We’re more than mid-way through 2016 and still waiting to hear more about the most exciting mobile game launch this year: Nintendo and Niantic’s Pokemon GO release. Luckily, fresh news has just arrived for eager fans.
Pokémon GO borrows some of the basic mechanics of Niantic’s previous game. Location information provided by smartphones will let iPhone and Android users roam around in the real world, trying to capture the tiny creatures. The game also borrows mechanics from other games in the Pokémon series, including creature types that are specific to certain regions and the ability to trade and battle with friends.
The Pokemon GO release arrived in a few major countries earlier this month. Now, the game is starting to rollout to other countries with the iTunes and Android app stores available.
The Pokémon GO Release is This Year for Everyone
By all accounts, Pokémon GO is coming to everyone this year, Nintendo and Niantic have confirmed this again recently. A 2016 release seems to have always been the plan, even though the game was first announced last year.
The good news is that after months of testing and teasing some users can play Pokemon GO now. Niantic quietly launched Pokemon GO in some territories on July 6th. Gamers in the United States, Australia and New Zealand should be able to download the title directly from the iTunes Store and Google Play Store without issue.
The slow roll out of the game matches with what Niantic and Nintendo said publicly about the title’s release months ago.
Countries with Pokemon GO Available as of Mid-July
- United States
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
If the game isn’t available in your area, chances are that it will be soon, Niantic resumed rolling out the game after server issues forced gamers out of it and ruined the overall experience for its U.S. and Australian launch. Launches have started again, but a bit more slowly.
Plans for what platforms the game will show up on haven’t changed either. Everyone one of the traditional role-playing game versions of Pokémon have only been available on Nintendo’s platforms, the Game Boy Color, Nintendo DS and so on. Pokémon GO is huge in that it brings the famed franchise off of Nintendo’s platforms and to millions more fans who Nintendo probably wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.
Officially Pokémon GO is on only the world’s two most dominant mobile platforms: Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system. Microsoft’s Windows operating system won’t get a version; at least, a version for the platform hasn’t been announced.
Pokémon GO Is Free
Another thing that hasn’t changed is Niantic’s approach to getting the game in user’s hands. Pokémon GO is the first game in the franchise to dump a cover charge. That being said, it doesn’t come without opportunities to spend money.
Read: How to Get Pokemon GO Coins
The game has in-app purchases. This means that users can spend money on items and upgrades for their character. A special digital store lets users unlock inventory slots and extra goodies to improve their experience. Items range from around $.99 to $99.
You’ll Want Pokémon GO Plus for the Best Experience
Another purchase that users will want to consider besides in-game items is the Pokémon GO Plus. Announced along with the game itself, the Pokémon GO Plus accessory is an easy way to integrate the game experience into real-life.
The device goes on the wrist or on a belt. Using Bluetooth technology, it acts as an alert system so that players don’t have to walk around with their smartphones in their hand, not paying attention to their surroundings. Lights and vibration motors inside handle the alerts.
A singular button on the Pokémon GO Plus allows users to perform what Nintendo described as “simple functions” in its Pokémon GO reveal last year. For example, users can capture a Pokémon that they encounter just by pressing this button.
Pokemon GO Plus pre-orders recently arrived at Amazon and other retailers. The tiny accessory costs $34.99. Despite opening pre-orders, Nintendo has yet to confirm when the GO Plus will launch.
For sure, it’s a very exciting time to be a lover of Pokémon. We’ll update you when there’s more news on the Pokémon Go release to share.
PokeStops & Gym Locations
A recent question and answer session on the Silph Road confirms that Pokémon Go currently uses 30% to 50% of portals that were present in Niantic’s last game, Ingress. Pokémon Go maps these over real-world landmarks that players have to walk to.
PokeStops and Gyms are real-world locations that players go to pick up items and battle the creatures left behind by other trainers. Police departments are already warning players of the game to stay away from their stations, according to VG247.