Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go is an augmented-reality mobile game The Pokémon Company

Niantic has announced that a beta-testing period for upcoming augmented-reality mobile game Pokémon Go will begin later this month in Japan, before coming to other countries in the weeks ahead. Pokémon fans in Japan can sign up now.

In a blog post Niantic said: "The Pokémon Company and Niantic will be inviting users to field-test Pokémon Go in Japan later this month. The Pokémon Go field-test program will give users the opportunity to share early feedback and help improve the Pokémon Go experience. Please stay tuned for information about expansion of the field test to other markets."

Since the game was first announced in September, a number of scams have been set up under the false pretence of a beta test for the highly-anticipated title. In February The Pokémon Company sent out a warning in reply, saying any new info would only be revealed officially on its website.

Pokémon Go brings the beloved – now 20-year-old – franchise to the real world, with location-based technology used to populate the real world with pocket monsters to battle, capture and train. Trainers can then battle each other and team up to take on more powerful Pokémon.

It isn't clear yet if the closed testing period – which Niantic is calling "field-testing" – will come to the UK, but it's a reasonable assumption that it will. No information regarding a release date has yet been announced, but the game will be coming to iOS and Android devices.

For all the latest video game news follow us on Twitter @IBTGamesUK.