Apple announced the Apple Watch 2 with the company's usual fanfare, but there was one portion of the announcement that would likely catch on with potential buyers: Pokemon Go is coming to the Apple Watch. Pokemon Go has been one of the most popular apps developed by Niantic Labs (not Nintendo, mind you), and it has even led to the Niantic team announcing a Pokemon GO Plus wearable that arrived on the world market just this week. EBay sellers were selling what we now know to be a $35 device for 6 times as much as the retail cost several weeks ago (as high as over $200). To add to the wave of excitement surrounding the game, it reached 50 million installs on Google Play just weeks after being made available worldwide, and has grossed over $500 million in revenue. How many app companies can say that about their games?
Well, have no fear: the world's most popular wearables platform, Android Wear, will also get Pokemon Go in the coming weeks and months. That's the word according to Niantic CEO John Hanke:
Our whole mission as a company is to evangelize this whole concept of playing games outside, real world games. Apple Watch we think is a great vehicle for that. As other devices come on the market - if those are Android Wear devices or if they are devices from other quadrants that are interesting for gameplay and mobility, and being active - we'll look into supporting those, too.
Now, while this means that Niantic would look into bringing Pokemon Go to Android Wear, notice that there are "other quadrants" that could also see the game (we're thinking of Samsung's Tizen wearables platform, with the Gear S2 proving more popular than Android Wear smartwatches in sales). Additionally, Android Wear will be hard-pressed to get Pokemon Go this year, though, considering that LG, Huawei, and Motorola have taken a time-out on smartwatches -- and ASUS has already announced its ZenWatch 3. Google may just bring those smartwatches to market we've seen under the new "Pixel" branding this year, but outside of that, there's little hope of debuting Pokemon Go on any AW smartwatch this year.
With many AW manufacturers taking a break, consumers may have to look to the Apple Watch 2 for their Pokemon Go fix.