Games

Pokémon Go is dead, long live Pokémon Go!

There is no debate that a large contingent on the internet has been holding out for less Pokémon Go news in 2017, but it is equally clear that this sentiment will not be echoed by the people at Niantic. No matter the side of the fence you are on, the fact that Pokemon Go is hands down one of the most successful apps in the history of the App Store (breaking first-week download and revenue records) is a big deal, and the augmented reality laced game will continue to rake in millions of users and dollars in the year ahead. It’s not all rosy though, as the daily player count is continuously pointing south and engagement data crumbling.

As much as this is Niantic’s battle to fight, Apple too has a vested interest in the preservation of Pokemon Go’s winning streak and will want to benefit financially from the game throughout the current fiscal year. The question both business entities therefore are going to have to find answers to is what’s next for Pokémon Go strategically, and what is Apple’s role in facilitating Niantic’s continued success with the app? Not so much content wise but rather in terms of product strategy, I have sized up a few moves that Niantic, The Pokémon Company and Apple could have up their sleeves over the next 12 months.

Pokémon GO Plus companion wearable accessory has been delayed until September

Pokémon GO Plus, a Bluetooth-driven wearable device that helps you catch ’em all without looking at Nintendo’s Pokémon GO augmented-reality game on your smartphone, is now set to launch in September, not late-July as previously announced. Nintendo of America tweeted news of the delay earlier this week.

“The Pokemon GO Plus accessory will now be released Sept 2016 instead of the originally expected end of July launch,” reads the announcement.

Nintendo considering developing physical controllers for mobile devices

Nintendo plans to push further into development for smart devices, and is exploring the idea of hardware, the company said during its annual shareholders meeting. Polygon passes along comments made by Nintendo’s GM of entertainment planning and development during the meeting, in which he said the game-maker is considering building physical controllers for smartphones and tablets.

Review: SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Controller

If you want to do serious gaming on the Apple TV, then using a wireless Bluetooth controller isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. Yes, Apple controversially made it a requirement for all games on its platform to support the Siri Remote, but that’s not going to cut it for any game with an even mildly complex control scheme.

Games like Alto’s Adventure and Mr. Jump play perfectly fine, and are even suited for the Siri Remote, but in most cases, you’re definitely going to want a controller as an option.

Unfortunately, there is no Apple-branded controller to speak of, but Apple did co-design a controller with the help of SteelSeries. The result of that partnership is the SteelSeries Nimbus, and Apple is promoting this controller as the de facto standard alternative input device for the Apple TV.

All of that considered, while there are other 3rd-party Bluetooth controllers that work with the Apple TV, the most obvious choice is the SteelSeries Nimbus.

I purchased a Nimbus on day one, and have been playing with it for weeks. Is the $49.99 controller worth your time and hard-earned money? Is it really the best way to control games on the Apple TV?

Good deal: 25% off NES-style Bluetooth controller

If you’re an iOS gamer, or have one on your holiday shopping list, you might want to check out this deal on this NES-style Bluetooth controller. It’s called the NES30, and for a limited time, Stack Social is offering it at 25% off of its regular retail price.

The controller features two additional action buttons, and two shoulder buttons, but other than that it’s nearly identical to Nintendo’s classic gamepad. It works via both Bluetooth and USB, supports multiplayer, and has a 20+ hour rechargeable battery. 

Wikipad introduces new ‘Gamevice’ controller for iPad mini

Wikipad, the company behind last year’s interesting-but-not-very-successful Android gaming tablet, has announced a new accessory for iOS devices today. It’s called the Gamevice, and it’s a decked out MFi game controller made specifically for the iPad mini.
The Gamevice was actually announced earlier this year for Android and Windows 8 tablets, but it appears to now be an iOS exclusive. As you can see it features a 2-piece cradle design, with the iPad mini in the middle, and slightly resembles a Wii U gamepad…

SteelSeries announces large-format Stratus XL iOS gaming controller

Announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January, the Stratus wireless iOS gaming controller by SteelSeries has joined the likes of Logitech’s PowerShell, Moga’s AcePower, Razer’s Kazuyo/Junglecat and C.T.R.L.i by Mad Catz, to name a few.

Monday, the firm announced a larger-format version of the Stratus, the Stratus XL. The console-style gaming controller works with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices and comes with a pressure-sensitive D-pad, dual-analog sticks, a set of four action buttons and four shoulder buttons (two pressure-sensitive top shoulder buttons and two analog trigger bottom shoulder buttons)…