Kicking off the address with a fun sizzle reel of gameplay, developer Game Freak then proceeded to discuss some new key features coming to this generation of Pokemon games.
One of the most notable is the new Dynamax ability, which makes your chosen pokemon grow to an enormous size and boosts its power for three turns. Similar to the Z-Moves of Pokemon Sun and Moon, Dynamax abilities can only be used once per battle.
Another new addition in Sword and Shield are Max Raid battles, which allows players to team up with three other players to take on a pokemon that is permanently in Dynamax form. Team work will be essential to defeat these encounters, and success in doing so will give players the opportunity to catch the defeated pokemon.
New characters include Professor Magnolia and her assistant, Sonia. There's also the region champion Leon, and his younger brother Hop – who will be your rival throughout the game.
Players will be able to customise their appearances, choosing from a range of varying skin tones, eye, and hair colours.
As mentioned at its initial reveal, Pokemon Sword and Shield will be set in the Galar region. Similar to the Let's Go titles, the Galar region will have visible pokemon roaming in the wilds, meaning players can avoid unwanted battles. That being said, pokemon will still hide in the long grass, jumping out to surprise unwary travellers.
A bevy of new pokemon were introduced during the Direct, including Wooloo; a sheep-like normal type, Gossifleur; a flower looking grass type, and Corviknight; a raven inspired flying/steel type.
Two new legendary pokemon were also revealed. Both draw inspiration from a wolf, but Zacian holds a sword in its mouth, while Zamazenta's body is covered in a shield. It's safe to assume that Zacian will only be catchable in Pokemon Sword, and Zamazenta in Pokemon Shield.
Pokemon Sword and Shield release November 15 for Nintendo Switch.
Be sure to check out the full Pokemon Direct below.