Nintendo might not have had anything to announce at yesterday’s Apple event, but just a few hours later, The Pokémon Company held a press conference in Japan to announce Pokémon GO — an alternate reality game for iOS and Android devices developed by former Google startup Niantic.
Much like Ingress, Niantic’s first game, Pokémon GO uses your real-world location in order to determine how close or far away you are from Pokémon in the area. You can catch Pokémon, level them up, battle with others players or even trade the creatures you’ve caught, just like in the Game Boy and DS games of years past.
The Pokémon Company and Niantic didn’t show off much in the way of gameplay, but we know that the app will be free to download, with in-app purchases for additional content. There will also be a separate Bluetooth-enabled accessory called the Pokémon GO Plus which will allow players to progress even when they don’t have their phones out.
The device uses an LED light and internal vibration in order to alert the player to something going on it the world. That way, players won’t be staring at their phones while walking around the city, waiting for something to happen.
This isn’t the first Pokémon game on mobile devices, but it might be the first to bring the experience of catching and training Pokémon to your iPhone or Android phone in a meaningful way. It’s a fascinating partnership, but sadly, we’ll have to wait until 2016 to get our hands on it.
Watch the first, ridiculously epic trailer below: