Pokemon Co developing sleep-based gaming app, plans 2020 launch

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 29 May 2019

A man uses a mobile phone in front of an advertisement board bearing the image of Pokemon Go at an electronic shop in Tokyo, Japan, July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

TOKYO: The Pokemon Company said it was developing "Pokemon Sleep", an app that tracks users' sleep and turns it into gameplay, and plans to launch it next year.

"We want to turn sleep into entertainment," said Tsunekazu Ishihara, the CEO of the Pokemon Company, which was set up with investment from gaming firms Nintendo Co Ltd, Game Freak and Creatures.

At the same news conference in Tokyo, Nintendo said it was developing a successor to the Pokemon Go Plus device, which allows users to catch Pokemon without taking out their smartphones, that can track sleep.

Pokemon, with its business spanning videos games to movies to cuddly toys, is a home-grown Japanese contender for a Disney-style pop culture empire.

In the more than 20 years since the first two titles launched on the Nintendo Game Boy in 1996, the Pokemon game series has sold more than 340 million units worldwide.

Augmented reality smartphone game "Pokemon Go", developed by San Francisco-based Niantic Inc, became a worldwide phenomenon after its launch in 2016 as players spilled out from living rooms onto the streets to hunt for Pokemon. - Reuters

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