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Pokémon Sword (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ソードPocket Monsters Sword) and Pokémon Shield (Japanese: ポケットモンスター シールドPocket Monsters Shield) are the primary paired versions of Generation VIII. The games will be released on the Nintendo Switch.
During E3 2017, Tsunekazu Ishihara announced that the next core series titles would be available on the Nintendo Switch, but they were not prepared to release any more information at the time. On May 30, 2018, The Pokémon Company gave a press conference and announced that the new core games would be arriving the second half of 2019; they also said that they would have more traditional gameplay, as opposed to that found in Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!.
The games were formally announced on Pokémon Day, February 27, 2019 at 11 pm JST during a worldwide announcement through Nintendo Direct hosted by Tsunekazu Ishihara, Junichi Masuda, and Shigeru Ohmori. An official trailer was shown, giving information on the region and the starter Pokémon players can choose from. A global release date of late 2019 was also repeated, as revealed earlier. All copies of the game are playable in nine languages: Japanese, English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese.
Pokémon Sword and Shield take place in the Galar region. This region has many diverse environments for the player to explore alongside the cities and towns dotted throughout the land; these include plains, forests, snowy mountains and caves. Connecting some of the larger cities appears to be some sort of train system in the map's north. Unlike Alola, these games will return to having Gyms that the player must battle with the goal of becoming the Champion.