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Pokémon Go Plus accessory now available for $34.99 at several retailers

Pokémon GO might have moved on from its popularity boom, but it still maintains millions of active players. If you're one of those, you might be excited to hear that the Pokémon GO Plus accessory is now available. For just $34.99, you get the above wristband with a Pokéball in the shape of a Google Maps marker.

When paired with an Android 4.4+ device that supports Bluetooth 4.0, you can catch Pokémon without even opening your phone.

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Pokemon Go reaches 500 million installs on all platforms

Despite much of the hype wearing off, Pokemon GO is still one of the most successful mobile games of all time. The game has become a cultural phenomenon, not to mention a money-maker for Niantic Labs, The Pokemon Company, and Nintendo. But just how many downloads has Pokemon GO achieved? Over 500 million across Android and iOS, according to a press release from earlier today.

500 million is a bit difficult to wrap your brain around, so let's try to compare it with other well-known mobile games. Pokemon GO has yet to beat out the Angry Birds franchise, with the original game being downloaded over 3 billion times as of July 2015.

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Pokémon GO to get Buddy Pokémon update soon, will add in-game rewards

lol, Nexus 5Xs with KitKat nav buttons

Less than two weeks after the Pokémon Appraisal feature was added to the (declining in popularity) Pokémon GO, the Pokémon GO Development Team has announced a new upcoming feature—Buddy Pokémon. This addition will also enable players to earn more rewards.

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Pokémon GO Plus wrist accessory has been delayed to September from its original release date of July

Along with the Pokémon GO game announcement, Nintendo said it would release a Pokémon GO Plus accessory in late July to help players stay on top of the game wherever they are and without taking their phones out of their pockets. This wrist bracelet / wearable pin connects over Bluetooth Low Energy to your Android/iOS phone and alerts you with vibrations and LED flashes to nearby Pokéstops and Pokémons. You can check more of what it does and how it works on its official page, but suffice it to say that it should make any trainer's life a little bit easier and their phone battery life a little bit longer.

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Pokémon GO lands in Hong Kong

After finally launching in Japan last week and France yesterday, racking up 50 million downloads in the process, the world's favorite augmented reality game has arrived in Hong Kong, according to the game's official Twitter and Google+ accounts.

In case you've been living under a rock, Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game where players walk around the real world with a smartphone and attempt to catch 'Pocket Monsters' (hence the name) and then fight players on another team for control of 'gyms.' Pokéstops, real world locations placed in the game, are used to acquire new items, mostly Pokéballs and eggs to hatch new Pokémon.

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Pokémon GO lands in France and passes 50 million Play Store downloads

Niantic's Pokémon GO is something of a dichotomy. I've never seen such a deeply flawed, broken game (with such poor support!) remain in such high demand. This weekend France, the last of the major Western European markets without entry to the augmented reality game, finally gets access to it in the Play Store. France follows Germany, the UK, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and many, many European countries smaller than it in terms of both size and population - it's not clear why France had to wait so long, but at least they're in good company. Update: as a commenter pointed out, the company delayed the release following the latest terror attack in France.

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Come on down, Canada: you're the latest country to get Pokémon GO

Did you know that lacrosse is the official summer sport of Canada? Well it is. (I'll give you one guess for the winter sport.) But something tells me that Canada's population of idle kids, teenagers, and twenty-somethings won't be playing much this week, since Pokémon GO was just released in the Great White North. Players on Android and iOS can now download the game directly from the Play Store and App Store, respectively. It's a good thing they did release it in the summertime, since it's hard to hunt for AR monsters while trudging through snow and ice.

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[Update: Italy, Portugal, and Spain too] Pokémon GO is go for launch in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom seems considerably less, well, united than it used to be. But if there's one thing everyone can agree on, it's that they want a chance to play Pokémon GO. Niantic's augmented reality take on the classic Nintendo franchise is a smash hit in its first week, though a limited launch means that only those in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and just yesterday Germany have been able to play it so far. Now that launch has officially expanded to the UK, according to the official Pokémon GO Twitter account:

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[Update: dev kit pre-order] That unofficial 'Game Boy' smartphone adapter from April Fool's is now a working product, may actually come to market this year

A little over a year ago, one of the endless April Fool's jokes that cropped up around tech sites struck a chord with gamers. The "SmartBoy" from Hyperkin, sellers of new replacement parts for classic consoles, was a concept that slid an iPhone into a plastic case that perfectly reproduced the buttons and grip of the original Game Boy from 1989. It also included a real game cartridge slot, so authentic Game Boy games could theoretically be played using a modern smartphone screen. It was a little ridiculous - today's phones can already emulate Game Boy titles with ease, and even simulate the buttons with a Bluetooth controller - but the idea seemed to resonate with Nintendo fans.

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Nintendo says that Pokémon GO will be available sometime in July, wearable accessory will cost $35

Last month Nintendo started a closed beta program for Pokémon GO, the augmented reality catch-em-all game that the company has been working on with Niantic. It looks like we're very close to a public release, at least according to Nintendo's presentation at the massive E3 gaming convention. As reported by Polygon, Nintendo announced that the game will be released on smartphones sometime in July.

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