Pokémon Go, the augmented reality free-to-play mobile game from Niantic, will be available this July. Nintendo announced the release window during its second-day E3 live stream, but didn't give a concrete day. The company did say the game's accessory, a wrist-worn wearable called Pokémon Go Plus that lets you play the game without using your smartphone, will be available for $34.99. Unfortunately, it won't be quite ready at launch, Nintendo clarified.
Pokémon Go is an ambitious AR title being developed by Niantic, the makers of Android game Ingress, in conjunction with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company. In our first hands-on look at the game earlier this month, we saw exactly how the game incorporates the same real-world exploration elements of Ingress with a pokémon twist. The core gameplay will involve looking through your smartphone camera while the software integrates the digital creatures into the environment.
'Pokémon Go' will let you capture the titular pocket monsters in the real world
On a deeper level, you'll be able to assume the role of a trainer and travel to notable points of interest near where you live — or where you happen to be visiting — to capture pokémon and battle at gyms, which are located at notable landmarks. At any given moment, the gyms will be controlled by one of three groups, the Red, Blue, or Yellow team. You can take control of gyms for your pledged faction by battling your own pokémon, and teaming up with others in the real world raises your chances of victory.
In its E3 live stream, Nintendo clarified further that players will be able to level up their trainers to catch stronger pokémon. There will also be a "candy" rewards, which players can use to evolve pokémon. As for the sought-after legendaries, pokémon like Mewtwo and Zapdos, Nintendo doesn't appear to have decided whether it will host local events in different cities to allow players to meet up and capture them. Trading between players is in the works, but won't be available at launch.
The company did say that Go will have some kind of tie-in with the franchise's main handheld titles, but we don't know how that will work just yet. The two latest games, Pokémon Sun and Moon, will be out this November.
Update June 15th, at 7:10PM ET: A previous version of this article spelled Zapdos with a "t" instead of a "d," and we have since been electrocuted by the thunder bird god for our grievous error.