What happens when “Gotta catch ’em all” meets “How’s your Ingress?” You end up with Pokemon GO, a new mobile gaming effort from Niantic Labs, the creators of Ingress. The new game was announced late tonight during a press conference from The Pokemon Company, announced as a collaboration between Niantic, The Pokemon Company, and Nintendo, with the late Satoru Iwata cited specifically.
Like Ingress before it, it appears that this new game will involve catching Pokemon by exploring real-world locations. Wild Pokemon will roam different real-world environments, like parks, streets, or even landmarks. Different Pokemon types will appear in different location types. Users will then toss their Poke Balls to catch the pocket monsters and then use them to battle real-world players. And as is tradition in Pokemon games, users will be able to trade Pokemon with one another.
A new wrist peripheral called Pokemon GO Plus was also unveiled during the presentation, demonstrated by both series producer Junichi Masuda and Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto. The Pokemon GO Plus will use an LED display and vibration function to inform players when certain Pokemon are nearby, communicating with a user’s smartphone via a Bluetooth connection. The design was kept intentionally minimalistic to reduce power usage, so don’t look for voice recognition or any other advanced features along those lines. The Pokemon GO Plus’ function is mainly to alert users to a Pokemon’s presence without requiring them to keep their eyes glued on the screen.