While we don’t have a solid date just yet, Nintendo revealed that Pokémon Go will be released sometime this July during their E3 livestream.
Similar to Ingress, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality (AR) game played with smartphones. It uses GPS to track player’s positions in the real world and allows them to capture wild Pokémon in their own backyards. Users are able to use pre-rendered backgrounds or their smartphone camera to incorporate their surrounding environment into gameplay. Determined trainers will eventually earn the chance to capture tougher and rarer Pokémon.
Nintendo also plans to bring us Pokémon Go Plus, a peripheral bracelet shaped like the iconic Pokéball shortly after the release of the initial game. The bracelet will connect to the game through Bluetooth and will allow trainers to capture the little critters without using their phones. While Pokémon Go will be a free app on Android and iOS devices, Pokémon Go Plus will cost $34.99 USD.
Traditionally found only on the various iterations of Gameboy, Pokémon Go is the first significant Nintendo release specifically for smartphones. While we’re unsure of how the finished product will perform, the concept of using the real world as a digital playground is a solid one.
The Bluetooth bracelet, on the other hand, seems unnecessary. Why would we want a device that cuts the AR out of the gameplay? We suppose the answer to that will be revealed when Pokémon Go finally releases next month.