“The day has finally come when Pokémon appear in the real world”
Pokémon designer Junichi Masuda said, according to Kotaku commenting on Nintendo Launch of Pokemon Go
Were you a really big fan of Pokemon back in the 90’s? If so this next bit of news is going to have you excited on the edge of your seat. To set the mood right, queue the Theme song for Pokemon:
Always fancied yourself as a Pokemon Master on the same level of Ash in the cartoon series?
Then Nintendo has made every Generation X and possibly Millennial dream come true by announcing on Thursday September 10th 2015 plans to launch an augmented reality version of the popular TV series as a game called Pokemon Go (Domanico, 2015, September 10) for Apple and Android Smartphones come 2016!
Check out this concept video from Nintendo showing New Yorkers and persons around the world training and battling their Pokemon in New York City
The Pokemon Go Game, which is being developed (Snyder, 2015, September 10) by Game Developer Niantic. Niantic is the same Google startup that had developed a similar game called Ingress, the game basically takes the Cartoon Series and augments onto real life.
Similar to Ingress, Niantic combine elements from previous Nintendo Pokemon Games for their consoles and adds a dash or AR. You’re basically a Pokemon trainer trying to capture and train your Pokemon and in the process catch the rest of ’em all and eventually the ultimate Pokemon, Mewtwo.
You can also trade with or battle other Pokemon owned by other trainers individually or in groups outside in the wild. According to the comment on Japanese News blog Kotaku, the intention is to get lazy couch potatoes out into the sunshine to play a video game, quote: “Niantic says it is working closely with the Pokémon Company and Nintendo to make a brand new style of Pokémon game. The idea is that players go outside, get some fresh air, and capture Pokemon at the same time”.
But what gives me the most hope is this crazy notion shown in the YouTube Video of people from all around the world teaming up to defeat MewTwo, the ultimate Pokemon.
Not only did I think that impossible in real life, based on the movie, but I also love the fact that the film, albeit shown in Times Square, featured people from all over the world. This implies that when the game launches next year 2016, it’ll be an international launch available to all to play anywhere in the world that mapped for AR, not just New Yorkers.
So how does one play Pokemon Go?
Pokemon Go Game – How to Catch and Train you Pokemon with a Pokemon Go Plus
Like the various Pokemon games Nintendo has developed, users can catch these Pokemon using an AR Pokemon Ball and keep track of them on their Pokemon smartphone app. No doubt this will be free-to-play with in-app purchases, it may also have a built in Pokedex so as to allow you to track and identify Pokemon just like in the cartoon.
Once you catch your Pokemon, as you would in the cartoon, you’ll then train them to grow the creatures strength and other stats and either trade with or battle other user’s Pokemon. Or, users can team with other players around the world to complete challenges like the one in the video, where hundreds of people swarmed Times Square to defeat the powerful Mewtwo Pokemon.
But it gets even better!
Turns out Nintendo has also made an Amiibo-esque toy called a Pokémon Go Plus (Webster, 2015, September 10) that looks like a cross between a Pokeball and a smartwatch. The wrist worn device (Needleman, 2015, September 15) will apparently buzz and light up when you near to a Pokemon that you can catch.
You can then unwieldy your smartphone and look through the camera lens, Ingress Style, and survey your Pokemon and decide if you’re gonna battle or just try to use a Pokemon ball to capture him.
This Pokémon Go Plus is a genius addition to Nintendo’s treasure trove of game and is a serious start for smartphone gaming. Not only does it make the game easier to play by alerting you of Pokemon nearby without you having to have your nose in your smartphone screen looking all over the place. The potential uses and money making possibilities (Thier, 2015, September 11) are endless.
Not only does it help to build camaraderie among friends who are serious players can form teams (I call dibs on Team Rocket!), but they’ll also easily identifiable by their Pokemon Go Plus amiibo smartwatches. You’ll also get fit in the process too, as all than running about will whip you into shape in no time flat chasing down Pokemon and also arranging to defeat MewTwo, where in the world he plans to show up.
Hopefully it’s a pinnable device or it can be worn as a chain around my neck as shown in the photograph above, as you boss might not take too kindly to you wearing a game around your neck. Especially after you’ve caught his Pokemon the day before!
Nintendo is officially back – Star Wars Toys will keep us happy for Christmas
This product is gonna be great and is probably the best thing that Nintendo could have done after news had emerged that they signed a deal with DeNa (Deer, 2015, March 20) to make smartphone Game.
Clearly Nintendo is taking the mobile Smartphone gaming world seriously, as this commitment to a new AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) Technology set to dominate 2016 (Deer, 2015, May 31) means that they realize that it’ll be the new gaming paradigm. Not only is smartphones gaming going to be huge, but based on their including of a physical amiibo like device, the Pokemon Go Plus, so too will virtual Reality.
I therefore wouldn’t be surprised, based on the buzz at GamesCom held on Wednesday August 5th 2015 at Koelnmesse, Cologne’s International Exhibition Center, located in Cologne, Germany (Deer, 2015, August 4), that before the year is out, they may also announce a VR Nintendo Game Console with games both playable on the console as well as on any device, including your Laptop, Tablet or smartphone.
I’m a bit skeptical as to how this will go abroad. Basically for the Augmented realty games to work, they have to map the 3D space where people live and geo-tag locations in the real world to hide Pokemon. Jamaica still hasn’t been mapped for Google Street view and we don’t have persons uploading panoramic pictures.
Also, culturally, we’re not that type of people to be hoping about the place chasing after Pokemon, unless you live uptown in some gated community with like-minded souls. In such a situation, Nintendo might ask persons in some neighbourhood to upload 3D Panoramic maps (Deer, 2015, April 12) of their location in order to create playable environments to anchor Augmented reality images onto the real world.
Until then, we can all drool over this video and satisfy ourselves with Star Wars toys such as the BB-B Robotic Ball (Deer, 2015, September 3), Millennium Falcon and US$117 X-Wing Fighter Drones (Deer, 2015, September 8) when the Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes to theatres on Friday December 18th 2015.
- Deer, L. (2015, March 20). @DeNACorp and Nintendo partner for Smartphone and Tablet Games – Partnership to boost Mobile Games as VR and AR Beckons in 2016 Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/03/DeNa-Nintendo-Smartphone-Tablet-VR-AR-Mobile-Games.html
- Deer, L. (2015, April 12). @Google’s @YouTube launches 360-Degree Panoramic Videos – How Google @Android VR makes Content for VR Ambitions. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/04/Google-YouTube-360-Degree-Panoramic-Videos-Android-VR.html
- Deer, L. (2015, May 31). Rivalry between @Facebook and @HTC – @Google, @Microsoft, @Sony and @Samsung in VR as Video Game Console Savior and smartphones Extinction. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/05/Rivalry-Facebook-HTC-Google-Microsoft-Sony-Samsung-Video-Game-Console-Savior.html
- Deer, L. (2015, August 4). GamesCom 2015 in Germany – Why VR will save Video Games and Why Jamaica needs a Design and Developer Video Game Conference. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/08/GameCon-2015-in-Germany-Virtual-Reality.html
- Deer, L. (2015, September 3). US$149 BB-8 Ball Robot from Star Wars awakens Midnight September 3rd 2015. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/us149-bb-8-ball-robot-from-star-wars/
- Deer, L. (2015, September 8). US$109 Millennium Falcon and US$117 X-Wing Fighter are Drones for the Christmas. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/us109-millennium-falcon-us117-x-wing-fighter-drones-christmas/
- Domanico, A. (2015, September 10). Catch Pokemon in real life with Nintendo’s upcoming mobile game. Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/news/nintendo-is-coming-to-mobile-in-a-big-way-with-Pokemon-go/
- Snyder, B. (2015, September 10). You’ll be able to play Pokémon in the real world next year. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/09/10/niantic-Pokemon-go-trailer/
- Webster, A. (2015, September 10). With Pokémon Go, Nintendo is showing that it takes mobile seriously. Retrieved from http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/10/9300101/Pokemon-go-nintendo-mobile-games
- Thier, D. (2015, September 11). Why ‘Pokemon Go’ Is The Perfect Move For Nintendo. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2015/09/11/why-Pokemon-go-is-the-perfect-move-for-nintendo/
- Needleman, S. (2015, September 15). ‘Pokémon Go’ Wants to Take Monster Battles to the Street. Retrieved from http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/09/10/Pokemon-go-wants-to-take-monster-battles-to-the-street/