Pokémon Sword and Shield: Nintendo's new games set in land inspired by UK

Nintendo has unveiled two new Pokémon games for its Switch console: Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Introduced in a short online broadcast by Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori at Pokémon’s developer, Game Freak, they feature a painterly, impressionistic world that juxtaposes urban and natural environments, continuing the series’ long-running theme of human interaction with nature.

The region of Gallar is clearly Britain-inspired; it’s all little ivy-coloured cottages in the villages and austere London-style buildings in the cities. The setting has already prompted a slew of creative nicknames from fans on Twitter, among them Pokémon Greggs/Pokémon Nandos.

Like every new Pokémon game, both Sword and Shield will introduce new monsters to collect and battle, three of which featured in the recorded stream. Trainers were shown battling in grasslands, towns and plains as well as in gigantic stadiums. The two versions will include a slightly different selection of Pokémon, which players can trade online or in person.

Watch the launch video

Sword and Shield follow last year’s Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee!, remakes of the very first Pokémon games (Red, Blue and Yellow, released between 1996 and 1998). Pokémon is traditionally a huge sales driver for Nintendo consoles, especially in Japan; it is the world’s highest-grossing media franchise, having pulled in an estimated $90bn (£68bn) through games, anime and merchandising. On smartphones, its spinoff Pokémon Go has millions of active players per month.

Pokémon Sword and Shield will be released worldwide late in 2019.


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