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Today’s Nintendo Treehouse live stream from E3 started with a Pokémon GO developer Q&A. During this Q&A, we learned that the Pokémon GO project started because of the Google Maps April Fool’s Challenge back in 2013. We also got confirmation that the Pokémon GO field test currently has “tens of thousands” of players, and that 30 Pokéballs are being thrown per second.

We were then treated to screenshots that Tsunekazu Ishihara, CEO of The Pokémon Company, had taken during his play of the field test. These included appearances by Pikachu, Nidorino, Machop, and more! Mr. Ishihara remarked that all of these screenshots include his dog because he is often playing the field test while he is out taking his pet for a walk in the mornings.

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We also learned during the Q&A that nicknames can be given to the Pokémon you catch in GO. The developers also stated that because it is the franchise’s 20th anniversary, they chose to start the game with only the first generation Pokémon that were in Pokémon Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow. They did confirm that they plan to add all of the Pokémon over time.

Pokémon GO’s AR Mode was also shown off, right on the Treehouse Live stage. We were able to see Abra, Paras, and Rattata standing right at the front of the stage during a battle. The mechanics of catching Pokémon were also detailed, with the developers noting that the process does involve a little skill and timing, rather than just pressing A like in the main series games. The opposing Pokémon is surrounded by a circle, which grows smaller and bigger, and you must time your Pokéball throw to hit the Pokémon when the circle is at its smallest.

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The physical Pokémon GO Plus device was also detailed. The accessory allows you to play Pokémon GO without having to take out your smart phone, thanks to a bluetooth connection. The button in the center of the device vibrates and lights up green whenever you are near a Pokémon, and you press the button to throw a Pokéball at it. The button will flash in a rainbow of colors if the Pokémon has been caught, and will flash red if the Pokémon capture fails. You have to take out your smartphone to discover just what you’ve caught, however.


Perhaps the most important info that we got about Pokémon GO is that it should be released by the end of July, along with Pokémon GO Plus. Pokémon GO Plus will be available online and at select retailers for $34.99. You can also pre-order it from Amazon.

When asked if Pokémon GO would be compatible with Pokémon Sun and Moon, the developers stated that while they will eventually include some sort of compatibility with the main series games, they want users to focus on playing Pokémon GO first, before they introduce those features. It is for this same reason that they stated that trading will not be a part of Pokémon GO at launch, as they want players to focus on catching lots of creatures first. Trading will be included eventually.

Group events were also mentioned; the developers noted that there are plans to implement group events eventually, but as of right now the best example of group events would be the way people come together to take down Pokémon Gyms.

Make sure to keep an eye out for Pokémon GO, coming before the end of July! Stay tuned to Nintendo Inquirer for any breaking Pokémon GO news!

Check out the full Treehouse Live segment featuring Pokémon GO below:

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Written by Jaxson Tapp

As a lover of gaming and the written word, Jaxson currently fills his time not only with playing games, but also writing about them. Ready for anything, Jaxson’s passion for puzzle games, JRPGs, tough platformers, and whimsical indies helps him bring a well-rounded opinion to Nintendo Wire’s reporting.