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Pokémon GO


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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[Saigo ni] After gaining XP in many other countries, Pokémon GO can no longer resist the lure of Japan

Pokémon GO has made several Pokéstops since its launch. First available in Australia and New Zealand, the game powered up and spread to the US, UK, Germany, followed by several European countries. Notice something missing there? Yes, the gym where it all started: Japan. That's no more.

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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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[Still no Japan] Pokémon GO official in 26 new European countries

Pokémon GO's worldwide phenomenon is spreading fast and now, if you live in Europe, odds are you'll have more chances of seeing people huddled up acting weird staring at their screens and trying to play with imaginary creatures. Why? Because while we, lucky Android geeks, have been able to manually grab the APK and install it on our phones regardless of where Niantic has officially released the game, many regular Android users didn't know how to do it and almost all iPhone users simply couldn't.

So what are these 26 lucky countries? Here we go, the official list:

Pokémon GO is available in twenty-six new countries.

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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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T-Mobile jumps on the Pokémon GO bandwagon with free data access for players

If T-Mobile has proven anything in the last few years, it's that the company knows how to get the attention of new and potential customers. So it was only a matter of time before they seized hold of an increasingly global mobile gaming phenomenon. That's right, T-Mo's latest customer-friendly promotion is all about the Pokey Mans. Pokémon GO players on the network won't get dinged for any data used by Niantic's augmented reality game for the next year starting on Tuesday the 19th.

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Pokémon GO v0.29.2 vastly reduces accuracy of your historical Pokémon capture locations

Pokémon GO version 0.29.2 is available for download now, and adds support for Android N and Intel x86 hardware. Those are the most important changes - but another one quickly struck me after I updated my app: my Pokémon historical capture maps are now much less precise and accurate. Let's go side by side - below you can see two screenshots, with the one on the left being version 0.29.0. On the right is the same screen on version 0.29.2, released for Android today. The difference should be pretty obvious.

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[Update: Intel x86 processors too] Pokémon GO goes to Germany officially and now works with Android Nougat [APK Download]

I'll let you in on a secret. I haven't played Pokémon GO yet. There was a time when I liked watching Pokémon and laughed my ass off each time Meowth came on the screen, but I was a little too old then to play the game let alone get obsessed by it. I was... 17. So I don't get the craze behind GO all that much, but I'm not completely uninterested.

Actually, I decided yesterday to try the game to get a feeling for it, but I thought it better to install it on my secondary device: a Nexus 5X.

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Weekend poll: are you playing Pokémon GO?

Pokémon GO has become an overnight sensation - probably far exceeding even the expectations of Nintendo America or Niantic. Tens of millions of players are already searching their world for new Pokémon, battling in gyms, and collecting various items to help increase the power of their pocket monsters.

While it's not officially available everywhere yet, you can always sideload the APK from APK Mirror (our APK is completely safe and was taken directly from the Play Store - we aren't shifting shady package files) to get in on the action.

I played for a solid couple of hours today, wandering my neighborhood (which is packed with Pokestops, apparently) and collecting new creatures and several-hundred Poké Balls.

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