'Trainer Ball' is a Pokéball-like device 'Pokémon Go' players can throw

trainer ball pokeball peripheral niantic license pokemongoperipheral
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.

Product Review

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ is an ode to gaming that lives up to its name

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a loving tribute to Nintendo and video game history. It’s a terrific multiplayer fighter that also has plenty for single-player fans to love this time around.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.

Itching to fight in an online match with friends in 'SSB Ultimate'? Here's how

You can play online against your friends in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but it isn't quite as simple as you might expect from a multiplayer game in 2018. Here's how you can do so using the Battle Arena system.

Still trying to unlock your main in 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Try these tips

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Nintendo’s biggest entry in the series to date with over 70 characters to unlock, but the process can feel tiresome. Here are our tips to unlock your roster as quickly as possible.

PlayStation Classic hacked in less than a week to play games via USB drive

Hackers have already managed to crack the PlayStation Classic, with programs now available to allow users to play additional original PlayStation games on the system via a USB drive.

‘Fortnite’ adds sword from ‘Infinity Blade,’ which disappears from App Store

Epic Games has added the Infinity Blade melee weapon to Fortnite just as it pulled all three games in the Infinity Blade trilogy from sale. The games are still available to download if you bought them.

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.

How to make a clan in ‘Destiny 2’ and where to go from there

Want to know how to make a clan in 'Destiny 2'? Here's everything you need to know, including how to design your clan's banner, earn extra loot, and help other players with guided games.

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in 'Destiny 2'? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.

Ditch the meditation app. 'Katamari Damacy Reroll' is pure gaming zen

Katamari Damacy Reroll brings the magic of the PS2 classic to Nintendo Switch and PC. With updated visuals and the same great, singular loop, Reroll stands the test of time. Katamari Damacy is the ultimate relaxation game.