Later this week,
Pokémon Go will be getting a huge update that adds 80 new Pokémon and some very welcome new features to the 7-month-old smartphone sensation.
Without further ado, here’s what’s coming, according to a blog from Pokémon Go developer Niantic:
- 80 new Pokémon, taken from the classic Pokémon “Gold” and “Silver” Game Boy Colour games. While Niantic hasn’t yet shared the full list, it definitely includes fan-favourites Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Espeon, Umbreon, Merrill, Bellossom, and Hoppip, as revealed in a promotional image.
- Collectible “evolution items” that cause certain Pokémon to evolve. In Pokémon “Gold” and “Silver,” for instance, the “King’s Rock” item can cause Slowbro to evolve into Slowking when traded to another player — Niantic doesn’t go into detail, but it seems a similar feature is coming to Pokémon Go.
- Two new types of berry to use while catching Pokémon: The Nanab Berry, which slows a Pokémon’s movements, and the Pinap Berry, which doubles the amount of candy you get if your next catch attempt is successful.
- New items to dress up your avatar, plus some premium items that you can purchase from the in-game Pokémon Go shop. You can earn currency for that shop by playing the game, or exchange real-world money.
- Not strictly related to the game itself, but Niantic and Nintendo promise that they’re replenishing retailer supplies of the hard-to-find Pokémon Go Plus wearable accessory this week.
The much-anticipated release of new Pokémon into Pokémon Go comes at an opportune time. Since it was released last summer, Pokémon Go has become a cultural phenomenon and generated an estimated $US1 billion for Niantic.
But early server issues, a string of buggy updates, and the delay of promised new features have since caused Pokémon Go to sink on the App Store’s charts. Niantic has rekindled some interest in the game with holiday promotions, but a big update to the game itself is likely to draw in lapsed players and attract new ones.
Still, some big and long-promised features — namely, player-versus-player battling and Pokémon trading — are still MIA, even in this new update. Never fear, though: In a recent interview with Vice’s Waypoint, Niantic CEO John Hanke promises that those features are “going to be done soon.”
Check out the trailer for the new Pokémon Go update below: