Pokemon Go is still one of the world’s most popular games, but that popularity might be about to take a small dent. Developers Niantic have announced that they’ll be sunsetting support for older Android devices and iPhones in an upcoming patch.
The patch, announced via a tweet below, will mean all iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 phones, and anything running Android 5, iOS 10 or iOS 11 will no longer be able to play the Pokemon AR game. It’s not known when precisely the October patch will drop.
In an upcoming update to Pokémon GO in October, we will end support for Android 5, iOS 10, and iOS 11, as well as iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 devices. Trainers with devices not specifically listed here will not be affected and don’t need to take any action.
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) August 31, 2020
Of all the times to sunset a large swathe of devices, there’s never a good time. From the game’s perspective, the midst of a global pandemic means less people are moving around. But it’s also a global recession, which makes it a lot harder for anyone effected to upgrade.
There’s cheap enough devices running iOS 12 and much newer versions of Android, of course. Most Apple users are on iOS 13 or 14 these days, and everything from an iPhone 6S up works with iOS 13. Upgrading to an iPhone 7 today will cost you at least $500 at retail, although that price will fall much further with sale periods and refurbished models.
For the vast majority of gamers and Pokemon Go fans, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if you know someone — perhaps an family member on a hand-me-down phone — who’s just using Pokemon Go to kill time on an ancient device, this is a handy PSA.