The Pokemon Company and Niantic have been running field tests for the upcoming mobile release of Pokemon GO. The game has been field tested over in Australia and New Zealand, and now gamers living in the U.S., will have an opportunity to playtest the game as well.
Over on the Pokemon website they let gamers know that eligible players in the United States are now being selected to participate in the Pokemon GO field test. This test will give gamers an opportunity to try out the capture process of picking up Pokemon while you're out and about on the town, as well as battling in the gym and customizing your character.
You can sign-up to participate in the beta by visiting the Niantic Labs website, where they list a number of requirements that they expect from those participating, including the most important one of all: confidentiality.
Previously we've had tons of leaked Pokemon GO footage appear online, with beta testers giving gamers a look at the player customization system, the Pokemon capture system, the traveling, as well as turning on and off the augmented reality gimmick when you're out and about playing the game.
The Niantic site notes that they expect those who are selected will honor their NDA and not post pictures, blog posts or videos up on YouTube showing off Pokemon GO to the world.
You will also need either an Android 4.3 or higher or an iPhone with iOS 8 or higher in order to run the game. They don't support the Intel Atom renditions of Android devices, so if you have one you're already fresh out of luck.
The field test sign-up period also has no set date, so you may want to register as quickly as possible because they mention on the site that the sign-up phase could end at any time without prior notice.
They also mention that none of the data you accumulate during the test will transfer over into the full release of Pokemon GO. So if you're hoping to get the jump on everyone else by training hard and building up a nice cache of Pokemon in your stack, you won't be keeping any of your progress once Niantic exits the field testing phase.
One of the more talked about features of the game is the battle system. It's very similar in appearance to the Pokemon games on the Nintendo handhelds, only the battle options are automated and the backgrounds are either generic arenas or they reflect your real life location with the Pokemon imposed as a part of the augmented reality.
It's hard to tell right now exactly how big Pokemon GO could end up being as far as popularity is concerned, but given how gamers clamor around it for news and info and are constantly trying to see some of the beta footage, I would say that Nintendo and the Pokemon Company have a potential huge success on their hands.
As far as the field test is concerned, they don't say how long they'll be testing within the United States, but it'll likely last for more than a couple of weeks if the Pokemon GO Oceania tests are anything to go by.