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There has been some footage leaked online, allegedly showcasing some of the gameplay from Niantic's upcoming Pokemon GO for mobile phones and smart devices. Nintendo announced the game last year and it's been dark ever since... until now.
According to GamesRadar some footage from Pokemon GO allegedly went online after some off-screen footage was captured from a private SXSW panel. You can check out the footage below, it only clocks in at a minute and 14 seconds, so you won't be watching for long.
The video was supposedly narrated by Niantic's CEO, John Hanke, who was formerly in charge of Google Earth. He walks viewers through some of the light gameplay elements, including being able to capture Pokemon with Pokeballs. They use Ivysaur as an example, showing how players can use a standard Pokeball and must throw it accurately at the Pokemon in order to capture them.
Part of the challenge to the gameplay is that not all Pokeballs will be able to capture a Pokemon... some balls are more powerful than others. In the video it's demonstrated that special Pokeballs are sometimes required to capture the Pokemon, such as the purple ball being used to capture the Ivysaur after the standard ball fails.
The article explains that there are different Pokemon in different environments, just the way it works with the handheld games for the Nintendo 3DS. They mention that water-types will be near the water and grass types will be near the grass.
They don't showcase any of the battle sequences and we have no idea whether or not trainers can actually battle each other in the way that you can in the Nintendo portable titles. They do mention that battles will be present but there's no mention if it's based around auto-resolve mechanics or if it's going to be more skill and tactics based.
Pokemon GO marks Nintendo's shift toward exploring the mobile market, along with their Miitomo. Both titles are aimed at making use of the socialization functions that come with mobile gaming, bridging out from the standard audience that Nintendo attracts with their handheld portable devices and home consoles.
There are rumors that the Nintendo NX may have some tie-in with bridging the mobile and console gaming gap into one, but we'll have to wait and see how that turns out. In the meantime Pokemon GO is gearing up to beta test in Japan and the video footage above makes it appear as if it's actually ready for release.
The augmented reality title is a real risk for Nintendo but many are banking on it being a big release for the company when it does launch. Hopefully soon we'll find out more about the game's battle system, multiplayer and end-game functionality.