Pokémon Sword and Shield might be the first core Pokémon game in the series to use an autosave feature, as spotted by hawk-eyed fans in the latest Nintendo Direct (via Eurogamer).
45 seconds into the video, ‘Now saving…’ appears in the top right corner. It could be that the player has just saved their game from the pause menu screen, but it seems suspicious, as they were shown to run into the shop then the ‘Now saving…’ text pops up. It looks as if it is an autosave feature that activates when the player crosses in-game boundaries, like buildings, or zones, or battles.
Pokémon has always worked on a single save file system. In fact, it’s the centring force in the Pokémon culture. Only one save means that the choice of a starter Pokémon cannot be changed later on without erasing all progress. Hunting for shinies is a gargantuan goal that involves the player reloading their save countless times to work the random encounters to their advantage. And if a Pokémon runs away when trying to catch it, that’s it; the pocket monster couldn’t be recalled to try again.
This is one tiny observation in the latest Pokémon update, and it is not clear how the autosave system would work. It could mix the manual saves with a continuous autosave, like most modern games. Nintendo has not confirmed its inclusion to the next game, but an autosave feature would mean that Pokémon Sword and Shield would be accessible to new and existing fans alike. Players unfamiliar with the series would have their progress shored up, and it does avoid the catastrophic consequences of the Switch running flat. It would also secure the outcome of Special Trades, so no one could flimflam their way into a shiny Zoroark.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will launch on November 15 for the Nintendo Switch. Watch the Nintendo Direct update below.
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