A short while ago Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke dropped the bombshell news that Pokemon Go was coming to the Apple Watch at Apple's new Press Event. However, he also confirmed that the long awaited Pokemon Go Plus device is still on pace to be released later this month.
The Pokemon Go Plus is a small peripheral device manufactured by Nintendo that connects to the Pokemon Go software via Bluetooth. Players wear the Pokemon Go Plue on their wrist or lapel and it will automatically vibrate and light up whenever a Pokemon or PokeStop is nearby. By clicking on a button on the Pokemon Go Plus, players can collect items or throw PokeBalls at wild Pokemon without ever pulling out their phone.
While it appears that the Pokemon Go Plus and Apple Watch will have similar functions, the Pokemon Go's $35 price tag is a bit smaller than the $300 it takes to buy an Apple Watch. There's also some unanswered questions about how the Pokemon Go Plus, such as whether players will need Pokemon Go to be actively running on their phone in order for it to function.
While Nintendo originally planned to release the Pokemon Go Plus back in July, the video game giant pushed back its release to give Niantic more time to work on Pokemon Go's functionality with the device. Pre-orders for the Pokemon Go Plus quickly sold out in July, although some companies have recently re-opened pre-orders in recent days.
Although some may think that Nintendo missed a major opportunity by waiting to release the Pokemon Go Plus during Pokemon Go's peak in late July, the game has still been downloaded over 500 million times and has yet to roll out in several major markets, including China and India.
Niantic is also still adding new features to improve Pokemon Go, the game's next update will add a "buddy" feature that allows players to walk their Pokemon in exchange for candies that can be used to power up and evolve them. They've also promised trading and an updated tracking feature in future updates.