intended target. Nintendo is also introducing Poké Ball Plus, a handheld device that resembles a Poké Ball but functions as a controller. The Poké Ball Plus can be used for every aspect of the game, including exploring or fighting other trainers.
After various leaks and rumors, The Pokémon Company released the titles for two companion RPGs: Let's Go Pikachu! and Let's Go Eevee! These are not the core Pokémon RPG the company had previously announced for the Nintendo Switch. The Let's Go games were developed by Game Freak and are considered mainline Pokémon RPGs. According to director and producer Junichi Masuda, the games are made with newcomers to the Pokémon world in mind.
There are some aspects those more familiar with Pokémon will enjoy. The games bring the users back to the Kanto region, which is where the original games are set. Masuda also describes the games as something of a "remake" of 1999's Pokémon Yellow. Masuda told Polygon:
Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! are kind of inspired and based on Pokémon Yellow version. They had added elements from the animated series, like Team Rocket and the characters that appeared in the animated series. It’s one of those things that made it resonate more with young kids at the time. When we were thinking of a game to go back to... we thought that this would be the next version.