Thursday, October 20, 2016

POKÉMON GO PLUS Accessory Soon to Release

Just when you thought that the “Pokémon Go” craze may just be about to die a natural death, something has finally come out from Nintendo that might probably reinvigorate the experience that had months ago transformed the Niantic-developed mobile app into a worldwide social media phenomenon.

Nobody’s ever been sure – and no one from the companies involved bothered to explain – why a special “Pokémon Go” accessory has been delayed from its original release month of July, at the height of portable Pokémon fever; but now at long last the Pokémon Go Plus is ready to, well, go.

But what exactly is it? According to gaming website Gamespot, the Go Plus is a tiny wearable device to complement the “Pokémon Go” app on your phone. It looks like a blend between the Poke- ball used to catch Pokémon and the teardrop icon on Google Maps, and it was actually teased way back in the first big trailer of the app from September 2015 (Wow, it has been so long!). Worn like a watch or clipped to your clothes, it sort of makes obsolete one of the criticisms of vanilla “Pokémon Go” gameplay: the tendency of players to have their phones out all the time with their noses stuck to the screen ignoring their surroundings; a bad idea in the real world as many news stories can attest.

Anyway, with the Go Plus paired via Bluetooth, you can now keep your phone in your pocket and let the device do the main work. As you walk around the Plus will vibrate whenever you come in range of a Poke-stop or Gym, alerting you when to pull out your phone – to collect items at the stop or challenge the Gym for example.

The other main function of the Plus is to simplify the task of catching Pokémon. It also alerts you when a Pokémon is in range of you; and here’s the thing: you just press the button on your Plus to throw out at Poke-ball from your app’s inventory and there, you might have just gotten a Pokémon.

I say might because unlike catching from the phone which has a 100% success rate, there’s only a probability of capture when using the Plus. Oh and it will only detect Pokémon you’ve caught before.

It’s perfect for easily grabbing copies of Pokémon to “sell” for candies to evolve the ones you have, but you’ll still need to play from your phone to find new Pokémon you haven’t caught yet.

The Go Plus costs only $35 and will be available on the market this September 16. Unfortunately preorders are pretty much impossible as Amazon, Gamestop and friends are now sold out, and eBay retail prices of the Plus are tantamount to robbery. By the way, the Plus is compatible with iPhone 5 and up, using iOS 8 or 9. For Android phones you need 2GB RAM and Android version 4.4-6.0. Bluetooth must also be version 4 and up. And you must have “Pokémon Go” installed in your phone to begin with.

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