When Nintendo revealed that it would finally start making games for mobile devices other than their own handheld gaming systems (GameBoy, DS, DS lite, DS XL, 3DS, etc.), we quickly compiled a list of games we badly wanted. Near the top of that last was Pokémon, the critter-catching game that has been a huge hit since the first version was released in 1996.
Since then, it was spawned numerous sequels and spinoffs and continues to be a major money maker for Nintendo. Today, the next evolution in Pokémon gaming was announced: Pokémon Go.
“The day has finally come when Pokémon appear in the real world,” said Pokémon designer Junichi Masuda. He’s not kidding, as the new game is definitely not the same as previous versions. Instead Pokémon fans will be getting an augmented reality version of the game, urging them to find pocket monsters in their real life environments.
Sound weird? A little. Here’s the debut trailer:
Nintendo, and its offshoot Pokémon Company, are working with developer Niantic — a former Google startup that has made previous augmented reality games, most notably Ingress. The idea is that people — both children and adults — will go outside and try to find pokémon in their garden or local park, rather than sit inside on the couch.
They are also working on a watch-like accessory, that will allow you to throw a virtual Poké Ball when connected with your phone. Legendary video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto said that he envisions children wearing the watch while it is connected to their parents’ smartphone, allowing them to play and enjoy the outdoors together.
Pokémon Go will be available for both iOS and Android devices, and will release sometime in 2016.