Today, The Pokemon Company made an announcement of a whole new epic edition to the Pokemon game franchise, one that could eclipse the hype and impact of the 6th generation games, X and Y, which launched worldwide on the 13th of October 2013 on the Nintendo 3DS.
You can watch the announcement at the Press Conference below. Keep in mind that most of the dialogue is in Japanese, however don’t panic about the lack-of subtitles, as the conference has courteously provided a translator (also contains a brief tribute to the late Saturo Iwata). (Runtime: 34 minutes 7 seconds)
In case you probably missed it, this new game is titled “Pokemon GO”.
This edition is the first of its kind in the franchise to launch as a smartphone (and maybe tablet) app. With what would be of much relief to the gaming world, it is endorsed by The Pokemon Company themselves (there’s now no longer need to feel disappointment with only finding fan-made apps). It is being developed in collaboration with GameFreak, Nintendo, and Niantic Inc., the latter of which who brought you the augmented reality game “Ingress”, which, as the video explains, inspired the gameplay mechanics behind the development of “Pokemon GO”. (source of all screenshots in this article is the YouTube clip of the announcement)
When paired up by bluetooth with the “Pokemon GO Plus”, you will be able to hunt for and capture Pokemon, and duel other players, all in realtime, with the Pokemon world acting as an added layer on top of a live GPS map, and would also assume to utilise your back-facing camera to “see” the Pokemon out there in the immediate environmental vicinity within your proximity. There also appears to be opportunity to be involved in public open space timed crowd raids against rare Pokemon, such as Mewtwo. The “Pokemon GO Plus” will be wearable technology, which can be worn like a watch, or clinging to a collar/lapel/shirt pocket.
“Pokemon GO” has been set to launch on a currently undisclosed date in 2016 on iOS and Android (no love for Windows Phone? here’s hoping…), perhaps on the 20th anniversary of the original Japanese editions of Red and Green that started it all.
Opinion: Having grown up on Red and Blue in my teen years back in the late 90’s/early 00’s, this announcement, and watching the trailer, brought me tears of joy. It feels so satisfying to be able to acquire this level of increased gameplay interactivity in a game that perhaps all of us have been wishing for since day 1. My concern is the lack-of news about launch on the Windows platform, but it’s early days yet. Hopefully it’ll be made compatible with my 2014 edition Galaxy Note Tab as a compromise.