Perhaps for as long as the Pokemon series has existed, fans have fantasized about the idea of Pokemon in real life. Last year’s April 1st partnership between Nintendo and Google helped to bring this idea a little closer to reality. The two companies created an augmented reality Pokemon scavenger hunt where Google Maps users could hunt down Pokemon hidden all over the globe.
Nintendo, The Pokemon Company, and Niantic are apparently deciding to take this venture a step further. In a recent announcement, the three companies have declared that a new game, entitled Pokemon Go, will soon be bringing Pokemon to the real world.
The reveal video, seen below, demonstrates how the augmented reality Pokemon Go game will work. Players will be able to download the app to their iPhones or Android phones for free, and can then use GPS or (presumably) other geolocation methods to track down Pokemon in the vicinity. The app will direct players how close they are to said Pokemon, and once they’re within range, the Pokemon will become visible on-screen. The augmented reality game will use the phone’s camera to overlay the Pokemon onto the actual surrounding environment of the real world. Players can then try to catch the Pokemon to add it to their collection using a variety of Pokeballs.
The video also demonstrates players being able to battle each other and trade Pokemon with each other, regardless of their type of phone. A secondary peripheral device called the Pokemon Go Plus was also demonstrated, which resembles a lightweight wrist-watch shaped like a Pokeball. The device will vibrate when a Pokemon is in the vicinity, allowing players to still find Pokemon without having to be glued to their phones at all times.
Interestingly enough, it also appears that group events will be possible, as the final battle pictured shows dozens of trainers all attempting to take down Mewtwo together with a time limit of 10 minutes. If successful, it would appear that all participating trainers receive the defeated Pokemon as part of their collection.
Nintendo promised to begin branching out into mobile games, and while Pokemon Go doesn’t appear to be affiliated with DeNA, it has the potential to be a major success. While the peripheral Pokemon Go Plus will undoubtedly have a cost, there’s no telling if the app itself will have microtransactions or not. Pokemon Shuffle previously created some controversy by including microtransactions in the 3DS version, so perhaps Nintendo will avoid them.
One can imagine that this game would be particularly awesome if it could be paired with a device like Google Glass. Considering that some of the team members of Niantic are former Google developers, anything is possible.
Pokemon Go is slated for release in 2016 for iPhone and Android devices.
Source: The Official Pokemon Channel