It goes without saying that today has been a pretty eventful day for Nintendo and The Pokemon Company. After recent teases about big reveals, The Pokemon Company hosted a press conference announcing not only a new spin-off game called Pokemon Quest but also unveiled Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon Let’s Go, Eevee! for the Nintendo switch, the latest in its long line of Pokemon RPGs. But of course there are still a few little things The Pokemon Company has to show off.
In 2016, a wearable bluetooth sensor was released called Pokemon Go Plus. The sensor would buzz when near Pokemon or Pokestops, all in the name of an enhanced player experience. Now the peripheral seems to be making a return in a revamped and expanded form called the Pokeball Plus.
Apparently the new peripheral will function as a type of Joy-Con, working with both Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon Let’s Go, Eevee! as well as with Pokemon Go. In addition to motion controls, the device will also light up, vibrate, and make noises in an attempt to mimic a real Pokemon inside. According to Lets Go developer Game Freak, when playing the Let’s Go games “players will be able to feel it moving within the device.”
It seems that that immersion is something at the forefront of the new Pokemon games and something discussed at great length with regards to the Pokeball Plus. Game Freak director Junichi Masuda spoke at the press conference about using the Pokeball Pro to bring Pokemon into the real world with the player.
One of the things we noticed from the Pokemon plus device with Pokemon Go is that kind of lighting up when you’re catching a Pokemon, having an LED light up and flash, was kind of an exciting element for a lot of players… So we made sure to incorporate that in the Pokeball Plus, so in addition to the HD rumble and the lighting up, it does make it feel like you’ve caught a Pokemon and it’s going in the ball.”
Regardless of weather you think such immersion is important to Pokemon games, the new peripheral will likely be popular among Pokemon fans. With more cartoonish games like Pokemon Quest on the way, as well as the core titles, The Pokemon Company is appealing to a wide fan-base and show no signs of slowing down. It’s a good day to be a Pokemon fan.
The Pokeball Plus doesn’t currently have a release date but will likely arrive alongside Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon Let’s Go, Eevee! on November 16th 2018.