While last year’s Let’s Go titles emphasized gameplay in console mode, this year Pokemon will once again go back to emphasizing handheld gameplay.
Last year’s Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Eevee! were the first Pokemon RPG titles to ever have been released on a console rather than a handheld, and they took quite a lot of advantage of that fact. One of the chief mechanics the duo of releases made use of was the motion control options in Switch’s Joycons, thus emphasizing gameplay in console mode on a large screen (even though it was still entirely possible to play the entire game in handheld mode).
This year’s Pokemon Sword and Shield, which is the first mainline entry in the series to arrive on a console after last year’s Let’s Go offshoots, will be a bit different, and will likely appeal to the hardcore Pokemon audience. Speaking at Nintendo’s recent quarterly investors call, president Shuntaro Furukawa confirmed that Pokemon Sword and Shield will be emphasizing gameplay in handheld mode, hewing closer to the traditional experiences the series has always been known for.
“These new titles, first announced in a Pokémon Direct in February, have generated a huge response from consumers,” said Furukawa. “Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, which were released in November of last year, are designed to highlight the fun of Nintendo Switch in TV mode, for example by waving the controller at the TV screen to capture Pokémon. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are being developed to emphasize the fun of playing Nintendo Switch in handheld mode. We want these games to be played not only by longtime Pokémon fans, but also by consumers whose first encounter with the series was on a dedicated video game platform with Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!”
Pokemon Sword and Shield are due out some time later this year for the Nintendo Switch, though a concrete release date hasn’t yet been confirmed. Stay tuned to GamingBolt for more updates.