In an unfortunate bit of news, Nintendo revealed via Twitter that the Pokémon GO Plus wearable has been delayed from its end-of-July release to sometime in September:
For those unfamiliar, we discussed the wearable back when Pokémon GO first released, but the short version is that it was intended to help you avoid having to look at your phone 100% of the time when playing the game. Oh, and it doubled as a hot fashion statement/true-love finder, so you may have to also put your Pokémon GO dating plans on hold.
Speaking to Polygon, Nintendo clarified the reason for the delay:
"The delay is due to the preparations for the Pokémon Go application update in order to optimize Pokémon Go Plus. In order for us to offer new experiences to play Pokémon Go with Pokémon Go Plus with a quality level high enough to satisfy as many people as possible, we decided that it is necessary to take enough time for the completion. We ask for your understanding."
Niantic and Nintendo likely want to avoid pissing off users after the massive server problems
It's no secret that Pokémon GO has had its fair share of problems. For starters, the game's release in several parts of the world was delayed after it initially launched in North America. Since then, the game has suffered several issues in the countries where it has been released, namely down servers and login failures.
And while most of those have been fixed, the game still is not showing proper distances for Pokémon on the "Nearby" page, with no ETA on a fix. Player response to these issues has not been too kind, with some comparing fixing the servers to a hopeless Charmander.
Adorable GIFs are on the nicer end of the spectrum, though, as some players have already grown too tired of the game's issues and decided to uninstall it until it gets better. Negative response, coupled with Nintendo's stock market drop may very well have left Niantic worried about releasing the Plus wearable before it was 100% ready for worldwide use.
Or maybe, there are bigger plans at work here
Of course, before donning my tinfoil hat, I came up with a little idea that maybe Niantic really wants to surprise us. After all, trading and battling are one our wish list and slated to come to the game eventually, plus, there have even been rumors that the next generation of Pokémon would be released sometime in December.
So what if the original Pokémon GO Plus design didn't include any functionality for trading or battling and Niantic wanted to change that? After all, the device was only ever advertised as something that alerted you to nearby Pokémon or PokéStops and let you attempt to capture wild Pokémon.
But if trading and battles are coming sooner rather than later, wouldn't it make sense for a wearable to include some sort of support for that? I know it's probably an optimistic stretch, but I'd like to think new features aren't far off the horizon and that an investment like the Plus wearable would fully support as many features as possible.
What do you think caused the 'Pokémon GO' Plus's delay?