Nintendo’s Pokemon GO game: What we know so far

By: | Published: July 11, 2016 10:59 PM

Japan's Nintendo Co Ltd has been in the news like almost never before and it is all thanks to the success of its mobile gaming venture - Pokemon GO.

Pokemon GO game marries a classic 20-year old franchise with augmented reality, allows players to walk around real-life neighbourhoods while seeking virtual Pokemon game characters on their smartphone screens - a scavenger hunt that has earned enthusiastic early reviews.(Reuters)Pokemon GO game marries a classic 20-year old franchise with augmented reality, allows players to walk around real-life neighbourhoods while seeking virtual Pokemon game characters on their smartphone screens – a scavenger hunt that has earned enthusiastic early reviews.(Reuters)

Japan’s Nintendo Co Ltd has been in the news like almost never before and it is all thanks to the success of its mobile gaming venture – Pokemon GO. The game has been released in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Here are a top facts to know:

1. Pokemon GO game marries a classic 20-year old franchise with augmented reality, allows players to walk around real-life neighbourhoods while seeking virtual Pokemon game characters on their smartphone screens – a scavenger hunt that has earned enthusiastic early reviews.

2. Within 2 days of its release in the United States it was installed on more than 5 percent of Android devices. Pokemon GO is now on more Android phones than dating app Tinder and its rate of daily active users was neck and neck with social network Twitter.

3. Pokemon GO game is being played an average of 43 minutes a day, more time spent than on WhatsApp or Instagram, it added.

4. Pokemon GO game has shot up to the top of free app rankings in Apple Inc’s US iTunes store.

5. Pokemon GO is free and Nintendo is not the sole investor or creator. The game itself was created by Niantic, spun off from Google last year, and Pokemon Company. Nintendo owns a third of Pokemon Company and both have undisclosed stakes in Niantic.

6. Some analysts have been upbeat about the money-making potential for Pokemon GO, largely from small purchases made while playing – and the positive signs for other mobile gaming launches planned by Nintendo for 2016 and 2017.

7. To play, you fire up the game and then start trekking to prominent local landmarks – represented in the game as “Pokestops” – where you can gather supplies such as Pokeballs. Those are what you fling at online “pocket monsters,” or Pokemon, to capture them for training. At other locations called “gyms” – which may or may not be actual gyms in the real world – Pokemon battle one another for supremacy.

8. Players get more exercise than usual and can learn more about the historical landmarks incorporated into the game as Pokestops. Digital signposts describe their significance in the real world.

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