Giant Bomb News

90 Comments

Nintendo Announces Augmented Reality MMO Pokemon GO, Due in 2016

The game will be produced in partnership with Niantic, the company behind mobile game Ingress.

If this screenshot is anything to go one, gameplay won't actually be set in the real world.
If this screenshot is anything to go one, gameplay won't actually be set in the real world.

Earlier today, Nintendo released a trailer for Pokemon Go, a mobile game being developed by Niantic, Inc for iOS and Android platforms. The trailer features people exploring the real world, capturing CG Pokemon, doing battle with other players, and teaming up to take on a raid-boss style Mewtwo. I have to admit that even though I recognize all of the familiar visual rhetoric of techno-utopian advertising here, this trailer is endearing as hell.

At the same time, I can't help but think that Nintendo is setting fans up for some light disappointment. We've seen CG-Pokemon-in-Real-World-Environments before: A few years ago, the Google Maps team released a similar trailer as a April Fools Day prank. And just like that prank, I have my doubts that Pokemon Go is going to offer anything like the Augmented Reality glory depicted throughout this video. In fact, the last few moments of the trailer show off what you should actually expect: Polygonal Pokemon standing in polygonal fields, waiting to be captured.

But that's not to say that there's nothing to look forward to here. Niantic, Inc. (formerly the Google owned Niantic Labs) has found a ton of success with the geo-locating, sci-fi ARG-meets-MMO Ingress over the past few years. Ingress players use their phones to battle over local landmarks and struggle with each other for resources, all via an app that taps (and feeds) into Google Maps data. While many other games have tried to edge it out, Ingress has remained pretty dominant. I can so easily see this model applied to Pokemon, too: Your phone buzzes to let you know there's a nearby Electabuzz, but you skip it because, really, fuck Electabuzz. And besides you already caught a dope Jolteon on your way home from work last night.

I've tried to get into a couple of these games over the last few years, but because I lived in a small, Canadian city, there was never really the playerbase to make it work. Here in New York, I'm having the opposite problem: The Ingress fans are a little too intense for me. Maybe Pokemon will inspire exactly the right blend of community and competition to hook me.

Not gonna lie, I really hope they make variations on this thing that look like different Pokemon Gym Badges.
Not gonna lie, I really hope they make variations on this thing that look like different Pokemon Gym Badges.

Pokemon Go is going to be released alongside a watch-sized device called a Pokemon GO Plus, which Nintendo explains:

...will enable Pokémon GO players to enjoy the game even when they’re not looking at their smartphone. The device connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth and notifies the player about events in the game—such as the appearance of a Pokémon nearby—using an LED and vibration. In addition, players can catch Pokémon or perform other simple actions by pressing the button on the device.

Nintendo hasn't released a price for the Pokemon Go Plus, nor have they outlined any plans for micro-transactions. While Ingress doesn't have an in-game shop, I wouldn't count on Pokemon Go following suit. Ingress was valuable for Google because of the data its users provided, and because it served as an interesting, long term experiment. But now, with Niantic as an independent company and Nintendo looking to strengthen their financial situation, I'd expect some sort of monetization for Pokemon Go to be in the works. Hopefully it won't be too aggressive, because I'd hate to have something that seems so charming brought down by a bad pricing scheme.

Have any of you played a game like Ingress? Do you think that Pokemon fits that model? If you could have any gym badge, what would it be? (I'm partial to the Rumble badge from Pokemon X/Y, myself.)

90 Comments

Avatar image for ripelivejam
ripelivejam

13367

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

that pokemon watch better cost $635

Avatar image for amyggen
AMyggen

7738

Forum Posts

7669

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Smart move.

Avatar image for mbdoeden
mbdoeden

319

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By mbdoeden

This could be really, really cool and I have to admit I was ready to be skeptical (maybe even cynical) when I started watching the trailer but noticed myself smiling like a doofus halfway through.

I have a super young sister for my age so this sounds like a really cool thing to bond/share with her.

Avatar image for super_machine
super_machine

2008

Forum Posts

242

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 4

I can't wait for the news articles to read...

"Cell phone wielding maniac reportedly wandering main street screaming '"Gotta catch em all'". More at 11."

Avatar image for oprahtrain
Oprahtrain

148

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

oh man this looks so sweet. 2016, the year i start going on walks again!

Avatar image for mbdoeden
mbdoeden

319

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

oh man this looks so sweet. 2016, the year i start going on walks again!

I hadn't even thought of that part. That...makes me excited in a way that I can't quite explain at the moment.

Avatar image for myrealnameisdj
myrealnameisdj

13

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

"If this screenshot is anything to go one, gameplay won't actually the real world"

This is hurting my brain.

Avatar image for ilae
Ilae

6

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Is the caption under that Iphone image supposed to read that way? I'm confused

Avatar image for soulcake
soulcake

2849

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Cant wait to throw a rock at a Pigeon ! Pidgey was caught !

Avatar image for harinosho
harinosho

753

Forum Posts

15

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

While I like the trailer, even though its probably or most definitely lying to its future consumers about what this new game will allow, I think it would be an awesome experience. Living in South Africa though, I cant say this will be making it to my side, so I'll never see this as nothing other than an app icon on my phone.

Avatar image for mrwhitex
mrwhitex

33

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Seems like a big battery drainer. I didn't like Ingress...

Avatar image for coltondaniels45
coltondaniels45

37

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

Think we see death/accidents from people running after Pokemon? The're gonna run off a cliff.

Avatar image for officer_falcon
officer_falcon

526

Forum Posts

88

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

I used to play Ingress but I got tired of having to defend nodes. I may be potentially interested in a Pokemon themed one though.

As a side note I didn't take note of the author at first but after I saw language like "dope Jolteon" I instantly knew it was @austin_walker.

Avatar image for ghost_cat
ghost_cat

2462

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

If that Go Plus doubles as a watch, I would rock that with a Saint Laurent suit any day.

Avatar image for grace_omega
Grace_Omega

69

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

This is the first time in a long time where Nintendo is doing the exact thing they should be doing. When they announced they were getting into smartphone games my first thought was "so there's going to be a thing like Ingress, but with Pokemon, right?"

I just never expected that they'd actually partner with the people who made Ingress to do it.

Hell, even that trailer totally sells the concept in an exciting way, as opposed to Nintendo's usual "hello please come and look at our games" approach that I feel does a poor job of hyping up their releases.

Avatar image for hibikirush
HibikiRush

240

Forum Posts

1176

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 11

Edited By HibikiRush

This commercial is so ridiculous and overly serious haha. It's a Pokemon geotag game. Why is this so dramatic? And thousands of people rushing and cheering in Times Square over a Mew fight? Meh.

Avatar image for hassun
hassun

10193

Forum Posts

191

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

Avatar image for chicken008
Chicken008

1146

Forum Posts

45088

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 6

Uhhh, should probably be augmented reality.
Anyway the trailer is hilarious, and I leave my 3G/4G/Wifi off on my mobile so I don't think this is for me.
I await the next 3DS game.

Avatar image for deathpooky
Deathpooky

1892

Forum Posts

1590

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 7

I agree that it seems highly unlikely this is AR in any fashion, despite the advertisement. Still could be cool, but it also depends (like a lot of Nintendo's interesting mobile offerings) how well it works in areas where density and adoption of Nintendo games or products isn't widespread. Even in big cities in America you still have trouble getting streetpass to work. But maybe iPhone eliminates that issue.

Avatar image for dixavd
Dixavd

2950

Forum Posts

245

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

This sounds like my kind of dumb incentive to go for a walk. I've been really enjoying Pokémon Shuffle (though on the 3DS, haven't tried the mobile version) so it would be cool to see their first foray into a game on the phone that wasn't just a port or a glorified Pokédex.

Also here are my top three badges to use for the wrist thing:

Heat Badge - from Hoenn
Heat Badge - from Hoenn
Jet Badge - from Unova
Jet Badge - from Unova
Legend Badge - from Unova
Legend Badge - from Unova

Avatar image for wolfhazard
WolfHazard

697

Forum Posts

56

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Give me AR glasses already and make this happen like the trailer. I embrace our digital future.

Avatar image for zironz
ZironZ

113

Forum Posts

3

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Is this it?

Is this what finally gets me to go outside?

Avatar image for olivaw
Olivaw

1307

Forum Posts

6

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By Olivaw

"fuck Electabuzz" NO FUCK YOU AUSTIN

Avatar image for totsboy
totsboy

502

Forum Posts

80

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 8

if this is 10% as cool as the trailer, it's gonna be awesome!

Can't wait!

Avatar image for citizenjp
CitizenJP

1448

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By CitizenJP

Sounds like a good way to walk into the wrong part of town looking for Pokemon lol. Hopefully Charizard will protect me. Looks dope though!

Avatar image for radleyduder
radleyduder

167

Forum Posts

16

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 11

If this were to live up to my expectations, it'd be amazing. The fact that they gave us so few details bums me out, because now I'm going to speculate on all the things they could do with it, and the imagination will always create a better game than the one that they make.

Like I want to have to choose a starting pokemon, which are from different generations based on which continent you're on, or they're all on every continent, but it depends on which region of the continent you start at. (This would also provide an avenue for Niantic or whoever to provide the opportunity to buy another starter through their store or whatever, if you feel that strongly about a certain starter.) You can build up a team of six that you can carry around with you, while you store the rest on your "PC". It'd be a fun idea to actually store these pokemon on your actual computer and have to go to your computer to pull those pokemon to your phone, but that wouldn't be very fun in practice for people who aren't me. :P

It could potentially be a full pokemon game on its own, with battles, trading and all that, with the addition of legendaries popping up in certain areas that people work together to catch collectively. I'd love for there to be plenty of pokemon who are solely found in certain regions of not just your area, but on Earth, encouraging people to either travel the world like Trainers, or attend conventions like PAX to trade with people visiting. I know some people wouldn't be fans of that, but I think it'd be true to the way Pokemon is. I'm trying to keep my expectations in check, but it's so hard when they leave all the details wide open the way they have.

Also, I love how in the press conference, Miyamoto slipped in a "this reminds me of Pokemon Snap!" Like that wasn't just a way of saying, "Stop talking about Pokemon Snap 2, just take this and like it!"

Avatar image for thaddeusbandido
ThaddeusBandido

24

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

As someone who just went full tilt back into Pokemon again (just restarted my second run of Alpha Sapphire, may go back and finish Black and buy/play X), this came along at just the right time. I'm down with the watch, and I'd really like to see one modeled after the Feather Badge from the Hoenn flying gym. The Jet Badge is also dope, though.

Avatar image for jimbo
Jimbo

10472

Forum Posts

2

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

@elcaminocolt: I hope certain Pokemen can only be caught in heavy traffic / thunderstorms / near active volcanoes etc. etc. Instant GOTY.

Avatar image for ry_ry
Ry_Ry

1692

Forum Posts

153

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Ry_Ry  Online

So this is a more involved PokeWalker then? OK

Avatar image for rox360
rox360

1299

Forum Posts

154

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I don't like in a very ARG-friendly area of the planet, but if I can play some manner of Pokemon-esque thing directly on my phone, I suppose I have no choice but to kinda be on board. Show me more!

Avatar image for chariblaze
Chariblaze

4

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By Chariblaze

Nintendo hasn't released a price for the Pokemon Go Plus, nor have they outlined any plans for micro-transactions. While Ingress doesn't have an in-game shop, I wouldn't count on Pokemon Go following suit.

They've mentioned that the game will have IAPs of some sort: http://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-video-games/pokemon-go/

Pokémon GO will be available for download at no charge on the App Store and Google Play. In-app purchases will be available.

Avatar image for reverendhunt
reverendhunt

1058

Forum Posts

741984

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 52

User Lists: 9

It really doesn't matter even if the game ends up being disappointing. That trailer was one of the most amazing things I've seen in a while.

Avatar image for jugosanto
JugoSanto

21

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

"Excuse me while I go to this place where my phone tells me there's this thing that's not really there that I want to get."

Avatar image for austin_walker
austin_walker

566

Forum Posts

5245

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Avatar image for jay_ray
jay_ray

1569

Forum Posts

5

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 6

$1 for pokeballs, $1 for potions, $5 for ultra ball, $10 for master ball

Avatar image for exogen
exogen

184

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

PokeMMO satisfied my curiosity for this sort of thing, and it was probably better than anything nintendo ever would have done with it anyway.

not sure if that's still around or not, but man, it was downright ideal.

Avatar image for agent_of_hydra
Agent_of_HYDRA

32

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I can't believe I just got that excited for a phone game.

Avatar image for goodlymike
GoodlyMike

82

Forum Posts

59

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Avatar image for kasaioni
kasaioni

2397

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I wonder if at some point they'll just stop coming out with entirely new Pokemon generations. It's getting to the point where catching them all from scratch really is daunting. And then they'll just continue to make games like these.

Avatar image for wazanator
Wazanator

68

Forum Posts

70

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Glad to see @austin_walker is on team Jolteon for best electric pokemon

Avatar image for downloaded
downloaded

265

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

THIS would get me to buy an Oculus.

Avatar image for eccentrix
eccentrix

2557

Forum Posts

12048

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 12

This is the phone game I've been waiting for. @aorey's party idea is really cool and something I hadn't thought of. I wish it wasn't probably too complicated to implement.

Avatar image for carlos1408
Carlos1408

1635

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

This is pretty exciting, it's just a shame it won't be even close to what the trailer presents. Either way I'm curious to see what it becomes.

Avatar image for lostflock
LostFlock

180

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

This actually seems really interesting, but shit i have to go outside! fuck...

Avatar image for mexisushi
MexiSushi

6

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

This sounds like a really fun idea, but I'm really curious how they're going to deal with distance relative to where you are and where the Pokemon are.

If I have a Charmander in LA, would I have to travel all the way to NY to get a Bulbasaur? This design would make more sense in Japan where people can travel a lot with just local transportation. Or is this more like, "You're currently standing at Longitude X, Latitude Y... Walk 1 mile east to find a new Pokemon!" every time you boot the game?

Also, I noticed they're only showing the first 150 Pokemon in the trailer so that won me over =P.

Avatar image for travisrex
TravisRex

819

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

how soon until people with bad intentions catch on that all these happy well-off folks are looking for pokemans in the same spots and start mugging people.

Avatar image for mayor_mccheese
Mayor_McCheese

272

Forum Posts

2

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Pokemon is such an odd thing that I will never understand. If this helps people go outside and do stuff, all the power to it, though!

Avatar image for divergence
divergence

513

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By divergence

finally here we go with mobile gaming. Nintendo should strike gold in that market. Edit. That's silly I should say that given Nintendo has been in the "mobile" market since the Gameboy in the 1980's. I mean cell phones.. anyway.

Avatar image for smarsapan
Smarsapan

10

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

so, why are they all adults in that advert? all except one child with her parent? that's pretty unrealistic. I mean I know the original Pokemon kids are all grown up now, but there are always kids playing pokemon. such a weird commercial.

I think it could work, but not until we're waist deep in our understanding ARG mechanics and how to make them fun, interactive and continuously immersive.

I personally want Dennou Coil. that's my ARG of choice.

Avatar image for futurstock
futurstock

206

Forum Posts

88

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

they pretty much only showed OG pokemon (first 151)
it looked like an AR game but what they were showing seemed impossible without a headset then the last 5 seconds they show some gameplay on a phone and im like, what game is that??? what did i just watch??? also bmx duders neckbeard, gross.