Nintendo E3 2019 Schedule, Games, and eShop Sale

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Sony may be pulling out completely but Nintendo will still be in full attendance at E3 2019, which takes place next week on June 11-13. The show floor will show off big upcoming games like Pokémon Sword and Shield, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.

As usual, Nintendo will kick off the official convention times with a Nintendo Direct on Tuesday, June 11 at 9 am Pacific/12 pm Eastern. The Direct will focus entirely on games coming out later this year. Following the Direct will be a Nintendo Treehouse Live broadcast. It will showcase several new and upcoming Nintendo games. The Treehouse will return on Wednesday and again on Thursday, at the same time. The Thursday stream will focus on indie games.

As previously announced, Nintendo will feature multiple tournaments during E3, including the Splatoon 2 World Championship and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate World Championship.

Newly announced is a Super Mario Maker 2 Invitational. Four members of the Super Mario Maker community have been invited to compete in a gauntlet of Super Mario Maker 2 courses. The tournaments are hosted at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, starting at 10 am. Admission is free but space is limited.

On the show floor the following announced games will be playable by attendees: Pokémon Sword, Pokémon Shield, Luigi’s Mansion 3, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. Nintendo will utilize a new Warp Pipe Pass as a fast pass system. The Warp Pipe Pass will allow attendees to reserve times to play games rather than wait in long lines.

“The 2019 lineup for Nintendo Switch aims to deliver smiles with many different unique games and experiences,” said Doug Bowser, president, Nintendo of America. “Games available this holiday season will be the focus of our booth, and no matter where you live, you can participate in the fun events by watching Nintendo Treehouse: Live during E3 or visiting Nintendo Early Access events at Best Buy, which have a focus on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.”

If you’re not going to E3 next week, you can still take advantage of an eShop Sale. The digital sale on Switch and 3DS games starts June 11 and runs through June 18.

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Our Pokémon Sword and Shield Wishlist

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Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are two of the most anticipated games coming later this year. The eighth generation will make the pivotal leap from a handheld-focused series onto the Nintendo Switch. They also represent the first all-new main Pokémon games since 2016’s Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Details have been scarce, with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company teasing us with trailers and introducing the three new starter Pokémon. A Sword and Shield-focused Pokémon Direct is scheduled to stream next week on June 5. The Direct should provide further details, and hopefully a release date.

Until then we have mostly speculation and a wishlist of features for Pokémon Sword and Shield. The series has evolved in may ways over the last two-plus decades, yet also stubbornly adhered to its same basic formulas. After last year’s surprisingly fantastic spin-off remake Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, we have some strong opinions on features we’d love to see in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.

Multiple Difficulties

Pokémon games need to please multiple fanbases. The young newcomers, the returning teens, the veteran adults, all of who have different skill levels and familiarity with the franchise. Pokémon remains one of the best RPGs for kids, but there is a whole generation of gamers who have grown up with decades of Pokémon games under their belts. For that reason we’d love to have proper difficulty levels, or advanced features that can be checked on or off. We don’t necessarily need to go full Nuzlocke but we’d love the option to create a more challenging experience.

And for the love of goodness let us skip through tutorials, or at least be able to answer a “Have you played a Pokémon game before?” question at the beginning.

More Regional Variants

One of the coolest features from Pokémon Sun and Moon was the introduction of regional variants of classic Gen 1 Pokémon, such as Alolan Vulpix, Rattata, Sandshrew, and Diglett. These regional variants aren’t just cosmetic changes. They add or modify the types and movesets for each Pokémon. Sun and Moon specifically focused on the popular Gen 1 Pokémon and we’d love to see other Pokémon get a similar treatment, even if Sword and Shield’s England-inspired world is a bit less thematic than Sun and Moon’s tropical islands.

Pokémon Appearing in the World

The single best new feature the Pokémon Let’s Go games added were wild Pokémon appearing in the world. No longer did you wander around tall grass or caves waiting for the game to zoom in on a battle, instead you saw Pokémon walking around. It made the world come alive and made hunting for Pokémon a million times more engaging and fun. We expect traditional random encounters to return, but we’d love to see this magical aspect form Let’s Go become a permanent feature in all future Pokémon games.

Pokémon Follower

To expand on Pokémon appearing in the world, you could also select one of your six Pokémon in your party to follow you around. In the case of riding Pokémon like Arcanine and Charizard, you could use them to travel more quickly, or in Sun and Moon they were used to break walls and surf on the water. We would love if we could select our favorite Pokémon to walk around with us, like Pikachu and Ash in the classic anime series.

Access Pokémon Box Anywhere

One of the biggest welcome conveniences added in the Let’s Go games was the ability to access our Pokémon storage anywhere, not just at the Pokémon Center. This encouraged us to switch out our Pokémon much more often, and try new combinations and strategies.

Drop-in Co-op

Speaking of awesome features from Let’s Go, why not keep the easy to use drop-in co-op feature? By splitting the Joy-Con, two players could play on a single screen, and even join in for battles together. It was a fantastic way for parents to play with kids.

New Unique Dual Types

Fun fact: There are 18 different Pokémon types, and as of Gen 7 over 800 different Pokémon. Yet there are still over two dozen dual type combinations that don’t exist in any Pokémon! Every generation slowly adds new unique types so we’re confident we’ll fulfill this one. Some interesting missing dual-type combinations include Bug/Ice, Rock/Ghost, Dark/Fairy, Grass/Fire, and Poison/Steel.

Deeper Customization

The Pokémon games have been frustratingly slow when it comes to customizing our trainers. It took several games before we could even play as a girl! We want multiple body types, ethnicities, and all the clothing options we can get. While we’re at it, how about dressing up our Pokémon as well? Even just a few hats would go a long way in adding a lot of personality to our favorites.

Optional Motion Controls

The Joy-Con motion controls for capturing Pokémon in Pokémon: Let’s Go were solid, but also divisive. We’d like the option to turn them on for those that enjoy the immersive challenge of throwing their own Pokéballs, and support for the Poké Ball Plus controller.

We have high hopes for the first main Pokémon game on the Nintendo Switch. Hopefully we’ll get more answers and details on Pokémon Sword and Shield during the Pokémon Direct on June 5.

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Pokémon Home, Pokémon Sleep Coming 2020; Pokémon Direct Next Week

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At a recent press conference in Japan, The Pokémon Company announced several new projects, games, and apps. The big upcoming Pokéman game: Pokémon Sword and Shield, will be detailed in an upcoming Nintendo Direct next week on June 5.

Pokémon HOME is the next evolution of Pokémon Bank. It’s a cloud-based app where trainers can manage their collection of Pokémon throughout the modern generation of games, including Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee, Pokémon GO, and Pokémon Sword and Shield. It’s also compatible with Pokémon Bank, allowing you to transfer Pokémon from previous generations. Pokémon can also be traded with anyone around the world through Pokémon HOME with a mobile device. HOME is launching in early 2020 on iOS, Android, and Switch.

Pokémon Sleep is the less mobile cousin of Pokémon GO. It’s a mobile app that tracks your sleeping via the embedded accelerometer from the new Pokémon GO Plus + device. The new device has the same functionality as the original, allowing you to use it to play Pokémon GO as well. Details on how all this works are scarce but the company promises “a gameplay experience unlike any other.” Pokémon Sleep will launch for mobile devices in 2020.

Pokémon Masters is a proper mobile spin-off game. It features 3v3 Pokémon battles with the biggest trainers from Pokémon history. It’s built specifically for mobile casual mobile gameplay, and is launching later this year.

A new Detective Pikachu game was also announced. This one will be a sequel to the events of the first game, which released on the Nintendo 3DS in 2016. The new Detective Pikachu is being developed for the Switch. A release date has yet not been announced.

For those hoping for any information on the next big Pokémon games, you’ll have to wait until next week. A special Pokémon Direct will stream on June 5 at 6 am Pacific/9 am Eastern, and focus solely on Pokémon Sword and Shield. We expect to get an official release date, most likely in November.