Pokémon Legends: Arceus release date confirmed alongside special edition Switch Lite

Pokémon Legends Arceus
(Image credit: Nintendo)

It's an exciting time to be a Pokémon fan, as the latest Pokémon Presents showcase just wrapped up with some juicy details on upcoming titles, including Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes and a smorgasbord of other pocket monster projects.

Thanks to the showcase, we now know the official release date for Pokémon Legends: Arceus, and it's not a million miles away. The game will be among the first Nintendo Switch exclusives of 2022, releasing on January 28 of that year.

A prequel to the main Pokémon timeline, Pokémon Legends: Arceus takes place in the Hisui region (which will eventually become Pokémon Diamond and Pearl's Sinnoh region), where the player will be tasked with collecting Pokémon data to create the world's first Pokédex.

Special edition Nintendo Switch Lite featuring designs based on Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes

(Image credit: Nintendo / The Pokemon Company)

If you're looking forward to Pokémon Legends: Arceus and the Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes, Nintendo might just have the perfect special edition console to play them on, too.

This special edition Nintendo Switch Lite will release on November 4, 2021, just a couple of weeks ahead of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl on November 19, 2021, though no price or pre-order details have been confirmed as of yet. The Switch Lite is emblazoned with designs of Dialga and Palkia, those games' flagship legendary Pokémon.

The design is reminiscent of a special edition Nintendo DS Lite from 2006, which featured a similar design to promote the release of the original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games. And while we're sure the base Switch model or the Nintendo Switch OLED will make the games look and run much better, this special edition Switch Lite is a cute curio, nonetheless.

Analysis: Is Pokémon making a comeback?

It's hard to deny that Pokémon as a franchise has some serious momentum behind it right now. A litany of Pokémon games have released in the past few months to warm reception, including New Pokémon Snap and the multiplayer-focused Pokémon Unite on Nintendo Switch.

As we look to the near future, then, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and Pokémon Legends: Arceus are the next big titles for the series, and both arguably have some work to do to win back many a jaded Pokémon fan.

Pokémon Sword and Shield for the Nintendo Switch, while solid titles in their own right, missed the mark for many longtime series fans who were growing tired of the reused 3DS assets, as well as the lack of a National Dex (the Pokédex that includes every Pokémon ever created) and the game's overall short length and low difficulty.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus, to its credit, looks like it's genuinely taking the series in a new direction, seemingly taking cues from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in its freeform exploration. Meanwhile, the Diamond and Pearl remakes will hopefully give longtime fans a more traditional experience while they wait for Arceus's 2022 release.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.