Here’s Our First Look At How Pokémon GO Works

In a talk at SXSW, Niantic Labs shared footage of Pokemon GO to the public for the first time.

Pokemon Go Gameplay First Look _ SXSW Gaming (BQ)
In a talk at SXSW, Niantic Labs shared footage of Pokémon GO to the public for the first time.

John Hanke from Niantic explained the footage, showing an overlay of Google Maps which had a trainer and a Pokémon hiding in the tall grass. We then got to see a Pokémon battle between the trainer and the Pokémon, an Ivysaur. The battle should look familiar to any Pokémon fan; the trainer threw out a a Pokéball, the Pokéball catches the Ivysaur, and then the Ivysaur tries to get out. After the trainer throws out a stronger Pokéball, she successfully catches the Ivysaur.

What is interesting in this demo is how the Pokéball was aimed at the Ivysaur using augmented reality; AKA moving the phone around. In this sense, it’s similar to the 3DS game Pokémon Dream Radar. However, unlike Pokémon Dream Radar, Pokémon GO also has an Ingress-like Google Maps mechanic.

Pokemon Go Gameplay First Look _ SXSW Gaming (720p).mp4_snapshot_00.22_[2016.03.20_20.39.09]

Pokémon GO was originally revealed in September 2015 in spectacular fashion. Merely a month later, Niantic raised $ 30 million for development of the title, from Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, and Google. Niantic launched early field tests for the app in Japan earlier this month.

Pokémon GO is planned for release on iOS and Android. You can watch video of the early preview footage below.

How do you like Pokémon GO as it looks now? Are you satisfied with what you see or does it need improving? What do you hope to see added in? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.