A new Nintendo Direct presentation this morning revealed that Pokémon Sword and Shield will release on the Nintendo Switch on November 15. These will be the console’s biggest releases for the holiday season and the rest of the year.
The series has sold over 300 million games since the original Pokémon Red and Green versions launched for the Game Boy in 1996 in Japan (followed by the release of the Red and Blue versions in 1998 in the U.S.).
Sword and Shield represent the eight generation of the main Pokémon series. This is the first time the main series games are debuting on a home console, although the Switch also doubles as a portable device. Nintendo tested Pokémon on Switch last year with the Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee remakes of the Yellow version of Pokémon. They combined to sell over 10 million copies.
Nintendo also revealed some new features for Sword and Shield. Trainers can use the Dynamax ability to make their Pokémon huge for three turns, but they can only use it once per battle. Sword and Shield will also feature a Wild Area filled more Pokémon than any other location in the games, and the creatures that show up will change depending on things like location and weather. You can also find Max Raid Battles in the Wild Area. Here you fight Dynamax -grown Pokémon with the help of three friends or three computer-controlled trainers, so these are cooperative affairs
Sword and Shield are also carrying over the way encountering Pokémon works in the Let’s Go games. Instead of random battles, you’ll see Pokémon wandering the world. You can then walk up to them to start a fight.
Nintendo also revealed the names of two new legendary Pokémon, Zacian (for Sword) and Zamazenta (for Shield).