|Publisher(s)||The Pokémon Company|
Pokémon GO is an upcoming augmented-reality game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. The game will be released sometime in Summer 2016, alongside the Pokémon Go Plus, a small wearable device developed by Nintendo, which uses a Bluetooth connection to notify users when a Pokémon is nearby with an LED and a light rumble. The game will allow players to capture, battle, train, and trade virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the real world. The game will be free-to-play, although it will support in-app purchases.
Different Pokémon will live in different areas of the world; for example, Water-type Pokémon will live near water. It's anticipated that events will be held where players can trade Pokémon to build their collection. A wristband device called the Pokémon Go Plus will be available for use with the app, enabling a more heads-up gaming experience than Ingress provides. The device uses vibration and a flashing light to alert the player of the presence of a nearby Pokémon. The player presses the button in a coded sequence to catch the Pokémon, and can check the app later to discover which Pokémon has been captured.
The idea for the game was conceived in 2013 by Satoru Iwata of Nintendo and Tsunekazu Ishihara of The Pokémon Company. In 2015, Ishihara dedicated his speech at the game's announcement on September 10 to Iwata, who died two months earlier. The decision to create the Go Plus rather than create a smart watch app was to increase uptake among players for whom a smart watch is prohibitively expensive.
On March 4, 2016, Niantic announced a Japan-exclusive beta test would begin later that month, allowing players to assist in refining the game before its full release. The beta test will be expanded to other countries at a later date. On April 7, it was announced that the beta would expand to Australia and New Zealand. Then, on May 16th, the signups for the field test were opened to the USA. On May 25th, Niantic Labs released "And today, we’re expanding that field test to the United States to get more feedback to improve the game."
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