For those of you who reside underneath geological strata, Pokémon GO is the latest mobile game released by Niantic, Inc. (the makers of Ingress) in partnership with The Pokémon Company. The game allows you to walk around the real world hunting for Pokémon, collecting items at Poké Stops, and fighting for control over Gyms between three distinct teams. The game has proven wildly popular with over 75,000,000 downloads so far.
The Plus Accessory is intended to add to the Augmented Reality experience of Pokémon GO. It features a button with a LED & vibration. The Plus Accessory connects to your phone via Bluetooth and gives you information about surrounding points of interest when you're not looking at your smartphone.
The accessory has two primary functions (aside from decoration). It will vibrate and flash the LED when you are in range of a Poké Stop. You can push the button to spawn the items, but according to the website for the product you'll still have to use your phone to actually collect them. It also vibrates and flash when a Pokémon is nearby. If you've caught the particular type of Pokémon before you can push the button to throw a Pokéball rather than use the in-game swipe mechanic. The device will vibrate to indicate if you've successfully managed to capture the Pokémon.
The Plus Accessory is currently unavailable for pre-order on Amazon. A cached Google page from Gamestop shows a retail price of $34.99. If you're interested in the game, you may want to check out our Beginner's Guide or our Safety Tips.
Delays are rarely bad in my opinion. That said, I question the usefulness of the device. Why can't it just automatically grab the Poké Stop items for you without having to open the app? Would throwing Poké Balls via the device have better or worse chances than doing it yourself? How would it handle tougher Pokémon that require different Poké Balls and other items such as Razz Berries? There's a lot of unknowns, and for thirty-five bucks I think I'll just keep my phone out when I'm walking like I've been doing. Take the money you would have spent on this and invest in a good power bank instead.
Have you been playing Pokémon GO? Were you looking forward to purchasing the Pokémon GO Plus Accessory? Do you think it will be useful or just a fun toy? Let us know in the comments below!