Niantic Inc. is currently hard at work doing everything its power to ensure that the first-anniversary celebrations for Pokémon Go catapult the game toward the level of popularity it enjoyed upon its release last summer. In Japan, that effort will include a new accessory for the Pokémon Go Plus companion wearable, which launched last year.
A new adapter will allow players to wear their Pokémon Go Plus device as a ring on their finger, giving them easy access to it whenever they need to let loose a Pokéball. Previously, the hardware was confined to the user’s wrist.
The ring adapter costs around $3.50, and doesn’t include the actual Pokémon Go Plus hardware, according to a report from Gamespot. There’s currently no confirmation that it will be made available outside of Japan, but given that the Pokémon Go Plus device sold like hot cakes when it launched internationally, there’s reason to believe that the product will eventually reach the U.S.
The Pokémon Go Plus wearable allows players to perform certain actions in-game without reaching for their phone. It gives off an alert when a Pokéstop is nearby, and also can be used to capture Pokémon when they’re in the vicinity.
However, there are some questions about how useful the hardware is at this stage of the game. A recent update to Pokémon Go added the ability to gain items at gyms in much the same way as a Pokéstop, but it has been confirmed that the Pokémon Go Plus wearable won’t be updated to support this new mechanic — much to the frustration of players on Reddit.
It’s understandable that technical issues might make adding this kind of functionality difficult. However, it’s strange to see new Pokémon Go Plus accessories being released when the hardware isn’t in step with the current version of the game.
The Pokémon Go Plus ring accessory launches on July 15 in Japan, and will be on sale at Pokémon Centers across the country. As well as the adapter, special decals for the wearable based on the designs of Great Balls, Ultra Balls, and Master Balls are also set to be made available.