Pokémon Go will soon be available to play on the Apple Watch. It’s the breakout mobile game hit of the year and even though it has lost over 10 million users, the game just crossed 500 million downloads. The game, which came out on July 6, has become one of the most successful mobile games of all time and has racked up more daily active users than any mobile game in history. It holds the record for most downloaded game in a week on the Apple App store. It added tens of billions to Nintendo’s market value (even though technically Nintendo didn’t own the game) and put Niantic, the parent company, on the map.
In terms of numbers, Pokémon Go is now second only to Angry Birds which has been downloaded a total of 3 billion times on all platforms. Next to Pokémon Go is the Class Tetris which has been downloaded 425 million times. After that comes Minecraft: Pocket Edition with 30 million downloads as of June 2015.
It’s worth noting that all these games have had a very long time, in one case decades, to build up their downloads and Pokémon Go has been around only a few months. However, that’s not a truly fair comparison. The Pokémon Franchise is over 20 years old. It’s fan following in Japan and all over the world is humongous. And it still makes over $2 billion annually from sales of video games and trading card games. That ultimately translated in to one of the most popular games in history.
Pokémon Go Plus
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) September 8, 2016
This little accessory was announced in companionship with the game nearly a year ago. It will pair up with your phone using low energy Bluetooth and will help you catch Pokémon and collect items from Pokestops with the push of a button. It can be worn as a wristwatch or as a pin on your shirt. You can just slip it in to your pocket too if that’s what you like. Niantic’s official statement reads:
“As you pass by a PokéStop, Pokémon GO Plus will vibrate and light up and alert you to the location. You’ll even be able to collect new items just by clicking the Pokémon GO Plus. If there’s nearby Pokémon hiding in your area you’ll be alerted with lights and vibrations; catch the Pokémon with a button on Pokémon GO Plus and then continue on your way (later, you can check your Journal to see which Pokémon you’ve just caught).”
The device, shaped like an upside down teardrop shaped Pokeball, will be available on September 16th “in most countries” for $35 or £35. It will be released in some South American regions later this year.
Players of Pokémon Go have travelled over 4.6 billion kilometers (or 3 billion miles) and have over come social anxiety, in some cases autism, to socialize much more frequently with their fellow citizens. The game has been known to increase physical activity, social interaction and improve health. It has even helped local businesses flourish by attracting players through Pokémon themed food and toys, specially where there are Pokéstops.