Pokémon Sword And Shield To Emphasize Handheld Mode For The Switch

Title being developed to 'emphasize the fun of playing Nintendo Switch in handheld mode.'
Pokemon Sword and Shield will shine the best in handheld mode for the Switch.
Pokemon Sword and Shield will shine the best in handheld mode for the Switch. Nintendo

New details have dropped regarding Nintendo’s much-awaited Pokémon Sword and Shield, and it looks like you’ll be playing this game more with the Switch in your hands instead of connected to a TV.

This news comes from the recent investors call and fiscal report from Nintendo just last week, which also slated the game’s release to some time this year. While the duo of Pikachu and Eevee for Pokémon Let’s Go pushed for major use of the Switch’s TV mode and capabilities, Pokémon Sword and Shield will be the opposite to that, instead focusing on the Switch’s handheld mode and capabilities.

The report goes on to state that:

"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."

This move shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s familiar with the Pokémon series of games, as they have always been made with handheld in mind. The series was kicked off with the release of Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue for the original Nintendo Game Boy. Since then, the series remained largely unchanged in terms of gameplay and its RPG elements, but it still managed to reinvent itself successfully with every iteration. With the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield, Nintendo hopes to keep the series firmly in its handheld roots.

"These new titles, first announced in a Pokémon Direct in February, have generated a huge response from consumers," said Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa during the recent financial call. "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.”

With this kind of game design, Nintendo might be looking to bridge a gap between two markets: the casual newcomers who were first introduced to the series with Pokémon Let’s Go, and the long-time Pokémon fans looking to play again on a handheld.

Pokémon Sword and Shield are set to release some time this year exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

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