Pokemon GO Plus Is Less Useless Than We Thought

Pokemon GO Plus Is Less Useless Than We Thought

Last week Nintendo released more details about the Pokemon GO Plus, the companion wearable that was released today in Australia. It included a disclaimer that the wearable wouldn’t track steps if the app was open in the background, even though this was the one feature most people had expected it to have.

Well, those people would actually be right — Nintendo has corrected itself, saying that the device will in fact count steps, making the Pokemon GO Plus a whole lot less useless.

The whole thing has ended up pretty confusing. The original announcement said that the device wouldn’t track steps while the app was open in the background, which many people interpreted as saying the device wouldn’t work at all unless the app was fully open. The new correction was applied a few days ago, but seems to have been added with little fanfare:

Correction (14/9/2016): Even while Pokémon GO is operating in the background, distance walked is applied towards hatching eggs and Candy earned for Buddy Pokémon.

This bungled announcement may have turned some people off buying the Pokemon GO Plus, with many being unsure whether the correction is actually true either. Will it or won’t it track steps? No one really knows anymore.

The device seems to be selling slower than expected on the official Nintendo eBay store, even though demand was high enough that EB Games sold out during pre-orders. We don’t know what allocation of stock was given to EB, but we do know that only 868 of the 3500 on eBay have been sold as of the time of writing.

Of course, with only limited stock being produced and distributed, it’s probably no big deal to Nintendo (or Niantic) if the Pokemon GO Plus takes just a little bit longer to sell out.

Would you be tempted to buy a Pokemon GO Plus now that Nintendo has clarified that it can count steps?


  • It’s a $50 peripheral that performs basic quality of life improvements for a free to play smartphone app.

    It would have to give me actual candy every kilometre I walk for me to even consider it.

  • I received mine this morning, been sitting at my desk using it all day when the Stops nearby refresh, and when random Pokemon spawn. Seems to be great so far, can’t normally have my phone out in the office, but clicking a button is simple and easy. $50 is a pittance given how much time I’ve spent on the game, I’ve certainly spent more on something I’ve used less -cough- No Mans Sky -cough-. That it tracks movement as well is awesome, navigating through the city is bad enough in the afternoons and mornings without trying to walk with a phone out too

    • Yup this is what I’ve been doing as well, it’s also ‘tracked’ about 4km today because of how the GPS makes my location move about.

  • I used to give people s**t for playing Destiny for ages after they should’ve got bored of it, but Pokemon Go is in another league. I hate to sound all whiny about other people’s choices but seriously, why? I saw pretty much everything the game had to offer after the first weekend, even if I obviously didn’t catch them all.

    My mate is still playing and he doesn’t even know why. He hasn’t enjoyed it for months but it’s a compulsion for him. His only aspiration in the game is to level up, through a convoluted process of catching certain ‘mons and doing mass level-ups. Kinda sociopathic if you ask totally-unqualified me. I’d like to see some actual science behind the psychological effects of the game.

    • It gamifies walking for me.

      I walk and explore different places to make a number go up and fill out a pokedex, allowing a burst of nostalgia from how much I loved Pokemon as a kid.

      Beyond that I’ve got to hang out and know my best mates girlfriend better because we play together while he’s at work and I’ve met some really cool new people.

      Yeah the underlying game isn’t great, but I’m having so much fun because of what it’s been having me do. Which is the advantage of it being an ARG. If it was a mobile f2p play at home game I’d never have gotten into it.

  • I wanted this because I play while cycling to work. It does what it says on the box and then some (because the box basically says nothing) Having Pokémon GO running in the background is great, especially as it tracks distance. Not so great is the catch rate. You only get one throw and they miss as much as they hit… maybe more. But if you want to be _playing_ Pokemon GO, you need the device out. Harvesting pokestops is a dream, my cup runneth over, I have no idea what colour light flashes to slert you to a new Pokémon.

  • Pokemon GO Plus + your phone, both do the same thing if the program have to run in the background, so it is 1000% useless.

  • I agree.
    I am still playing it but only because my 9 year old son likes to play it. The only value the game has is it gets you out of the house for a bit of exercise. Other than that the game sux.
    The game could have been brilliant but it honestly sux once you get past level 25.

    • Just got to 25 and I’m feeling that way so started playing Ingress. Been having way more fun and loads more to do.

  • No way I would definitely not buy the Pokemon Go Plus wearable device even though the free Pokemon Go app is still a danger to kids and parents my warning is do not download the free Pokemon Go app because if you download it you won’t realize what’s ahead of you when crossing the road or running into someone so my answer is no no no I would not recommend buying the Pokemon Go plus device because I still think Pokemon Go is a danger to kids and parents who are thinking about downloading the free app.

  • For those of you lucky enough to have grabbed one of these Pokemon Go Plus Devices and have an android phone. I have found that if you have power saving mode enabled this will cause the device to flash red occasionally unless the app is open.
    To rectify this turn the power saving mode off and the device will no longer flash red for no apparent reason.

  • I decided not to get it, but then saw the little clarification on the Nintendo site, and that sold me, so I grabbed one from the Nintendo eBay store when it opened.

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