So, if my info is correct, worldwide sales of Pokémon games are well over 260 million pieces. The franchise has been a good example of pop culture for decades. We were taught about these crazy creatures in card games, video games, movies and an anime series. That seems to fade now that the Pokédex consists from 750 Pokémon, but the fans are totally feeling the franchise again now that Pokémon Go has been announced. In this post I’d like to set out what we know thusfar and what the Spearows and Pidgeys been whispering about this ambitious project.
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality phone app from the Pokémon Company, Niantic and Nintendo, in which you have to catch, train and trade Pokémon in real life. You have to turn on the GPS function of your phone to make use of this free app, just like Ingress (which is also from Niantic). The game is not just an app though, it will be releasing together with a little electronic device called Pokémon Go Plus. You attach the Plus on your clothes, or you carry it like a watch around your wrist, and it will light up and vibrate when a Pokémon is near.
One of the little things we do know, is what we could see in the impressive announcement trailer. Many people from all over the world just live their normal lives and look on their phone how many metres they still have to walk until they reach a Pikachu or other Pokémon. They look around a corner and there it is: a perfectly animated Pikachu running from a piece of grass (I can only hope this will look this good on my phone too..). The Pokémon gets selected and in their hand you can see a Pokéball appear, which probably is that Pokémon Go Plus. In the trailer they actually throw it to the Pokémon, but that seems a bit of a waste (and may be even dangerous) in real life. Via Plus and Bluetooth the Pokémon will appear in the app on your phone, and then you can trade them with other collectors / trainers (possibly via Bluetooth, cause it seems you will have to be close to do so).
That sounds very peace and love and everything, but Pokémon is about the battles! In the trailer you see a group of youngsters with all these fighting Pokémon in the middle. How that will work in the game is not quite clear, possible like Ingress. In Ingress you can take over certain object in the area, but sometimes you will have to battle the current ‘owner’ of it. Looking at the high fiving in the trailer, Pokémon Go will probably make the option available to form teams and attack other people’s Pokémon. In the trailer that comes to a climax when Mewtwo appears at a location that looks a lot like TimeSquare, and yelling and fighting he battles a whole group of people. Pretty rad!
Stay tuned for part II tomorrow!