On Thursday, president Tsenekazu Ishihara of The Pokémon Company announced Pokémon GO, the next iteration of the Pokémon franchise coming to iOS and Android in 2016. With contributions from both Nintendo and Niantic, Pokémon GO presents itself as an augmented reality game in which players search their real-world surroundings for the multitude of Pocket Monsters using their mobile devices and an optional peripheral called the Pokémon GO Plus. Staples of the series such as trading and battling other players return again in this spin-off title which promises to merge the world of Pokémon with our own. Now, players encounter the creatures based on their GPS locations.
Players may also encounter each other based on their proximity and trade or battle their Pokémon. The Pokémon GO Plus peripheral allows players to track their progress and status in the game without the need to look directly at their mobile devices; it connects via Bluetooth and alerts players to in-game events with vibrations and an LED.
Niantic, the creators of the popular augmented reality MMO Ingress, heads development of this spin-off title with collaborations from long-time Pokémon game director Junichi Masuda of Game Freak Inc. Per Pokémon.com, “He is hard at work ensuring that the fun of Pokémon makes its way into this new project, and is also looking to come up with new kinds of gameplay while thinking of ways to connect this project with the main series of Pokémon video games.”
Look for more information about Pokémon GO as we approach 2016.