Not content with Pokemon games released at a regular pace on the Nintendo 3DS, the Pokemon Company – the corporation responsible for marketing and licensing the Pokemon franchise – announced Pokemon Go for Android and iOS. It’s an augmented reality game that lets players find and battle Pokemon in the real world.
And unlike most games in the Pokemon series, this is not being developed by Game Freak. Rather Niantic Labs is making this, which is not a bad choice considering its experience creating Ingress, the one time Android only augmented reality game. Niantic Labs used to be owned by Google but split soon after the latter’s corporate reorganisation as part of holding company Alphabet.
(Also see: Why Nintendo Making Mobile Games Is Great News for Everyone)
As is the case with most games on mobile devices, Pokemon Go is free-to-play and features an assortment of in-app purchases. While the details of these are not known at the moment, given that Nintendo’s take on microtransactions has seen some disruptive models emerge on the 3DS, it will be interesting if we’d see the same here.
Pokémon Go is slated for a 2016 release.
This won’t be an app-only affair either. Nintendo is working on a companion smartwatch device to enhance the experience. It’s called Pokemon Go Plus (pictured above) and it allows you to check if there are Pokemon present to capture with your smartphone without having you permanently glued to your phone’s screen.