One of the new gaming apps coming to iOS and Android devices in 2016 is Pokemon GO from the Pokemon Corporation and Nintendo. The mobile game will be an augmented reality experience and even come with a wearable wrist device that enhances the gameplay experience with vibrations, alerts and notifications about nearby events.
The announcement trailer for Pokemon GO swells with impressive intrigue, ending with a big showdown between a bunch of people and Mewtwo, check it out below.
The game is basically similar to the previous Nintendo outings on the Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, 3DS and 2DS, only this time mobile owners who use iPhones and Android devices will be able to get in on the action. This opens up Nintendo's property to a torrential revenue opportunity.
A lot of people have said that Nintendo could clean up on the mobile market with their properties if they're handled properly, and this seems like a first step that doesn't encroach too much on their design philosophy, opening the door to tap the mobile market while still having opportunities to stick with making higher-quality titles on their own dedicated platforms.
And speaking of dedicated platforms, Engadget adds further context to the wearable – which will likely be where Nintendo makes a lot of their money in selling the add-on device – explaining how it's called the Pokemon GO Plus, which is a Bluetooth device that pairs up with either Android or iOS compatible smart devices and enables you to receive alerts, or gain notifications about potential Pokemon being in your vicinity. It's like an augment for the augmented reality game.
The device can also be used to track down and even capture the Pokemon, but how that's accomplished wasn't readily explained in the article or the accompanying press release.
In the press release on Business Wire, Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokemon Company commented about this first step into bridging Nintendo's highly valued properties in a significant way with mobile devices, saying...
Our challenge was to develop a great game for smartphone devices that expressed the core values of Pokémon, […] Pokémon GO is the answer to that challenge.
The Pokemon Company and Nintendo have also partnered with Niantic Inc., which focused on building augmented reality and geocentric technologies. This is what allows the game to have Pokemon scattered about in seemingly real-world locations and to keep the adventure fresh and moving for all players.
Pokemon GO along with the wearable GO Plus accessory are both due for release in 2016. I do wonder exactly how software like this will tie in with the release of the Nintendo NX? If the device was purely mobile oriented there's no way Nintendo would cannibalize its own potential with a mobile exclusive Pokemon game. Of course, we'll just have to wait and see what Nintendo comes up with when 2016 rolls around.