Pokémon GO has been in the news for some time now, but it is not only during the past week that the mobile gaming app has been released to the public. Though it is in its rocky launch period, a massive surge of iOS and Android users have already been reported. It is now the top app both in App Store and in Google Play Store.
The Pokémon GO app has been anticipated by the public since early this year. The fans have had their ups and downs as developers delay the release. The release last week is somehow a semi-official release, since this is not the full version of the game yet.
Pokémon GO has also been on a limited release in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. The Pokémon Company reached out the Japan users and told them to “please wait for a while.” However, the U.K., Canada, and other markets do not have a clear timeline yet.
Pokémon GO enables users to use their smartphone and search for location-based Pokémon. Unlike VR, the users would really need to move around and travel real-life landmarks to find Pokémon. They can also catch, train, and battle with other Pokémons in the area.
— PokemonGoMemes (@PokemonGoMemes) July 10, 2016
The Pokémon Company released the app for free, but users can purchase items for $0.99 to $99.99. Nintendo and Pokémon Company will also be releasing a $35 wristband later this month so users can travel without the need to unlock their phone.
In an interview with Tech Insider, Niantic CEO John Hanke said that they are already planning their updates for the coming weeks and months to come.
They will be exploring in-depth features and more gameplay mechanics to reach to their worldwide audience. This way, the users could stick around for a while longer.
However, the most interesting update that Hanke noted is a feature Pokémon fans already know of: the ability to trade Pokémon with your friends.
“It’s kind of a core element,” said Hanke.
Though he did not really specify how this would work, the CEO said this would encourage players to interact with each other both in the virtual and real worlds.
— Gabby 'Yug' Boreland (@YugSTAR) July 10, 2016
Newly planned features would lean more on augmented reality. Pokémon GO will eventually have Pokéstops and gyms. This would also encourage real-world travel exploration and battle.
At present, some of the features offer the basic versions of the game. However, Pokémon wishes to provide users will a full experience where they could customize their functions based on how they want their Pokémon journey to go.
To encourage healthy competition, Pokémon GO will also have a global leadership scoreboard to track performance amongst the global competition.
Hanke noted that they have taken a big first step in augmented reality. Since Pokémon GO uses AR to feature the Pokémon around the user’s location, there are still a lot of ways this feature could be improved.
— Gabe P.B. (@mr_poohbear) July 10, 2016
To really provide an immersive augmented reality experience, Hanke hinted on the possibility of integrating Pokémon GO with AR devices like the Google Glass.
“That may be a fun thing to take advantage of,” added Hanke.
Google has their own AR device, and Microsoft has their HoloLens. If Pokémon GO wishes to expand their territory in the AR field, they could use these opposing companies and maybe pioneer the AR games.
As the virtual reality industry continues to expand for gamers, with Pokémon Go‘s global reach, it is possible that they could also transform the game into a professional hunting category for AR, just like all the other games in eSports.
[Image via YouTube]