Professional Pokémon Go trainers, rejoice. The official wearable companion to everyone’s favorite augmented reality catching game is launching September 16, developer Niantic confirmed Wednesday night.
Pokémon Go Plus, set to retail for $35, is a tiny puck that attaches to the wrist, belt, or anything else the strap fits around. The device connects via Bluetooth to a player’s smartphone and alerts the user to nearby in-game items even when the phone is locked. The gadget lights up and buzzes when a Pokéstop is nearby, and players can collect available items by pressing on the device. Similarly, when a Pokémon is nearby, the wearable will light up and allow a player to catch without ever unlocking the phone.
“We’ve been testing it here at Niantic and we love the way it allows you to blend Pokémon GO even more seamlessly into family and fitness activities,” the company said in its statement. “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.”
The device was expected to launch in June, but in Nintendo’s first quarter earnings report, the company announced a surprise delay until September. Nintendo had a limited role in the development of the Pokémon Go app itself, making the hardware one of the major ways the game’s success will impact the company’s bottom line.
The highly-anticipated accessory has fetched over $1,000 in early eBay listings as players scramble to up their catching game. That anticipation may be somewhat tempered, however, by Niantic’s other announcement Wednesday of an Apple Watch app. Whether players will want to spend money to wear something that looks like a Pokéball, when they can buy a more regular-looking watch that has a number of other features, remains to be seen.Photos via Nintendo