Nintendo of America announces that the wearable Pokemon GO Plus accessory has been delayed beyond its expected release date of July 2016, despite massive demand for the product.
Pokemon GO has been available in many regions for several weeks now, and many trainers have already caught their share of Rattatas and Pidgeys. Now, devotees looking to speed up the capture process might be eager to get their hands on the game’s previously announced wristwatch accessory — but they’ll have to wait a little while longer.
Pokemon GO Plus, which was announced well ahead of the app’s release, is a wearable device that allows users to capture monsters without using their phone. The watch emanates a small buzz when a Pokemon is near, and players can then throw a Pokeball using a physical button.
While the Pokemon GO app would still be using plenty of data, the fact that users can presumably turn its screen off when using the wearable should help with the game’s tendency to tear through battery life. As such, there are plenty of trainers interested in the accessory.
In fact, there are so many players eager to grab a Pokemon GO Plus that the original allocation of devices sold out very quickly. This prompted a lively resale market, with pre-orders fetching upwards of three times the suggested retail price of $35 in eBay auctions in the days following the app’s launch.
Now, there’s some bad news for anyone who shelled out cash for a pre-order. Nintendo of America has announced via Twitter that the release of Pokemon GO Plus is being delayed. The accessory was originally expected to launch in late July, it won’t hit shelves until September.
No reason has been given for the delay. It’s certainly possible that higher-than-expected demand has extended the manufacturing process, or there might be problems integrating the wearable into the game — but either way, it’s sure to frustrate individuals who paid $100 or more to have a guaranteed pre-order.
There’s also a slim chance that the Pokemon GO craze could have run its course by September. The app will have been out for two full months at that time, and players might have already moved on if Niantic doesn’t start delivering new content on a regular basis.
That being said, there’s no immediate indication that trainers are growing tired of the Pokemon GO experience — while the app isn’t perfect, the thrill of “catching ’em all” will keep most players invested for a little while longer. Niantic apparently has plenty of content waiting in the wings to retain its audience as well, so the Pokemon GO Plus should still be a success when it debuts in September.
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android devices in select regions.
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