It’s pretty safe to say that despite its unprecedented popularity, Pokémon Go is a little light on the gameplay. Sure you can “catch ’em all” and take over gyms, but that’s more meta strategy. The actual gameplay is in the throwing of Pokéballs, but that flick isn’t very thematic. So what if you could use a real-world Pokéball you actually throw to catch more pocket monsters?
That’s what the creators of the “Trainer Ball,” for “the # 1 App in the world,” hope to create with their new Kickstarter campaign. It’s a device that adds kinetic motion controls to the game, by letting you actually throw the ball. Using onboard sensors and your phone’s camera, the ball can then capture Pokémon based on the effectiveness of your throw.
The idea is to get away from the clicking gameplay and give gamers something much more akin to what they’re supposed to be doing in the game world. The “trainer ball” can also work on gesture controls, letting you just flick it to get the same sort of effect.
The Trainer Ball is also a power bank that lets you charge your phone from the peripheral. We’re told it can hold enough power to charge a phone a couple of times, which should help counter the big battery life issue that gamers have been facing since Pokémon Go was released.
Early-bird pricing offers trainer balls at $35 a piece, while those who come in late can expect to spend $55. They are expected to be shipped by February.
There is one thing about the campaign page that is quite glaring — there’s not one mention of Pokémon, Niantic, or Pokémon Go anywhere. It’s a “trainer ball,” for the “#1 app,” not a Pokéball for Pokémon Go.
If you read the fine print, it says: “We have not yet finished out licensing agreement. In order for this product to go to market, we will need to finish an agreement with a licensed party of the application.”
That means that as much as these developers might have thought out their product fully over the month since Pokémon Go was released and might have even prototyped and begun building it in short order, Nintendo, Niantic ,or the Pokémon Company could at any point, swoop in and stop it from ever happening.
That’s why the creators are encouraging everyone to share the “#WheresTheBall” hashtag wherever possible to try and encourage those companies to give it the seal of approval.
As much as this is a neat little toy, we don’t see that happening any time soon.