Pokémon GO has finally launched in Japan, the country of its birth.
The Japan Times reports: “Pokémon fans in Japan can at last grab their smartphones and set off outdoors in pursuit of monsters.”
And the national news agency, Kyodo, heralded the arrival of the smartphone game with the headline: “URGENT: Smash-hit ‘Pokémon GO’ launched in Japan amid global frenzy.”
Trainers in Japan, thank you for being patient. Pokémon GO is now available to download in Japan!
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) July 22, 2016
The delay in launching in Japan was reported to be because of fears that servers supporting the game would not be able to cope with intense demand.
The 3000 McDonald’s restaurants in Japan are sponsoring Pokemon with its restaurants becoming game centres.
The function of the restaurants in the games is unclear. They may be Pokéstops, which allow players to collect the balls which enable the capturing of the Pokémon monsters. Or they may be “gyms” which allow players to conduct battles between their captured creatures.
Pokémon Go, first released in Australia and New Zealand on July 6, is now in more than 30 countries.
Shares in Nintendo, which has holdings in the developer Niantic, a Google spinoff, and the Pokémon Company, have more than doubled to $US42 billion in two weeks.
After a fall earlier this week the shares have resumed their climb.
A short time ago, they were up 3% today to 28,840 Yen.