Pokemon Go has been in the works for a while now, and after quite some time of development, a stable beta has come out to several different places. In early March, the beta was released to Japan, and about a month later it was released to all parts of Australia. Recently, developer Niantic expanded the beta to the United States under a selective registration system. After these beta testing phases, the full game is set to release at some point this summer.
For those that don't know, Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game developed for mobile platforms. The idea is to expand the Pokemon universe to the real world, where players will be able to find Pokemon by wandering around certain areas and having the game notify them if one is near. It will also come with a wearable device, called the Pokemon Go Plus, which is planned to notify users when a Pokemon is near with whatever notification system their device has enabled. The player uses a sequence to attempt to catch the Pokemon, and the game tells them if the creature was successfully captured.
If you live in the United States and this sounds appealing to you, then you might want to go check out Niantic's website, because registration for the U.S. beta went live very recently. Registration for the beta requires that you have a Google account with a corresponding Gmail address. An email account for any other website will not be valid for registration. In addition, you must have either an Apple or Android mobile device if you live in the United States. If you have an Android device, you must have version 4.3 or higher for the game to run properly. If you have an Apple device, it must be an iPhone 5 or above that runs iOS 8 or higher. Ability to play is not guaranteed on all devices.
In addition to these restrictions, acceptance into the field test upon registration is not an assurance. Niantic has complete license to reject registration if they are given proper reason to do so. Niantic also requests that Pokemon Go's field testers not share any information, as they want to keep the experience of the game under wraps, as it is something truly unique. Since it involves communication with the real world and is ever-expansive, there are a lot of bugs within the beta and Niantic needs a lot of secrecy and a lot of testers. As a result, there is no monetary reward for participating in the beta, as the concept of helping improve the game should be rewarding enough in itself.
Niantic is working hard to create a truly unique and profound Pokemon experience by merging the worlds into one reality. Extending the Pokemon universe into the real one is a brilliant idea, and hopefully all of this effort and creativity will converge to create a truly terrific and outstanding experience. Implementing augmented reality to a Pokemon game is a splendid employment of a new technology, and it will bring endless amounts of joy to the infinite and expanding imaginations of nostalgic players and new ones alike.
Once again, you can find the beta registration here.