Pokémon Go Is A Huge Win For Augmented Reality
Let’s face it, whether you like Nintendo or not, Pokémon Go is now trendier than any other videogame right now. More so in the field of virtual reality or augmented reality. Every social media site is buzzing with poke-balls being thrown and Pokémon being captured; sometimes it feels more like an alien invasion than a new Pokémon mobile App out in the market.
Pokémon Go Started As a Joke from Google
An April fool’s joke in fact. Back in 2014, Google released a striking video that blend Pokémon and Google Maps into a single game. Was it on purpose? Was it planned? Was it viral? Sure it was! The clip got more than 18 million views. And that was something you don’t mess people with; even if they didn’t plan to release a real Pokémon App, they had to.
“We thought, why not try and make it real?”
Said John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, a company that was previously a project inside Google dedicated to the development of mobile games with augmented reality; it now functions as an independent company.
The joke became a reality on July 6th. People waited for months for this release and many had reasons to feel skeptical about it. Let’s be honest, we often relate maps to GPS and locations we don’t know, and Pokémon to a 90’s and 2000’s fever. Did we really think we would go out to the streets to catch Pokémon with our smartphones? It’s happening!
Pokémon Became Too Real With Augmented Reality
You can see kids, teenagers, adults and even some grandparents walking carelessly through the streets of every major city looking for new Pokémon. I know it for a fact, I did it myself! I even struggled to get my Pikachu (Oh, Don’t be jealous!). Pokémon Go came to our lives, to our job and our neighbours, and brought augmented reality with it.
Pokémon Go made augmented reality a thing, a mainstream and affordable phenomena without the need of expensive equipment to run it. Also, unlike almost every other videogame, Pokémon Go makes you go outside; and for those who don’t know what outside means, it’s that wild environment beyond our house’s main door. We’re afraid of it, but sometimes it’s cool, and Pokémon Go makes it nicer.
Pokémon Go is a Billionaire Success for Nintendo
After the initial roll out of the game in the US, Europe and other western countries; Pokémon turned out to be a major success. According to TechCrunch, 10.81% of the American android users have installed the game, with countries reaching even higher like New Zealand with 16.04% and Australia with 15.13%.
Pokémon Go has beaten major social media apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter in daily time spent on the videogame. And almost every other established mobile videogame in the market. It was so huge for a success that Nintendo’s market value raised by an astonishing $9 billion since the debut, as reported by Fortune. A huge leap considering that Nintendo is only the owner of the 32% of Pokémon Go; the rest belonging to Google’s Niantic.
How to play Pokémon Go? 10 Basic Tips to be a Master Pokémon Trainer
It’s pretty straightforward, but pay attention to the details or you’ll be walking in circles all over the city.
1. You need to download the Pokémon Go app on your smartphone, which is available for Android and iOS users (sorry Windows).
2. Sign on, edit your character and choose your name.
3. The most exciting part, choose your first Pokémon: Charmander, Squirtle or Bulbasaur (or a hidden Pikachu)
4. Go outside and walk, I found my first Pokémon at home but you don’t want to know where I found Staryu –a water type Pokémon.
5. Catch them, you use poke-balls and good aim for that. Throw them by tapping the screen.
6. Visit Pokéstops, they are marked on the map in very particular places. The closest to my home is the local High School. You can get items like potions, poke-balls, eggs, revives and many interesting things for free. While some other special items can only be bought with pokécoins, which you can buy or earn inside the game.
7. Level up your character and Pokémon by catching more Pokémon, fighting at gyms and visiting different pokéstops.
8. Join a team among the three possible options after reaching level 5: Red Team Valor, Yellow Team Instinct, and Blue Team Mystic. You’ll be able to battle other trainers at Gyms and claim them with the colour of your team.
9. Trade your Pokémon with friends all over the world, it’s usually the easiest way to widen your collection.
10. Be careful with your surroundings, it can get really dangerous if you walk outside unaware of what’s happening. People are usually careful and won’t harm you, but bad things happen when two careless persons meet in the same time/space.
Have you tried Pokémon Go already? Tell us what you think about this augmented reality videogame.