Get ready, Trainers! Pokémon GO is nearly here and details are finally beginning to surface. For those of you who just can’t wait to collect them all, here’s a breakdown of what we know so far:
What it looks like:
Developer, Niantic Labs has revealed three official screenshots to illustrate different views. (Click on each screenshot for larger view.)
During this year’s SXSW Gaming Panel, one attendee caught this footage of Pokémon GO in action:
How it works:
Using the GPS tracking feature on your phone, Pokémon GO will display a number of Pokémon, Gyms and PokéStops, where you can acquire PokéBalls, eggs that may hatch into new Pokémon and other items. These PokéStops will be located at interesting geographical locations such as art installations, museums and other areas that are a great excuse to get out of the house.
The map will indicate when a Pokémon appears; get to that location to trigger an encounter and collect it. Using Augmented Reality within the app, players will actually be able to see said Pokémon on their device, set against the real life background. If you use the optional Pokémon GO Plus feature, your special Blu-tooth watch/clip-on will buzz and flash to let you know if a “wild whathaveyou” appears on your route.
Just like PokéStops, Gyms will be located at real-life locations in your area and players will be encouraged to join one of three teams to compete for ownership and prestige. Players will then be able to battle one another at said Gyms, which is (let’s face it) – why you’re collecting them all in the first place.
How much it costs:
The game, itself will be “free to start,” with in-game purchases. As of this posting, no price has been set for the optional wearable device, or for items available in the store at launch.
When we can play it:
Pokémon GO is currently undergoing field testing in Japan and an exact launch date has yet to be announced; however, according to Niantic Labs, you can expect to get your hands on the game sometime in 2016.