Nintendo’s latest smartphone app Pokémon Go is a milestone for augmented reality, and fans are already hacking their way past a delayed UK release.
Pokémon Go brings the real world and the virtual together on your smartphone. For the first time players can start looking for Pokémon in real patches of long grass and even on the morning commute through your phone’s camera.
“Officially” it’s only available in the US, but international Pokémon masters have already found a workaround and started playing.
The game can also sync your iOS or Android devices with a portable device called the Pokémon GO Plus – a watch-like extra that delivers notifications about nearby Pokémon.
This isn’t the first time Nintendo has ventured into wearable tech – franchise veterans might remember the Pokéwalker, a pedometer that came with HeartGold and SoulSilver.
However, those same veterans might be disappointed in the new direction. For two decades the series has stuck to the same top-down RPG formula (with some diversions), whereas Go introduces microtransactions and in-game currency.
If Nintendo mishandles this, the introduction of a “Pay 2 Win” model could disrupt the balance of the game.
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