'Pokémon Sword and Shield' Release Date May Be Announced Before E3 2019

It could be coming even sooner than we expected.

With Pokémon Sword and Shield set to launch for Nintendo Switch this year, we were expecting a big announcement from the Japanese gaming giant at E3 2019. Instead, it looks like Nintendo could pre-empt E3 entirely and reveal the Sword and Shield release date, along with a bunch of new details about the latest Pokémon game, during a Direct presentation on June 5.

Nintendo announced the news in a tweet earlier this week, promising “roughly 15 minutes of new information” about Pokémon Sword and Shield during a pre-recorded video announcement at 9 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday, June 5. You can pretty much assume that will include the release date, but 15 minutes also leaves plenty of time for new details on the game’s story, the region where it takes place, and maybe even the evolutionary forms of its three starter Pokémon. We might even find out about Sword and Shield’s new legendary Pokémon.

As for the specific release date, we don’t know it yet, but if we had to guess, we’d say Pokémon Sword and Shield will arrive in early December. Last year, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was Nintendo’s big seller with a Dec. 7 release date, so we can probably expect something similar in 2019.

We do already know enough about Pokémon Sword and Shield to fill a small Pokédex. The upcoming game takes place in the Galar region, which seems to be based off the United Kingdom during the industrial revolution (with some new technology thrown in for fun). This new continent features “vast plains” and “craggy, snow-covered mountains,” along with steampunk cities and a train system.

pokemon sword and shield
'Pokémon Sword and Shield' starters

As for the all-important starter Pokémon, we’ve got Grookey (a grass-type chimp), Scorbunny (fire rabbit), and Sobble (water type). We don’t know much else about the new Pokémon in the game, though Nintendo may have teased at least one legendary in the initial trailer.

Finally, Pokémon Sword and Shield will bring back traditional battles with wild Pokémon, ignoring the method of simply chucking Pokéballs that was introduced with Pokémon GO and duplicated with Let’s Go for Switch. Beyond that, we don’t know how this new game will innovate on Pokémon battle mechanics, but you can probably expect some big changes as the core Poké-franchise makes its official leap from handheld to console gaming.


Pokémon Sword and Shield will be released for Nintendo Switch in late 2019.