Our first real look at Pokemon GO has just arrived

by: John DyeMarch 24, 2016
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Earlier this week, we got a glimpse at what the gameplay in Pokemon GO would look like, but the leaked video was far from official quality and didn’t really give us a very good feel for what the game could be. Now Niantic Labs is giving us the first official look at this highly anticipated mobile game that brings the Pokemon universe to the mobile market in a serious way for the very first time.

Pokemon-goSee also: Pokemon Go footage leaked from SXSW11

For those somehow not in the know, Pokemon GO is an augmented reality game that puts a Pokemon-strewn overlay between the user and the real world. You can hunt down your favorite Pokemon in the wild by actually walking around and searching through unexplored territory. This “Real World Gaming” platform follows in the footsteps of Ingress, but looks to be much more user-friendly and less esoteric. Interestingly, the developers are placing value on the game’s intrinsic gameplay mechanics which encourage players to get outside and move around. Also, the game promotes travel and exploration since some Pokemon will only spawn in certain parts of the world. Water type Pokemon, for instance, will only appear near lakes or oceans.

Eggs and other items such as Pokeballs can be acquired at physical locations called PokeStops. These will be situated in interesting locations like art installations, so this isn’t a game that you can just sit around and play in your living room. Battles will occur between players in the wild, and Gyms will be developed in an area-control system that seems fairly similar to Ingress. Early beta testing of the game is slated to take place in Japan sometime in the near future, and the game has an ambiguous release date of “2016.”

Regardless of when exactly it comes out, Pokemon GO is being built up to be either one of the biggest mobile gaming experiences of all time or the biggest gaming disappointment of all time. It will be free to play, so how exactly in-app purchases are handled will determine whether or not the game is a bang or a bust for many players. While we wait for this AR experience to arrive, let us know what you think of the game in the comments below!

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  • Raul

    The whole idea is pretty good, but not sure I wanna go outside and play Pokemon.

    • patstar5

      You could fake your location

    • Steve

      That…wow.
      So just play regular pokemon then.

    • DonSerrot

      I don’t think this is going to be as much a Pokemon game as people think it is. It sounds to me more like they are expanding the idea of Ingress with a Pokemon theme. The whole point is to get people outside and exploring the world around them and rewarding them for visiting interesting places by making it into a game. It’s not something that’ll appeal to everyone.

  • LeVvE

    Give meh the Pokémon game!

  • Penalty!

    Will it be available in countries except US?

    • Xeo

      I think that Japan will be first and I hope that US will be last.

      • Austin Westfall

        what sense does that make? fuck japan, they get everything first, glad they started doing global release dates and not separate

        • DonSerrot

          It makes sense for them to test it there because Niantic is working on it WITH the Pokemon Company and the Pokemon Company is in Japan. That said, most mobile related stuff is in the US first and is lucky if the rest of the world gets it (Google Wallet for example). It’s just with games that Japan usually gets them first because that’s where the companies that make the games are. I expect them to focus testing in Japan and I’m sure Niantic will have a few spots in the US to test with. I’m pretty sure the game is just going to use the same landmarks that Ingress uses and Google’s map data for what is and isn’t water. All they’ll probably have to do is set what Pokemon show up where. Here’s hoping that the tutorial first Pokemon is auto spawned by the app like Ingress does with the tutorial portal so when the APK no doubt leaks people can at least give that part a go. Though this is Niantic so it’ll probably be invite only like Ingress was. Actually, they mentioned there being three teams to chose from. I wonder if your team is based on what starter you pick.

          • Austin Westfall

            dont even remember this comment or what it is even on lol

        • Ryuto Arisato

          More like you don’t make any sense. Pokemon is from Japan so it’s obvious that they “have to” and are “able to” get this first.

      • DonSerrot

        That’s… a pretty lame thing to hope. And probably way off to boot. Focus testing in Japan so the Pokemon Company can keep close tabs on things with testing probably growing to around wherever Niantic calls home is what makes sense. They’ll probably use a similar testing strategy as they did for Ingress and slowly grow the user base and let the beta testers help grow the landmark data so when they let everyone in there’ll be plenty of places available to use.

  • Wolf0491

    Lol I’m gonna look like an idiot walking around neighborhood with phone in air searching for pokemon hahah.

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    I hope it has a pokedex built in. Looks cool.

  • Raw Mess

    Being in Nepal and being a huge pokemon fan , I’m only gonna play this if I can modify the location/map values by some way . I aint going villages and forests walking to find pokemon

    • Lindle

      If you’re using marshmallow, you block location data to the app. The OS will place dummy location data which can be interesting

      • Khan

        The developers have already stated that you will be prevented from playing if you turn location data off. (Check previous press posts). So that means that even feeding it dummy data won’t work.

        • Lindle

          darn it, i wanted to confuse the app hahahaha

        • BitHedge

          if you have developer options on, you can set a “mock location provider” to be an app instead of Google Services. then you can have the app trigger fake locations anywhere in the world… fooling the pokemon go game

          you can get these fake location apps if you search “mock location” in the play store

          • Khan

            No, they can detect when Google Services does that because Nintendo is partnered with them to prevent this. You cannot use mocks with Pokemon Go. Do some research.

  • Falenone

    I’ll stick with Ingress

  • hunterd

    Hope they will place pokemons far from busiest roads and railway tracks. I do not wish to get hit by a bus or a train while catching a pokemon LOL

  • kabphillie

    As both my wife and I are interested in Pokemon and getting out of the house, we’re sold. If this plays remotely close as described, it will be awesome.