Pokémon Sword & Shield releases right between Star Wars and Death Stranding

Pokémon Sword & Shield releases right between Star Wars and Death Stranding 1

Nintendo today revealed more about its upcoming RPG, Pokémon Sword & Shield on today’s Direct presentation, including its release date. We now know the game’s release date, and it’s right in the November sweet spot, squished into a release window with long-awaited Kojima wtfery Death Stranding and the first single-player Star Wars release in ages.

It’s going to be a bloodbath.

I’m going to assume most people only allot enough money for one video game every couple of weeks at most, and the revelation that the new Pokémon game is going to be hitting in the same period as two other highly-anticipated games leaves me wondering: exactly who is going to win in terms of sales? I’m sure the audience for all three overlaps to a certain degree, and it’s interesting to consider which one gamers in general will spend their money on first.

EA hasn’t exactly scratched the itch of Star Wars nerds for the last few years with Battlefront — fans have been crying out for a single-player game, but EA has cancelled or reshuffled such projects for so long we’ve lost count. The release of Jedi: Fallen Order means it’ll finally answer that prayer, for better or worse — but now it’ll have to compete with Pokémon.

Death Stranding comes out one week before Jedi: Fallen Order and Sword & Shield. Given how massive and hyped it is, I think it’s fair to say that’s still within its release window. Ever since it was first teased a few years ago, gamer interest in Death Stranding has been high, and any other time I’d say it’d clean house when it came out — but now there might be a contingent of gamers who want to save their money for Pokémon the following week.

Forget Red Dead vs CoD vs Battlefield. This is going to be a battle the likes of which we’ve not yet seen. Who has the greater claim to name recognition and nostalgia? I’m going to give the edge to Pokémon, though. The familiarity and general assurance of quality, in my opinion, will probably trump the bizarreness of Death Stranding and the lack of company goodwill for EA. But I’ve been wrong before.

Other details we learned at the direct was that we will now have giant Pokémon in battles, via a new mechanic called Dynamaxing. Players can go on Max Raid battles with friends, in which they’ll fight Dynamaxed Pokémon controlled by AI — which sounds like Monster Hunter and I am here for it. You can also preorder both games now.

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