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Pokemon GO uses your smartphone to let you catch ’em all in the real world

For years the Pokemon series of games has seen players making their way through locations either set in or based on real locations around the world. Now for the first time a new game will let you literally catch Pokemon in your own backyard, at least if you’re lucky enough to find one there.

Nintendo, The Pokemon Company, and Ingress developer Niantic announced the new game, titled Pokemon GO, at a press conference in Tokyo today. The game combines the real-world location scouting of Ingress with the “gotta catch ‘em all” mentality that has been part of Pokemon games since the beginning.

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Pokemon GO is a wonderful combination of Niantic’s real-world gaming platform and one of the most beloved franchises in popular culture,” Niantic CEO John Hanke said in a statement. “Our partnership with The Pokémon Company and Nintendo is an exciting step forward in real-world gaming and using technology to help players discover the world and people around them.”

pokemon-go-plus-with-strap

The game will be released for iOS and Android devices, but a device called the Pokemon GO Plus will let players find and capture Pokemon even when they’re away from their phones. Essentially a very basic smartwatch, this device connects via Bluetooth and will flash and vibrate when virtual Pokemon are nearby.

The actual game hasn’t been seen in action by many so far. Instead, the Pokemon Company released the trailer seen above, giving an idea of what players will be doing as they capture Pokemon in the real world. If it were any other series, we’d be skeptical, but given how popular this series is, Pokemon GO has a good chance of taking off.

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“Our challenge was to develop a great game for smartphone devices that expressed the core values of Pokemon,” CEO of The Pokemon Company Tsunekazu Ishihara said. “Pokemon GO is the answer to that challenge.”

Pokemon GO will be released in 2016 via the App Store and Google Play, and will be free to play with various microtransactions built in. No price has been announced for the Pokemon GO Plus accessory so far, but we aren’t expecting it to be too expensive.