Niantic and The Pokémon Company have begun rolling out highly-anticipated mobile game Pokémon Go for Android and iOS. The game is currently available to download in Australia, New Zealand and parts of North America, with no official word yet on when it will be released around the rest of the world.
Android users in the live regions can download the game here on the Google Play store; iPhone and iPad users can download it from the App Store here. IBTimes UK has contacted The Pokémon Company for more information and will update this story when there's official word.
Pokémon Go Plus - a Bluetooth enabled wrist-worn device which allows play without the need for constantly unlocking your smart device - will be released later in July for £34.99, but pre-orders are currently sold out.
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that maps an adapted version of the classic Pokémon experience onto the real world. Niantic has used location data to litter planet Earth with all 151 of the original line-up of Pokémon, with further generations to be added in future updates.
Players can find and catch the Pokémon with a touch-based mini-game, then train them at gyms located at real world locations like train stations, pubs and museums. When a player finds a gym they are asked to join one of three teams – red, blue and yellow – and then compete with opposing teams for control.
The free-to-play game is supported by microtransactions, but not the kind of in-your-face microtransactions other free-to-play mobile games are known for.
In June IBTimes UK was lucky enough to spend some time with the game and get to grips with how it works. In our preview we discussed a few reservations that would need to be tested further upon the game's proper release, but were largely impressed by the experience we had.
Pokémon Go was announced back in September 2015 with a trailer that quickly went viral – as of the time of writing it has amassed over 25.5 million views. If the game's download numbers match it, Nintendo will be very, very happy.