'Pokemon GO' News: 'Pokemon GO' holding live 'field test' in Japan later in March

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Japanese Pokemon fans have something to look forward to later this month. According to a report in GameSpot, Niantic has announced that they are conducting a live “field test” of the upcoming augmented reality game “Pokemon GO” in Japan and has called on Japanese fans to sign up to be a part of it. Niantic also said that similar field tests will be conducted in other countries following the one in Japan.

Through the Pokemon GO field test program, Niantic will grant a limited number of participants early access to the game. Users are expected to “share early feedback and help improve the ‘Pokemon GO’ experience for everyone prior to public launch,” according to Niantic’s announcement. The game has yet to get an official release date.

During the field test, players can catch different pocket monsters in the real world, train them up and have them battle other pocket monsters. The game’s announcement trailer shows these features, but it is still unclear how exactly this can be done. The use of an optional device called Pokemon Go Plus is recommended for the game. The device connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth and it gives notifications through an LED light and vibrations if a pocket monster is near where they are.

The “Pokemon GO” app will be available as a free download on Google Play and the App Store as soon as it released. In-app purchases will naturally be part of the game.

Being one of the few augmented reality games in the industry, it is no wonder why “Pokemon GO” is a much-anticipated game. Niantic and the Pokemon Company have been keeping mum about when the game will be released, and rumors continue to circulate the Internet about when it will be coming.

Niantic was scheduled to reveal more about the game during the Game Developers Conference on March 14. The developer, however, recently announced that they were cancelling their presentation about the game. According to an IGN report, they wanted to concentrate on preparing for the beta test and launch. In their official statement, they said, “As much as we hate to disappoint those in the industry attending GDC, we feel our time and energy right now are best spent on making sure every aspect of the product is where we want it to be.”