Pokemon GO, the game that’s changing the world of Augmented Reality

Most of us have heard of and probably played Pokemon at some stage during our childhood, the highly successful franchise by Nintendo that has been made into books, trading card games, and an animated TV Series.

That’s not all though, now thanks to the partnership with the company Niantic, Nintendo is seeing it’s Pokemon franchise become highly successful once again. This isn’t Niantics first game either, they previously developed a game called Ingress and Pokemon Go basically a reskinned version of Ingress with various features that are relevant specifically to Pokemon Go.

So what is Pokemon GO?

The game is location-based, what this means is the game works from your location in the real world making use of your phone’s sensors such as GPS to pinpoint you on the map and show you the Pokemon that are currently near you.

For most of the game you can’t really get that far unless you actually physically leave your house, as you walk around your neighbourhood pokemon will appear and you may run into some Pokestops too that let you get Pokeballs and other items.

The main view in Pokemon GO, allowing you to navigate and search for nearby Pokemon.

One of the main success point for this game is that it has been designed so very well, every button, every page, everything has been looked at and refined over and over, the user interface is fantastic and this is a very well designed game.

What are Augmented Reality Games?

In recent years there have been talk about two technologies, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, for this article we will focus on Augmented Reality, or AR.

AR is a technology that allows a device to overlay an image in the real world on the user’s device, for this game it’s obviously Pokemon, when you catch a Pokemon you have the choice to have AR Mode enabled, and if enabled you will be able to see the Pokemon in the real world through your phone or tablet.

No game has used Augmented Reality and been as successful at using it as Pokemon GO has been, in fact as soon as the game launched publicly Nintendo’s stocks almost tripled in value.

Catching Pokemon using Pokemon GO’s Augmented Reality (AR) feature.

So what’s all the fuss about?

Whether it’s a hit of nostalgia back to the days of Playing Pokemon on a Gameboy or whether it’s the successful use Augmented Reality with a very well designed game, we’re not sure, it’s probably a bit of both, and the hype will hopefully settle down a bit after a couple of weeks, but for now we’ll leave you with this YouTube video taken in Central Park in New York City.

Attributions

Video recorded by Dennis450D embedded under YouTube’s Terms of Service Section 6C