New AR-enhanced ‘Pokémon GO’ Released in Select Markets – and It’s Awesome

New AR-enhanced ‘Pokémon GO’ Released in Select Markets - and It’s Awesome
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It’s been a while since we’ve seen or heard of anything noteworthy coming out of the Pokémon world. However, as of Tuesday morning, those cute little battle-minded creatures have officially been revitalized, once again — this time, in the form of Nintendo and Niantic Lab’s collaborative effort, which we now know as the all-new Pokémon GO game for iOS and Android.

Currently available for download in Australia, New Zealand, and select U.S. markets, the all-new, Augmented Reality-based Pokémon GO title utilizes a combination of your smartphone’s camera, sensors, and GPS hardware to present to users an immersive, AR-rich world — within which players can capture, collect, trade, and even battle their friends in a classic game of Pokémon.

Developed by Niantic Labs, in collaboration with renowned Japanese gaming-giant, Nintendo, Pokémon GO puts players in their own Poké-world — in a vivid first-person setting within which they can roam the city in search of (with the intent of capturing) any Pokémon that might just so happen to cross their path. Armed with a few Pokéballs at their disposal, players are encouraged to roam freely about their imminent, on-screen environment, while their iPhone or Android handset vibrates whenever a Pokémon is within range of being captured.


Given that Pokémon GO features an immersive new AR-centric user experience, location-based technology is a central element of the game’s interface. For instance, certain Pokémon (such as water dwelling creatures) can only be discovered and captured within the vicinity of a body of water in the game — which means, in other words, that in order to capture new water-dwelling species of Pokémon, players will have to navigate about the game’s rich interface in search of them. To that end, the game is said to incentivize constant motion, in the form of moving about the imminent play area. For instance, “Pokémon Eggs,” which are present in the game at nearly all “Pokéstops,” will only hatch and reveal new Pokémon creatures once a user has traveled a certain distance.

In addition, Pokémon GO, similar to other games in the same franchise, boasts a competitive, multi-player element — whereby teams of players (and their characters) are pitted against one another in virtual Pokémon battles.

As Ben Gilbert of TechInsider reports, Pokémon GO is actually quite the fascinating gaming experience.

“This isn’t just any Pokémon game. In Pokémon GO, you’ll venture out into the world, using your phone’s GPS and camera to capture (virtual) live Pokémon.. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it looks even crazier! Imagine Pokémon in the real world — everywhere you go!”

In what appears to be an effort to kick things up a notch, Nintendo is also marketing an optional, standalone wearable device that users can link up to use in conjunction with the game. Dubbed the ‘GO Plus’, this device connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, and utilizes a pattern of vibration alerts and LED-light indicators to notify users of events that transpire during game play.

Pokémon GO can currently be downloaded for FREE from the Google Play Store in Australia, New Zealand, or select U.S. markets — depending on availability; and, in addition, from the Apple App Store in select U.S. markets. The Pokémon ‘GO Plus’ accessory, according to Nintendo, will be available to purchase for $35 later on this month.

Are you going to download Pokémon GO? Let us know in the comments!

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