The best Pokémon experiences have come from the handheld games over a 20 year period that has been split across several generations. Essentially, Pokémon has always been a hyper-quick RPG where battles can be fought quickly and on the go. And that’s a formula which should work on mobile devices when you think about it.
Well clearly, Nintendo has been thinking about it, as they just announced Pokémon GO, a pocket monster game that will force players to expose themselves to fresh air and natural sunlight. “The day has finally come when Pokémon appear in the real world,” Pokémon designer Junichi Masuda said at the Pokémon press conference. Here’s the trailer for it then:
Currently being developed by Niantic, who previously made the AR smartphone game Ingress, Pokémon GO has been in the works for a year already. The game will ship with a watch-like peripheral, which will feature in the Pokémon Go Plus version of the game. Basically, you’re going to venture outside and actually catch your own Pokémon.
The peripheral will pair up with your smartphone, feature a rumble device to alert you of nearby Pokémon and also features parental pairing options, for kids. One other detail to take note of, is how previous core Pokemon games have been influenced by real-world locales. Pokémon X and Y for instance, was heavily influenced by the landscape of France.
And thus the franchise is coming full circle, by using the actual real world for inspiration. Neat. “I’m thinking about how this game will connect with titles in the main series of Pokémon games,” Masuda said, hinting at some sort of cross-pollination between games.
While I doubt the game will look anything like the trailer above, I’m kind of keen for it.
Nintendo actually had some great ideas for AR with the 3DS, as anyone who played around with that function on the handheld can attest to. The hardware in the smartphones of today, are more than capable of recreating Pokémon in the real world with some augmented reality trickery. If it’s anything like Ingress, Nintendo could have something special here.
Pokémon GO is slated for a 2016 release, on both iOS and Android.
Last Updated: September 10, 2015