Nintendo's cunning plan to make you leave the house is already bearing fruit.
Pokemon Go has soft-launched, and trainers are already hard at work on the path to becoming a Pokemon Master.
Not everyone in every region is able to download the Nintendo-flavoured Ingress clone yet, but it seems to be opening up to more users in the US and Japan, and is freely available in Australia and New Zealand. All my pals have gone outside. Ugh.
Like Ingress, which was also developed by Niantic and inspired Nintendo to initiate Pokemon Go, the app is location-based - so you'll need to check in with it regularly while you're out and about if you want to climb the ranks. For best results, join a team as soon as you can after reaching level 5.
The successes of a Pokemon Google Maps easter egg and Nintendo's social network app Miitomo give us reason to believe this one may have the potential to go mega. As well as ticking boxes in Nintendo's bid to create a hardware agnostic platform, the app seems to align with the aims of Nintendo's Quality of Life unit - getting people up and exploring their neighbourhoods.
For U.S. and Japanese customers, Pokémon Co. says "please wait for a while" for formal launch of its AR game Pokémon GO.
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) July 6, 2016