Pokémon Sword and Shield represent the straw that finally broke the camel’s back for Game Freak’s iconic franchise. The upcoming Switch games mark the first time in the RPG series’ history, that a mainline entry will not appear on a handheld console and for that to happen, sacrifices have had to be made. Nintendo’s flagship device might have objectively superior hardware to that of the ageing 3DS, but with that extra oomph comes higher visual fidelity and added development costs.
Come November, Sword and Shield will officially kick off Generation 8 and usher in a wealth of brand new Pokémon for Trainers to catch, but if you were hoping to transfer your entire collection over from other games or Pokémon Bank, think again. During E3, series producer Junichi Masuda confirmed at Nintendo Treehouse Live that only Pokémon present on the Galar region’s Pokédex will be transferrable to this year’s iterations.
What this essentially boils down to is that any Pokémon past, present or future not available in the base game can never be transferred to Sword and Shield. Not for the foreseeable future, at least. In a post-E3 interview with Japanese mag Famitsu, Masuda detailed how the studio is currently undecided on the possibility of retroactively granting further access to players’ collections via post-launch patches.
The best case scenario would, of course, be for it to decide in favor of gradually increasing the size of Pokémon Sword and Shield‘s Pokédex, but with the current total standing far above 800, just how many can it squeeze into a finite amount of cartridge space? If pre-release footage is to be believed, Galar will have 150 critters (some new, some old) encounterable in the wild, so even tripling that number wouldn’t make a dent.
Regardless, we’ll be waiting with bated breath for Game Freak’s final decision. Stay tuned.