Pokemon GO, the massively successful Android and iOS game that was released last month, was supposed to be accompanied by an accessory shortly after its release called the Pokemon GO Plus. The Pokemon GO Plus is a small wearable device that assists Pokemon GO players in finding and catching Pokemon. The device vibrates when it is near a Pokemon, so that the player doesn’t have to take their phone out of their pocket, and can even catch the Pokemon directly from the wearable as long as it is one that they have already caught before.
This sounds like a very useful tool to those on a quest to “catch ‘em all”. However, last week it was announced that the device would not be released in July, and had been pushed back to an expected release date of sometime in September. While there was some speculation as to why, with some assuming that it was a measure to ensure that supply would be able to meet demand, the actual reason for the delay appears to be compatibility testing for the latest game updates. Nintendo has recently released a statement clarifying why the product is not yet available. “The delay is due to the preparations for the Pokemon GO application update in order to optimize Pokemon GO Plus,” Nintendo explains. “In order for us to offer new experiences to play Pokemon GO with Pokemon GO Plus with a quality level high enough to satisfy as many people as possible, we decided that it is necessary to take enough time for the completion. We ask for your understanding.” The game was recently updated to version 0.31, which brought a number of enhancements to the gameplay, some user interface tweaks, and a few performance improvements. The footprints in the list of nearby Pokemon, however, have been removed, most likely due to a glitch that kept the number of footprints from changing to indicate proximity. As this is a big part of the game, it is assumed that they will bring that element back once it has been modified to work properly, and it may be reasonable to expect that this will happen prior to the release of the Pokemon GO Plus.
As it stands now, the Pokemon GO Plus is expected to be released sometime in September, and will sell for $34.99. It will be compatible with current Bluetooth-enabled Android and iOS devices. While it may not give you a huge edge over other players when it comes to catching Pokemon, it will certainly make the process more convenient, and fortunately, the wait for the device is coming to an end.