Seemingly out of nowhere, the Pokémon Company has announced the development of two new apps for Android and iOS mobile devices named Pokémon Sleep and Pokémon Masters.
Pokémon Sleep looks to be an interesting complement to developing a healthy lifestyle through mobile apps. For years now, Pokémon GO has encouraged daily walking to hatch eggs, find new Pokémon to catch, and replenishing an always-lacking inventory of Pokéballs by visiting Pokéstops. Now, Pokémon Sleep aims to monitor the sleep patterns of a user and reward them in the app upon waking.
We’re pleased to announce the development of Pokémon Sleep, a new app from @Pokemon_cojp that tracks a user’s time sleeping and brings a gameplay experience unlike any other!— Pokémon (@Pokemon) May 29, 2019
Several Snorlax were consulted on this, in case you were wondering. #PokemonSleep is coming in 2020. pic.twitter.com/nJ7mJY09Dl
To coincide with the new app, there is also an upgraded piece of hardware, the Pokémon GO Plus Plus. Yes, that is actually the full name of the device. It will function in Pokémon GO in the same way as the current Pokemon GO Plus, but in addition, will also monitor when you awake each morning and relay that information to Pokémon Sleep via Bluetooth connection.
In preparation for the arrival of Pokémon Sleep, there is an in-game event in Pokémon GO. Trainers have a chance to encounter Snorlax at a higher rate than normal, sleeping in the wild. Those caught during this window will know the exclusive event move “Yawn.”
The move comes after many years of Nintendo attempting to better integrate apps and hardware with a focus on the health and well being. In 2009, Nintendo released the Pokéwalker, a self-contained virtual pet that resembled a Tamagotchi that also counted a user’s daily steps. The Pokémon within would gain experience and then could be transferred to either Pokémon Silver or Pokémon Gold.
Before that, there was the Wii Fit, along with various titles for the Nintendo DS that aimed to encourage healthy living through Diet, Mind Puzzles, Yoga, and more. All of these were successful to a degree, but now the only requirement is a smartphone and the new hardware, but even that might not be necessary.
Meanwhile, Pokémon Masters is another mobile game that is under development by DeNA in partnership with Nintendo and The Pokemon Company. The game is described as allowing players to battle alongside their favorite Pokémon Trainers from across the series.
Game Freak’s Ken Sugimori designed the idea around the concept of combining all of the past and present trainers into one collaborative journey, with more information promised to be available in June. Hopefully Ash, Brock, and Misty can join in on the adventure, and hey, why not Gary Oak as well.
Announcement 4⃣— Pokémon (@Pokemon) May 29, 2019
Dreaming of becoming a Pokémon master? This is your time!
Get ready for Pokémon Masters, a new game that allows you to battle alongside your favorite Pokémon Trainers from the main series RPGs. #PokemonMasters pic.twitter.com/RNFxswsDFp
While other information is scant about the game itself, it is reassuring to see that DeNA is involved. As a mobile developer, they were responsible for Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, both of which look well-polished for the mobile platform, and they have proven themselves up to the task of delivering quality work on games with established expectations about the characters.
Currently, Pokémon Sleep is slated to release in 2020, while Pokémon Masters is expected this year.