The Pokémon Company has announced a new augmented reality game today, called Pokémon Go. It is being developed by Google Niantic, makers of the critically acclaimed AR MMORPG game, Ingress. Fans can expect to start battling next year, when the game is launched for Android and iOS devices.
Fans have been clamouring for Pokémon games on smartphones for a long time now. A few days back, we reported about the Pokémon Shuffle Mobile, a matching puzzle game for iOS and Android devices. With the Pokémon Go, it seems to be raining manna from the skies of Nintendo for hungry fans. Taking cues from Ingress, Niantic seems to have developed an immersive Pokémon experience. Niantic says that it has tried to create a brand new style of Pokémon game, wherein players go out into the real world to battle and capture Pokémons. This is probably as close as it gets for fans to get a feel of throwing a Poké Ball and capture Charizard (or any other Pokémon that you wish). Apparently, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have been working on this game for a few years now. The launch trailer was dedicated to Satoru Iwata, former CEO of Nintendo, who passed away in July 2015. Alongside the game, Nintendo will also be developing the Pokémon Go Plus, a smartwatch-like device that will complement the gaming experience. It will allow players to throw a Poké Ball and will also indicate whether there is a Pokémon in the vicinity.
Through Ingress, Niantic Inc. has considerable experience in making role-playing games in augmented reality. It is quite unlikely that the actual game will be anything like what has been shown in the trailer. But, Ingress did a pretty decent job at bringing an immersive RPG experience into the real world. VR and AR technology is still at their nascent, and it will be a few years before we can expect something like what has been shown in the trailer.
According to Pokémon designer Junichi Masuda, there will be follow-ups to this title, and will possibly be associated with the main series of Pokémon games. It is scheduled to release on both Android and iOS, in 2016.