Developer Niantic Labs officially begins the initial launch of field tests in Japan for its forthcoming augmented reality release known as Pokemon GO.

About a month ago, Pokemon GO announced sign-ups for a field test in Japan, which would allow fans early access to the extremely popular franchise’s new mobile AR title. Those folks who put their names down for the beta test now will be able to take part in the trial run if they were lucky enough to be chosen through Niantic Labs’ lottery system.

In a Google Plus update regarding Pokemon GO‘s Japanese field test, the developer explained that although some players might not get instant access, there’s no reason to fret just yet. Niantic assured fans they would eventually get to take part, as it plans to “gradually” expand the field test to more users interested in playing.

This builds upon what Niantic said earlier this month about Pokemon GO‘s beta in Japan, as the developer stated once the test officially went live in the country, it would be expanded to other markets as well, with the United States and Europe potentially being chosen at a later date. For those fans selected for Japan’s field test, however, details involving how to join in on the action will be sent via email, as Niantic’s Google Plus update reads:

“From today, Japanese residents are invited to field test Pokemon GO. We’ll give you information about the lottery system and invitation based on your device and experience of real-world gaming you’ve had so far. Those invited will be sent the details via email, however for those who have not received an invitation please stay excited as we are gradually expanding the field test.”

Pokemon Go Charizard

If recently revealed details involving the mobile game are to be applied to Pokemon GO‘s Japan field test (it would be strange if they weren’t), then starting today, users taking part in the beta will encounter and capture the title’s creatures in the real world, go on to join one of three teams, and then assign caught Pokemon to the previously confirmed Gyms sections. Later on, players will then be able to challenge other Gyms owned by different teams to a pseudo-Pokebattle.

Of course, with today being the initial trial run for Pokemon GO in Japan, fans are likely to experience errors or complications with the application running on their mobile devices while playing it in the real world. It’s to be expected with any title going through a gameplay test, as developers need to see the pre-launched product running in real time to discover any bugs or glitches. With that in mind, though, it will be interesting to see if any new information about the gameplay crops up online after the test has concluded. However, it’s likely that most of the people playing in the beta will have signed some form of a non-disclosure agreement, which might discourage them from leaking any details.

At any rate, it’s no secret that fans of The Pokemon Company’s products are excited for Pokemon GO. Ever since its announcement several months ago, gamers the world over have been speculating whether or not the gameplay elements of capturing and battling Pokemon using AR could invariably work. Nevertheless, while the concept is equally novel and exciting, we have some concerns and problems about Pokemon GO that could, but hopefully won’t come to pass.

Pokemon GO is set for release on mobile devices sometime in 2016.

Source: Google Plus (via GameSpot, IGN)