Pokemon Go is about take a step beyond the phone: Nintendo will start selling a wearable device called Pokemon Go Plus next week. The device will become available on September 16 for a retail price of $35.
Pokemon Go Plus will work a little bit like an activity tracker, connecting to a phone via Bluetooth, and is looking to make the game less distracting. Currently, players have to have the game open on their phones while walking through their neighborhoods to find Pokemon and in-game locations called Pokestops that can be used to acquire digital goods.
With Pokemon Go Plus, the phone can be in one’s pocket. When a player passes by a Pokestop or when a Pokemon pops up nearby, the device is going to vibrate and light up. Players can even collect digital goods and catch Pokemons without taking out their phone.
“Now you’ll be able to play and enjoy your walk, run, hike, park trips or visits to the library without having to look at your screen all the time,” game maker Niantic wrote on its blog Thursday.
Pokemon Go Plus won’t be the only wearable to support gameplay straight from the wrist. Apple announced Wednesday that the game is also coming to its Apple Watch. In conjunction with that announcement, Niantic revealed that Pokemon go has been downloaded more than 500 million times since its launch in July, and that its players have collectively walked 4.6 billion kilometers.
And a new report from App Annie estimates that Pokemon Go has generated more than $500 million via in-app purchases, which would be a new record: It took Candy Crush more than 200 days to reach that milestone; Pokemon Go got there in just over 60 days.