The Pokémon Company and Niantic Inc. have revealed new information in a press release today about the features players can expect in the upcoming Pokémon GO and how it uses augmented reality and mobile location technology to turn the real world into a gameplay environment.
The game’s players can explore their surrounding to discover and catch the Pokémon “hiding in our midst”. Some of the pocket monsters can only be found in their native habitats, with Water-type Pokémon being found near lakes and seas.
When the game detects a Pokémon is nearby, your phone will buzz to let you know and you can catch it using your device’s touchscreen and throwing a Poké Ball. In order to find Poké Balls, you’ll need to visit PokéStops at locations such as historical monuments and public art installations.
More powerful Pokémon and items will be unlocked as players advance through the game and raise their Trainer level. If you catch a certain type of Pokémon several times, it may evolve, while other Pokémon can be unlocked from Eggs found at PokéStops when players walk a certain distance.
Achievement medals will be unlocked as you progress through the game and complete various challenges, allowing you to compare your progress with your friends.
A staple of the main series, Gyms, will also feature in Pokémon GO, with players being encouraged to join one of three teams. Once you’ve joined a team, you can assign your Pokémon to empty Gyms, which can be found in real world locations. Only one Pokémon per player can be placed in any given Gym, meaning you’ll have to work closely with your teammates in order to win.
Once a team has claimed a gym, it can be challenged by the other teams.
The Pokémon Company says, “With real-life surroundings providing a backdrop for encounters with wild Pokémon, this unique Pokémon game represents the next generation of Niantic’s “Real World” gaming platform, which combines mobile location technology and Augmented Reality to create a gaming experience that motivates players to go outside and explore the world around them.”
Pokémon GO is set for release later this year on the App Store and Google Play. Nintendo recently confirmed that sales of the Pokémon series have topped 200 million units.