Nintendo and Niantic Labs want to keep the Pokémon Go phenomenon going. And they’ll do that with the launch next week of the Pokémon Go Plus device, which lets you capture Pokémon without using your smartphone.
John Hanke, the CEO of Niantic Labs, said today at Apple’s press event that Pokémon Go has been downloaded more than 500 million times. To keep the momentum going, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company just announced that Pokémon Go Plus will be available in most of the world next week, on September 16. And before the end of the year, Pokémon Go is launching on the Apple Watch.
Pokémon Go Plus is a companion device that connects to your phone over Bluetooth Smart (the Bluetooth low-energy connection designed for health and fitness applications), enabling you to keep your phone in your pocket and go about your day-to-day activities while still being able to collect valuable resources and capture even the most elusive Pokémon.
“We’ve been testing it here at Niantic, and we love the way it allows you to blend Pokémon Go even more seamlessly into family and fitness activities,” Niantic Labs said. “Now you’ll be able to play and enjoy your walk, run, hike, park trips, or visits to the library without having to look at your screen all the time.”
As you pass by a PokéStop, Pokémon Go Plus will vibrate and light up to alert you to the location. You’ll even be able to collect new items just by clicking the Pokémon Go Plus. If there are nearby Pokémon hiding in your area, you’ll be alerted and can catch the Pokémon with a button on Pokémon Go Plus and then continue on your way, Niantic said. (Later, you can check your Journal to see which Pokémon you’ve just caught.)
Pokémon Go Plus will be available on September 16, 2016, in most countries and later in the year in a few South American territories.