The cute but violent monsters of Pokémon are slowly making their way into our world. First, made they infiltrated Google Maps. Now, smartphones will put them into the real world—kind of.
Next year will see the release of Pokémon Go, a mobile Pokémon game that you’ll play with smartphones and tablets. It’s an “augmented reality” game, which means it uses your phone’s camera to mix the real world around you with the Pokémon monsters you’ll play with, which are displayed on the screen. The background is the real world, with game elements mixed in.
That means you’ll actually be going to physical locations to find and capture Pokémon characters, or to pit them in battles against each other (because it’s always important to reiterate that Pokémon is basically a cute dogfighting simulator). It’s a video game that gets you outside!
The game also pairs with Pokémon Go Plus, a wearable watch thing that lets you do things like throw poké balls (the magic bits of technology that let you capture and resummon your pokemon). The idea there is the watch gives you a little more immersion with the game, so you’re not so necessarily stuck playing only with your phone.
So good news: in 2016, you’ll finally be able to go out and catch Pokémon in your neighborhood. Just don’t wander into traffic or fall down a manhole or something.