The beta field test for the eagerly-awaited smartphone app Pokémon Go is now open to potential trainers in the US. Registration for the augmented reality game from Nintendo and mobile game developer Niantic Labs opened on 16 May (2016), leaving UK poke-fans still waiting to hear whether the testing phase will make it to British shores.
The gotta-go-outside-and-catch-em-all app is slowing making its way to other regions with The Pokémon Company keen for users to "share early feedback and help improve the Pokémon Go experience."
US hopefuls can now make their way over to Niantic's Pokémon Go website and sign-up, however the Pokémon homepage does note that "registration does not guarantee access to the field test," meaning some will have to wait for the game's eventual public release (which still hasn't been detailed).
Leaks and data-mines have suggested that the location-based facsimile of the pokémon experience – where you catch, train and battle often adorable, but sometimes hideous pocket monsters – will star only the 151 creatures from the original Game Boy games (Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow), which are celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year. It's not clear whether additional critters will be added, or whether any planned add-ons will arrive via free updates or through in-app purchases.
The initially free-to-play app was originally announced alongside a wrist-mounted device called Pokémon Go Plus which lights up when you stumble upon a pokémon 'in the wild' within the game. The bluetooth-connected wearable will be sold separately, however we don't know if this will be exclusive to certain regions.
With leveling, items, trainer customisation and gyms all appearing in the numerous leaks and videos now circling online, the game certainly sounds exciting and IBTimes UK can't wait to get out into the tall grass and scour real-world monuments for some legendary encounters.
At least in the time being we can re-watch the trailer for Pokémon Sun and Moon – the next generation of main series Pokémon games for the Nintendo 3DS. You can also check out our breakdown of the trailer to find out all the extra details you may have missed while ruminating over which starter-pokémon you'll be choosing after the games release in November 2016.