Pokémon Sword and Shield Touring Cross Country with Galar Visitors Center

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Nintendo and The Pokémon Company are kicking off a promotional tour around the United States for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, beginning with PAX West next weekend. Galar Visitors Centers are pop-up locations that feature tour guides, photo opportunities, and themed swag.

“Discovering a new region is part of the fun of diving into a new Pokémon adventure,” said Nick Chavez,  Senior VP, Nintendo of America. “With this tourism-themed activity, we want fans of all ages to explore the region and learn about the people, places and things that make Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield so special.”

Visitors will be able to participate in fun activities and earn promotional items like postcards and brochures. If you show proof of pre-ordering the games, you can receive a special luggage tag. There will also be numerous Galar-themed photo opportunities.

The first Galar Visitors Center will appear at the PAX West show floor in the Washington State Convention Center. Although the Visitors Centers themselves won’t actually feature demos of the games to play, the Nintendo booth at PAX will feature playable demos.

Locations for the Galar Visitors Centers are very limited, but more locations will be added in the future.

  • PAX West (Seattle, WA), Aug. 30 – Sept. 2.
  • Lost Angeles County Fair (Pomona, CA), Sept. 11-15.
  • State Fair of Texas (Dallas, TX), Oct. 10-14.

Pokémon Sword and Shield are launching exclusively on Nintendo Switch on November 15. Pre-orders are available now, including a double pack that includes both games.

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Pokémon Producer Releases Statement on National Dex Controversy

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Longtime Pokémon director and producer Junichi Masuda has released a statement addressing the controversy surrounding the lack of a National Pokédex.

It was an easy to miss detail since it wasn’t exactly a promotional bullet point. But during E3 last month, Masuda confirmed that upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield would not support the full 800+ Pokémon National Dex, the first for a mainline Pokémon game.

Longtime Pokémon fans who have been importing their favorites for years were understandably disappointed. The furor has lasted for weeks since E3, prompting Masuda to release an official statement:

Thank you to all of our fans for caring so deeply about Pokémon. Recently, I shared the news that some Pokémon cannot be transferred to Pokémon Swordand Pokémon Shield. I’ve read all your comments and appreciate your love and passion for Pokémon.

Just like all of you, we are passionate about Pokémon and each and every one of them is very important to us. After so many years of developing the Pokémon video games, this was a very difficult decision for me. I’d like to make one thing clear: even if a specific Pokémon is not available in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, that does not mean it will not appear in future games.

The world of Pokémon continues to evolve. The Galar region offers new Pokémon to encounter, Trainers to battle, and adventures to embark on. We are pouring our hearts into these games, and we hope you will look forward to joining us on this new journey.

While the news is disappointing, the actual Galar Pokédex has not yet been announced. Currently we don’t know how many Pokémon will be included in Sword and Shield. Sword and Shield are also the first main new Pokémon games to appear on the Switch, outside of the traditional handheld consoles. We expect to see expanded and updated animations and models, and look forward to more Pokémon getting the same treatment in future Switch Pokémon games.

Pokémon Sword and Shield is out November 15 on Switch.

Pokémon GO Celebrates Third Anniversary

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Believe it or not, the once cultural phenomenon and still decently popular Pokémon GO is turning three years old this summer. Niantic is celebrating the milestone with a series of special events and promotions.

From now until July 6 at 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern, you’ll be able to find a Pikachu wearing a party hat. The partying Pikachu has a chance of appearing whenever you take a Go Snapshot photo. The hat-wearing mouse can also be hatched from 7 km eggs.

For the rest of the summer a new Special Research quest line has been added. It’s designed to help lapsed players jump back into Pokémon GO, with a slew of helpful rewards. The Special Research is only available to trainers who are at least level 10.

During the third anniversary promotion, raid bosses will be easier to take down when joining with friends, and everyone can earn bonus Premiere Balls. The stardust cost of trading Pokémon has also been temporarily reduced to 25%.

Finally, the first generation Alolan Pokémon who have made their way into Pokémon GO – Rattata, Sandshrew, Vulpix, Diglett, Meowth, Geodude, Grimer, and Exeggutor, have an increased chance of spawning as shiny versions.

The promotion ends September 2 at 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern, except for the party hat Pikachu, which end July 6. Pokémon GO is free to download on iOS and Android mobile devices.