Pokemon is the game that defined my youth. As such, I'm really interested and fairly excited about the upcoming launch of Pokemon GO, an augmented reality game based in the Pokemon universe and designed for mobile devices, including the iPhone. Though the application had began a so-called “early field test” in Japan, it now seems we're inching closer to a public, worldwide release.
The news comes direct from the Pokemon GO development team (via TouchArcade). In a recent post, the team behind the upcoming application note that field testers based in both Australia and New Zealand are now required for the game; iPhone owners can sign-up if they're interested at the app's dedicated website. This news could signal that the developers behind the title are gearing up for a public release sooner rather than later.
Here's the original post from The Pokemon Company and Niantic:
The Pokémon Company and Niantic invite users to field test Pokémon GO in Australia and New Zealand. Users can visit http://pokemongo.nianticlabs.com to sign up. Please note that sign up doesn’t guarantee access to the field test. The Pokémon GO field test will give users the opportunity to share early feedback and help improve the Pokémon GO experience.
Before now, we've explained that Pokemon GO will indeed allow iPhone owners to explore the world around them using augmented reality technology. You'll be able to increase your trainer level in the game, and through doing so, more powerful Pokemon will be available to capture and train. You can also join teams in the game, visit gyms, and complete challenges.
Believe it or not, there's even a dedicated wearable, too: the Pokemon GO Plus uses Bluetooth in order to notify gamers about events happening in the game. It borrows from the appearance of the Pokeball, and we're hoping an Apple Watch app will bring similar functionality to Cupertino's own wearable.
So far, Pokemon GO is expected to reach the App Store “sometime this year,” though this most recent news is promising. If you're a Pokemon fan based in Australia or New Zealand, sign up for the app's beta testing, and see what you think.