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Niantic releases official statement on Pokémon Go global rollout

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Here’s a breakdown of what we know about Pokémon Go‘s global release so far in order of date:

  • The game is out now in the Philippines and 14 other countries in Asia and Ocenia. Swing by this page for the full list.
  • As of today, August 4, Pokémon Go is now available in Central and South America. The news comes just in time for the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil. The world’s best athletes training in Pokémon gyms could be a thing now. Yay!
  • Nintendo announced on July 27th that Pokémon Go Plus, the watch-like companion device that alerts you of nearby monsters, will be available in September, not late-July.

  • Pokémon Go debuted in France and Hong Kong on July 25. Reports said the game has seen more than 75 million downloads between the iOS and Android app stores.
  • Pikachu is home. Pokémon Go was released in its native Japan on July 22, two days after servers were originally scheduled to go live.
  • On July 17, the game was unleashed in Canada.
  • July 16th marked Pokémon Go’s launch in 26 other countries across Europe, namely Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland.
  • Pokémon Go went live in Italy, Spain, and Portugal on July 15.

As Pokémon Go finds its way to more users around the world, the question on everyone’s minds is: Where will the coveted augmented-reality game launch next?

As of this writing, the game is only officially released in 37 countries, including Australia, Canada, the U.S., and most of Europe. Yes, we’re counting!

Of course, that hasn’t stopped speculation from mounting. Some websites even went as far as saying that Pokémon Go will be made available in some parts of Southeast Asia by July.

Now, we can say with certainty that won’t be the case. Fortyseven Communications, the PR firm of Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs, earlier released a statement on behalf of the company, saying the game developer can’t give a release date for Pokémon Go for the rest of the world.

“The team is currently heads down working on the game. We do not have any announced plans for countries beyond New Zealand, Australia, US and Germany at the moment.”

That doesn’t mean the app isn’t on its way to more regions, including Southeast Asia, where it has been reported that servers were temporarily turned on for a few hours. Regardless, it’s best to keep expectations in check until further notice.

And word may be out soon. In a recent interview with Reuters, Niantic Labs chief executive John Hanke said he wants a wider rollout for Pokémon Go, adding he expects 200 more countries and regions to join in on the fun “relatively soon.”

Pokémon Go took the world by storm recently, and has since seen more daily active users than Twitter and Tinder, and people spend more time time on it than on Facebook. It has even overtaken the mighty Candy Crush Saga.

It is estimated the game generates millions within minutes, and it isn’t even available in most parts of the world yet. Perhaps even more impressive, Nintendo has doubled in market value since the game’s release.

For our part, we’ve set up our own Pokémon Go watch, which entails round-the-clock hourly checks of the app and related content on the web. As soon as we have an update, you’ll be the first to hear it.

This story was published on July 15. It has been edited to reflect Pokemon Go’s availability to more regions and details from Retuers’ interview with Niantic head John Hanke.

Source: IGN Southeast Asia

Gaming

Nike, Paul George unveil PlayStation-themed shoes

Features extra goodies for PS4 owners

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Basketball shoes are a way for fans to show their love for the game. However, Nike’s new shoes show appreciation for a different kind of game — the video game.

Sporting a PlayStation logo and a load of other gamer goodies, the PG2 is Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George’s latest collaboration with Nike. His second signature shoe with the sneaker company boasts both his twin loves — basketball and video games.

George, who previously played for the Indiana Pacers, is no stranger to collaborations with the gaming world. Last year, the star was featured on the cover of NBA 2K17, when he was still donning the blue and gold. In the same year, he also launched his first shoe, the PG1, which sported a cameo of his 2K17 render.

The PG2 shares a similar design with the PG1, particularly its traditional look compared to the standard bootie design today.

The shoe exudes a dark blue with black accents look. It shows off the PG brand and PlayStation logos on the right and left tongues, respectively. Mimicking the PS4’s DualShock controllers, both logos light up and pulse when activated by buttons. The lighting mechanism contains a 150-hour non-removable battery.

The shoe’s lace locks are painted red, green, blue, and pink to look like the iconic PlayStation symbols. The actual symbols themselves highlight the patented leather on the shoes’ sides.

Also, Sony lent its PlayStation Galaxy theme to the shoes’ sock liner and midsole. Splotches of red, purple, and blue accompany the Nike swoosh on the midsole. Meanwhile, the sock liner dons the stellar theme.

PlayStation gamers will also enjoy a digital goodie bag after purchasing the shoe. A PlayStation Network barcode on the right shoe unlocks access to a dynamic Paul George theme on the PS4. It will also unlock a surprise that George and designer Tony Hardman are keeping under wraps until its launch.

The PG2 PlayStation shoes will hit stores on February 10 at a modest US$ 110. Paul George himself debuted the shoes at the Thunder’s 24-point blowout win against the Cleveland Cavaliers last January 20.

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Gaming

Nintendo Labo transforms Switch using cardboard and creativity

Fun for kids and adults alike!

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You really have to hand it to Nintendo for truly maximizing the capabilities of their consoles. The latest creation comes in the form of Labo, which can make your Switch even more fun to play with using just cardboard.

Set to become available by April 20, Nintendo Labo is a DIY set that lets you build everyday tools that are fully compatible with the Switch’s main body and Joy-Con controllers. There are two sets to choose from: a Variety Kit that’ll retail for US$ 70 and a Robot Kit that’ll cost US$ 80.

Those may seem a little pricey and too close to the cost of an actual Switch when combined, but wait till you see Nintendo’s first trailer for Labo:

It’s a dream come true for fans of the Switch and DIY enthusiasts! The video shows off some of the creations you can make, including a functional 13-key piano, fishing rod, and motorbike. Those and more are part of the Variety Kit.

For those who want to unleash their inner mecha, the Robot Kit looks even more appealing. If the trailer turns out to be accurate, you can place yourself right into the action with a backpack mount, visor, and straps for your hands and feet. Again, these are mostly made of cardboard, making it all the more appealing and fun to play with.

Of course, paper alone isn’t enough to get these new games to run. Software will be bundled to complete the experience, as well as step-by-step instructions that are child-friendly and allow kids to learn how to build on their own.

Those lucky enough to reside in New York City or San Francisco can attend a three-hour Nintendo Labo Studio hands-on event on February 2 to 3 or March 2 to 4, respectively. You’re gonna have to bring a kid aged six to 12 to participate, however, according to the website’s rules.

For an additional US$ 20, you can also purchase a customization set loaded with sticker sheets, stencil sheets, and cutesy tape to modify your designs. All these seem like only the start of what Nintendo has planned for the future of the Switch, and we can’t wait to see more!

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CES 2018

Hyperkin remakes the Game Boy for 2018

Will cost less than $100

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The hunt for nostalgia drives a lot of the new releases in the gaming industry. Years to decades after their launch, beloved games and consoles are getting remasters and rereleases. The Game Boy will be the latest blast from the past to hop on the nostalgia train.

Nintendo, however, isn’t responsible for this trip down memory lane. Gaming peripherals company Hyperkin takes on the challenge of bringing the classic portable gaming machine back to life.

The very first Game Boy was released back in 1989. The handheld console would go through several versions until the Game Boy Micro in 2005, when it would bow out to the Nintendo DS. Because of its proficiency, the DS (and recently, the Switch) overshadowed the legacy created by the GB family.

Last year, the company has remade the NES, SNES, and Famicom home consoles into repackaged Classic Editions. The new editions would usher in a clamor for more retro consoles. It was only a matter of time before Nintendo got around to the Game Boy once again.

Hyperkin beat them to it. At CES 2018, they announced plans to release an updated version of the Game Boy that features optimized hardware and compatibility with the original games from before.

Called the Ultra Game Boy, the new console is made from aluminum, allowing for more durability than the original. The layout mimics that of the first, but includes an additional dial for backlight brightness. (Until the Advance SP, the original GB family had no backlighting.)

The Ultra GB also features a built-in rechargeable battery that boasts six hours of usage. Connectivity includes a USB Type-C port for charging and audio-out ones.

The catch? Unlike Nintendo’s re-released consoles, Hyperkin’s Ultra GB won’t come with a built-in suite of games. Owners will have to blow into their old collection of cartridges to play anything on the console.

Hyperkin hopes to launch the Ultra Game Boy by this year. It will come with a price tag that runs around the US$ 100 margin.

SEE ALSO: 5 must-have Nintendo Switch games that aren’t Zelda

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