'Standalone' Pokemon Go device launches next week
Gotta admit, when the Pokemon Go Plus was pitched to us prior to the game's launch, it sounded like something a little more capable of playing the game unassisted. However, it's still useful: the little wearable device detects when you're in the vicinity of a Pokestop or one of the game's many critters, meaning you can stop keeping your eyes glued to your phone and conserve a bit of the battery life.
The wristband wearable will flash and vibrate when near a Pokestop, and you'll be able to swipe or tap the center button in order to collect items from it. Likewise, if a Pokemon is in the area, the device will light up and you can press the button to fire an unseen Pokeball at it. If you're successful, the Pokemon Go Plus will flash and vibrate. Of course, you'll have to still check the real game on your phone to find out what you caught.
Perplexingly, there's no mention of the Pokemon Go Plus being able to count steps or otherwise measure distance traveled, so if you were looking for a handy pedometer to augment your egg-hatching activities, you're out of luck.
Still, for $35, the wristband device saves you the trouble of always carrying your phone and an external battery with you while you're out (I mean, unless you're going to a densely populated zone, then you probably won't be putting the phone away ever). And it's a decent-looking fashion accessory to signal to your Pokemon trainer brethren that you are One Of The Herd. Subtler than buying an Ash Ketchum hat, at least. Moreover, it's much cheaper than buying an Apple Watch for when the app expands to that device later this month.
The Pokemon Go Plus wearable launches on September 16th and will be available, uh, somewhere? Neither GameStop nor Amazon have a product listing page ready to go for preorders, though you can watch GameStop's page like a hawk till it changes, if you want.