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Here’s when you can play Pokémon Sword and Shield

The game will be playable right at midnight on the east coast

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Morpeko in a glowing hamster ball Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, developer Game Freak’s first new game for Nintendo’s latest console, will be released on Nov. 15 for Nintendo Switch. There’s a lot of anticipationand controversy — ahead of its release date. Sword and Shield largely follow tradition as a Pokémon franchise game, but add new elements that make it fresh and open.

We’ve known for some time that it’s out on Nov. 15, but a Nintendo spokesperson told Polygon the game will go online at midnight “in all local time zones” where the Nintendo eShop is available. The U.S., however is getting its launch countrywide: Sword and Shield will be available right when the clock strikes midnight EDT, meaning it’s available at 9 p.m. PDT.

If you’d like to play Sword and Shield as soon as it unlocks, you’ll want to head to the Nintendo Switch eShop and preload the game. You’ll have to make your decision on which version to purchase ahead of the preload, so choose wisely.

Update: A Nintendo spokesperson sent Polygon new information clarifying its release times. “This specifically applies to regions where the eShop is available,” he said. “For the U.S., it’s available at midnight ET, meaning it’ll be available at 9 pm PT on 11/14.” This story has been updated to add the new information.

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