Happy holidays, Pokémon Go enthusiasts: The game is now available on the Apple Watch, gamemaker Niantic announced on Thursday. Add that to rumors of a bigger Christmas event and a strange alteration on the home screen, and it’s shaping up to be a big week.
According to Niantic, on the Apple Watch you will be able to:
▪ Log each play session as a workout, with gameplay counting toward personal Activity rings
▪ Receive notifications about nearby Pokémon
▪ Count distance toward hatching Pokémon Eggs and receiving Candy with your Buddy Pokémon
▪ Receive notifications about PokéStops nearby and collect items from them
▪ Receive notifications when Eggs hatch and medals are awarded
Also, rumors are hatching that there is more coming for the Pokémon Go Christmas event than the underwhelming release that was announced on Dec. 12:
“Professor Willow has discovered Togepi and Pichu hatching from Eggs! Starting later today, Trainers will have the opportunity to hatch these and several other Pokémon that were originally discovered in the Johto Region in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver video games. These are the first of more Pokémon coming to Pokémon GO over the next few months.”
Those new baby Pokémon are from Generation 2, but players were hoping for more from what was billed as a big announcement, perhaps a release of 100 or so new creatures. For now, just a handful have arrived, and they must be hatched from eggs. And a limited edition Pikachu is wearing a festive hat to celebrate the holiday season.
Now data miners have unveiled code for a variant icon for the shop and text indicating that “holiday items” will be available. Icons were also found for special present boxes. It’s unclear what the presents might contain, but new Pokémon could be a possibility or perhaps items not obtainable at PokéStops.
And here’s an odd development: Niantic has changed the silhouette of Pokémon Go’s female trainer character on the holiday home screen, making her far less curvy. Some players had complained that the original silhouette was at best unrealistic and at worst objectified the trainer.
Overland Park-based Sprint recently announced a partnership with Niantic in a bid to pull fans of the popular location-based game into more than 10,500 of its stores in the United States.
Pokémon Go players can go to Sprint, Boost, and Sprint at RadioShack locations to recharge phones, get data plans, collect in-game items, including Poké balls and eggs, and battle with their favorite characters.
Niantic also announced a partnership with Starbucks.
Some players are hoping legendary Pokémon such as Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres and Mewtwo are finally released into the game, and there is also speculation about the introduction of player vs. player battles and trading.