While many players were disappointed that the Pokémon GO wearable device wasn’t available at launch, the announce of Pokémon GO Plus has come at a time where some outlets are reporting a severe drop in players – even going as far as to suggest the app is dying.
Pokémon GO does have issues; the repetitiveness of the game being one of them. With a high battery consumption, people were left wondering if it was worth keeping the app open just to catch a hundred Pidgeys, and attention has turned back to other apps.
The Pokémon GO Plus seeks to combat this, allowing you play while the Pokémon GO app is running in the background of your phone. With vibration alerts to let you know when you are near a Pokémon or Pokéstop, it allows you to interact with Pokéstops and catch Pokémon without the need to touch your device – hopefully saving battery life. The downside to this is that the Pokémon GO app will not track your distance moved while it runs in the background, so you still need to have the app open if you are on a mission to hatch eggs.
Despite not looking quite as much like the wearable Pokédex I was hoping for – Pokémon GO Plus will be made available in Australia and New Zealand on September 16th (next Friday, for those who don’t want to check their calendar). As of yet, there are no details on price or where you can buy yours, with players advised to keep an eye on Nintendo’s official Facebook and Twitter pages for more news. You can read Nintendo’s full press release below.
8th September, 2016 – Pokémon GO Plus, the small wearable device that lets players interact with Pokémon GO without looking at their smartphone will launch in Australia and New Zealand from 16th September.
Compatible with both iOS and Android*, Pokémon GO Plus connects to smartphones via Bluetooth low energy and notifies players about nearby Pokémon and PokéStops. When a Pokémon is near, the device will vibrate and its LED will flash green**. Players can press the button on the device once close to throw a Poké Ball. A successful catch will result in the device flashing and vibrating.
The Pokémon GO Plus will also blink and vibrate whenever in range of a PokéStop, allowing players to receive items with a simple tap of the Pokémon GO Plus button. Pokémon GO Plus can also be used while Pokémon GO is running in the background on smartphones***.
Get alerts, get going and get Pokémon when the Pokémon GO Plus device launches on 16th September. Stay tuned to Nintendo Australia Facebook and Twitter for more details on where Pokémon GO Plus can be purchased.
* To use the Pokémon GO Plus device with the Pokémon GO app, by Niantic Inc, an app update is required. Pokémon GO Plus is compatible with the following operating systems:
Compatible OS versions: iOS 8 – 9
Compatible with: iPhone® 5/5c/5s/SE/6/6s/6 Plus/6s Plus
Compatible OS versions: Android 4.4 – 6.0
Compatible with: Android 4.4 or higher that have Bluetooth® Smart（Bluetooth v4.0 or higher) capability and RAM2GB or more.
Please refer to compatibility information on Pokémon GO Plus Support site.
** Pokémon GO Plus is unable to provide an alert for any Pokémon attracted by the in-game item Incense.
***Pokémon GO does not track distance walked when running in the background.
Pokémon GO website http://www.pokemongo.com/en-au/
Nintendo Australia website: http://www.nintendo.com.au
Nintendo Australia Twitter: https://twitter.com/NintendoAUNZ
Nintendo Australia Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NintendoAUNZ
Nintendo AU on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/nintendoau