The internet went into a panic late last night when word got out that The Pokémon Company would be hosting and livestreaming a press conference in the wee hours of the west’s morning to talk about future business strategies. The Pokémon fandom has been particularly on edge for the past month, expecting the announcement of a new main series game around every corner. The press conference disappointed on that specific point, but instead created a wild surge of excitement for what was announced:
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game for iOS and Android smartphones, created by The Pokémon Company in conjunction with Niantic Labs, the Google startup responsible for Ingress. According to Niantic Labs founder John Hawke, the late Satoru Iwata was also heavily involved in the game’s development. Pokémon Go calls its players to travel the real world to track and capture wild Pokémon. Players can also trade and battle their captured Pokémon with other players.
Releasing alongside the game will be the Pokémon Go Plus, a Poké Ball-shaped peripheral that can be worn as a bracelet or a clip. Using Bluetooth technology, the device will sync with the game and flash and vibrate to alert players when a Pokémon is nearby. This was developed so that the game could be played without requiring players to be constantly looking at their phone screens. The Go Plus is recommended for the game, but not required.
Pokémon Go will release for free on iOS and Android in 2016.