For Pokémon fans around the world the opportunity to mix the popular videogame with real-life sounded to good to be true, when The Pokémon Company announced a new augmented reality (AR) title last year. Called Pokémon GO, the project is being developed by Niantic, a studio known for previous AR titles like Ingress. New details have now been published on Pokémon.com, revealing early field tests and several features coming to the title.
On the update post the site explains: “An early field test limited to the United States, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand is under way for Pokémon GO while the game is still in active development. The features, available languages, design, and overall appearance are not final.” Niantic has opened registrations for US residents to participate, if you’re interested head here.
Features that’ll be included consist of: customizable trainer options, so that you can choose clothing and accessories. The trainer will then appear as you move around the map, and other players will see you when they head to your gym.
The trainer can also level up allowing you to catch more powerful Pokémon to complete your Pokédex. The site says: “There are other ways to add Pokémon to your roster, too. If you catch the same species of Pokémon enough times, you’ll get the opportunity to evolve one of them. And as you explore, you may find Pokémon Eggs at PokéStops, which will hatch after you’ve walked a certain distance. When they hatch, you may find Pokémon you’ve never seen before!”
But Pokémon has always been about the fights and in Pokémon GO you’ll need to join one of three teams to unlock the full potential of the experience. As part of a team you’ll be able to assign Pokémon you’ve caught to empty Gym locations. Gyms can be found at real locations in the world, but each player can place only one Pokémon at a particular Gym, encouraging teamwork to build a strong defence.
No date has yet been set for Pokémon GO but it’s due this year. The videogame will be free to play on Android and iOS platforms, and it’ll also feature in-app purchases.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Pokémon GO, reporting back with any further updates.