The latest Nintendo Direct has announced new content coming to Pokemon Sword and Shield in the form of an Expansion Pass.
In addition to offering new stories to the Sword and Shield games, the expansion pass will introduce more than 200 existing Pokemon that are yet to be seen in the Galar region.
The choice to offer an expansion pass bucks the trend of Pokemon games, which have traditionally released a third game set in the same region – forcing many players to start from scratch. All content releasing from the pass will be playable within existing game saves.
The first offering from the pass is called Isle of Armor and is set to release June this year. With it will come new clothes, rivals, and Pokemon – including the legendary Kubfu. Starters will also gain Gigantimax forms.
The next content update shown in the Direct was called Crown Tundra and is slated for 'Fall 2020' – that's Spring 2020 for us southern hemisphere folks.
Crown Tundra is set in a frozen outpost and has a heavy focus on exploration. It will introduce the legendary pokemon, Calyrex to the Galar region and also offer a new co-op play that allows players to explore Pokemon dens together
While the additional Pokemon introduced through the expansion pass will only be available to capture by pass owners, free updates will be rolling out to all versions of the game, making these Pokemon tradeable to non pass holders.
The expansion pass will cost USD $29.99, and is available for pre-purchase now. A pre-purchase incentive offers both Pikachu and Eevee uniforms in-game.
Pokemon Sword and Shield released in November last year, with Gameplanet's Billy Atman reviewing the game as "adequate," noting that "the overwhelming amount of re-used assets and shortcuts leads to one of the biggest missed opportunities on the Switch to date."