Update: Pre-orders are now live at Best Buy and Amazon, more details below.
Last night, The Pokémon Company International in partnership with Nintendo announced the three latest titles in the Pokémon franchise, all of which will be making their way to the Switch. While one is a more casual, mobile-friendly game, the two new standouts, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, pack everything we’ve come to love about Kanto, but with a few twists that make it shine as the series’ first title to debut on the Switch.
Marking over 22 years since the original games were released, the new Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! take trainers back to explore the world of the Kanto region. This time around, gone are the retro graphics and sprites, replaced by new full 3D assets that look to take full advantage of what the Switch’s hardware has to offer.
Drawing heavy inspiration from 1998’s Pokémon Yellow, Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go Eevee! both will feature the original 151 Pokémon and take place in the familiar Kanto region. And while these games won’t be offering never-before-seen creatures to catch or locations to explore, The Pokémon Company is bringing intuitive gameplay functions to the titles like motion controls to capture Pokémon in co-op mode so you can play with your pals and more.
Alongside the new Pokémon titles, last night’s announcement also brought with it an all new Switch accessory. Fittingly deemed the Poké Ball Plus, the device works alongside Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! and acts as a replacement for the Joy-Con as well as the Pokémon GO Plus. The accessory allows you to catch Pokémon with motion controls in a similar fashion to Pokémon GO’s capture system and even boasts other features from the hit mobile.
The Poké Ball Plus also allows trainers to bring one of their Pokémon from the games with them on their daily commutes, giving players “the opportunity to spend time with favorite Pokémon even when they’re not playing the game.” In practice, this will offer players various rewards similarly to Pokémon GO’s buddy system. Poké Ball Plus is said to pack a 3 hour battery life, charge over USB-C and sell for $50.
Also noted in the announcement was that The Pokémon Company planned on launching what it considers “core games” for the Switch in 2019. These will be more similar to the previous generation X and Y titles and most likely feature a new region inhabited with all-new Pokémon. Unfortunately these details will have to hold over those who hoped they’d announce Generation 9 last night.
As of now there’s still a lot up in the air about how these new games will stack up. One of the most confusing parts of last night’s press conference was that wild Pokémon battles won’t be found in Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! as veterans of the series will be used to. And by the looks of it, no online multiplayer or trading will be supported.
Pokémon GO integration, in some form at least, seems to be taking the place of the traditional capture and leveling up system, as you’ll be able to transfer any Kanto region Pokémon that you’ve caught in the mobile game over to your Switch.
Both new titles, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! will be hitting Nintendo’s latest console this fall come November 16th. As expected, the games will run you the typical $60 price tag that Switch games normally fetch.
Those looking to lock in their copies of each new Pokémon game are in luck, as preorders have gone live at Amazon and Best Buy, with other retailers soon to follow. Right now Amazon Prime members can save $12 off the preorder price, dropping the total down to $47.99 shipped.