Saturday, August 6, 2016

“POKEMON GO” Accesory Delayed, But Craze Continues

While the world still remains in the loving grip and influence of the “Pokémon Go” mobile game, dark clouds have begun to gather above its patron. Nintendo has just announced that their latest quarter got them a net loss of $233 million, no thanks to the Wii U console’s continued floundering.

Another contributing factor perhaps was the company’s public declaration this Monday that all profits from “Pokémon Go” will ultimately not effect a major change in their bottom line, causing Nintendo shares to drop 18% of that day’s limit.

But what’s worse for the gamers perhaps, as The Verge reports, is that the much awaited wrist- worn accessory to complement the “Go” game experience – Pokémon Go Plus – will not be hitting gaming stores at the end of July as originally planned. Instead, a Twitter post by Nintendo of America stated that the Plus will be released in September instead.

No reason was given for why it would take that long.

 While bearing the franchise from Nintendo and its subsidiary The Pokémon Company, “Pokémon Go” was developed by American mobile app maker Niantic Inc. The most Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have on Niantic is investment holdings to develop the game, but other firms have their own stock in it, including Google whose Google Maps is a vital component of the programming for “Pokémon Go”, which uses the map data and GPS to populate mapped areas with Pokémon creatures to catch, and designate marked landmarks as “Poke-stop” and “gym” locations in-game.

The Pokémon Go Plus accessory is a GPS-using gadget, shaped like a fusion of the Pokémon- catching and containment item Poke-ball and the Google Maps icon. Alternatively carried in the hand or worn on the wrist, the Go Plus scans the player’s current GPS coordinates and sounds an alarm when there are Pokémon nearby. This pretty much eliminates the need for players to be constantly peering at their cellphone and tablet displays to check the preseGnce of cute critters to throw Poke-balls at. Nintendo is expecting sales of the accessory to further boost the profits from the mobile apps legendary success.

Away from the boardroom and trading floor drama, “Pokémon Go” carries on charming the hearts of lifetime fans and new-blood gamers. A CNN special report has taken note of a remarkable social phenomenon triggered by the game, causing players to congregate and interact with each other. Very telling is the gathering of gamers in New York City, like in front of the Plaza Hotel, which is filled with friends and even families on the hunt for Pikachu and his friends.

Some players interviewed by CNN in its report have described the “Pokémon Go” style of gameplay as better than Facebook for making new friends. Not bad for a city that without such a game, residents would barely talk to one another on the street.

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