Pokémon Sword & Shield: What to Expect in May

Looking to the Past to Predict the Future

The modern pre-release news cycle of Pokémon started with the pair of Generation VI games, X & Y. That’s because they were the first titles to get a simultaneous worldwide release and news was no longer coming solely from Japanese magazines and TV shows. Looking at how information was released for X & Y, as well as Sun and Moon, can help us guess what news might be coming in May for Pokémon Sword & Shield.

Pokémon X & Y

Travel with me back to 2013. The games Pokémon X & Y had just been announced in January during a special Pokémon Direct that revealed many early details. Players were introduced to the Kalos Region’s starting Pokémon, the designs of the protagonists, some brief glimpses of the region and finally the two legendary Pokémon who would grace the games’ covers.

The next two big reveals were Sylveon (above), in February, and Mega Mewtwo Y, in April. Both trailers were short and offered little beyond the featured Pokémon besides giving players a glimpse at older Pokémon with their new 3D models.

Gogoat in Lumiose City

It wasn’t until five months after X & Y‘s initial reveal, in May 2013, that players were shown several more of the region’s new Pokémon and a full map of Kalos. The new Pokémon revealed were Fletchling, Helioptile, Pancham and Gogoat. Something notable in the trailer was the inclusion of ride-able Pokémon, something that was novel at the time.

Pokémon Sun & Moon

Fast forward to 2016; Pokémon Sun & Moon were announced in February of that year. Unlike the last generation, Game Freak was much more tight-lipped about details when they were first revealed. Fans only got a logos for the games and a promise that they would go on sale by the end of the year along with a behind the scenes look at their development.

It wasn’t until May that we got our first look at the protagonists, the starting Pokémon and the games’ main legendaries. This was almost opposite of the X & Y press strategy that front-loaded everything into the reveal.

The following month brought information about the characters we would encounter, the Alola region’s name, further information about the legendary Pokémon and the introduction of Rotom Dex!

Pokémon Sword & Shield

So where does that leave us now? Here’s a list of what we haven’t seen yet that was revealed in early information about the previous games:

  • Legendary Pokémon
  • Feature gimmicks (ride-able Pokémon, Rotom Dex)
  • First look at characters (rivals, professors)
  • Hints about new mechanics (Mega evolution, Z-moves)

Those are very, very strong candidates for what we may see next. It is highly likely that the next big news will drop this May.

What’s somewhat interesting is that the region was not initially revealed for X & Y or Sun & Moon, which adds a somewhat different tone to the marketing of Sword & Shield.

Additional new Pokémon were also later reveals in both games (save for Sylveon and Mega Mewtwo Y, which both expanded upon already established Pokémon) so it may not be surprising if we don’t see many, if any, new Pokémon before June.

Let us know what you think down in the comments and give your best guesses as to what will be revealed next! Join us in Discord to chat about the games as well!