“Eyes up, Poké Balls down, people,” Pokemon Go Hit Underscores Nintendo’s Potential in Mobile Gaming – Bloomberg

Nintendo gains over 35% share increase after releasing an mobile App.  The Pokemon Go is an augmented reality adventure game which uses the users camera and sensors such as GPS, accelerometer, clock, etc. and then overlays virtual characters and game elements over the images returned by the camera sensor.  Augmented reality is NOT a new concept and has actually been around for much longer than smart phones.  Its already being used in high end cars such as BMW’s to overlay data on drivers windshields, to ensure safety in the oil and gas industry, and in tons of other applications as well.  In the smart phone world they are also nothing new.  When the Android G1 came out (yes I had one the day they were available) there was tower defense game that allowed you to have augmented reality wars with other players but was really slow due to the hardware technology of the time.  However, this is the first time that I can remember or have seen an augmented reality app gain so much buzz or even be remotely this successful. 

Pokemon Go Screenshots of Gameplay

Nintendo Co. hasn’t fully embraced the world of mobile gaming, but the early success of Pokemon Go is giving gamers and investors a taste of the rewards the Japanese gaming company may reap if it decides to go all in.

The maker of Super Mario and Zelda games has added more than $7 billion in market value since last week’s debut of a new smartphone app for its fantasy monster character franchise. The game, which lets users track down virtual Pokemons in their vicinity, has topped the free-to-download app charts for Apple in the U.S. and Australia since its July 7 debut, according to market researcher App Annie.

In a sign of the game’s broad appeal, people are going to great lengths to play Pokemon Go, which encourages users to wander their surroundings to find “pocket monsters” to train and battle with each other. Reports have surfaced of players driving for hours to seek hard-to-reach Pokemons, or a pair of gamers in New Zealand renting a kayak to nab one in the middle of Wellington’s bay. U.S. highway authorities told gamers not to drive while playing with the warning “Eyes up, Poké Balls down, people,” on its official Twitter feed. A late-night hunt for Pokemons in Missouri led some players into a trap set up by armed robbers, local media reported.

“This is some Nintendo magic,” said Serkan Toto, founder of consultant Kantan Games Inc., which specializes in Japanese mobile games. “It’s the first time a mobile game has created a buzz like this at least in the U.S. This is basically what Nintendo is all about.”

The shares of Nintendo responded with their biggest intraday jump since 1983, when they listed in Tokyo, climbing 25 percent on Monday. Investors are taking Pokemon’s early success as a sign that the company can still churn out hits if it commits popular characters from its Mario or Zelda franchises to mobile-gaming apps.

Original Post from Pokemon Go Hit Underscores Nintendo’s Potential in Mobile Gaming – Bloomberg

It’s pretty mind blowing that Nintendo has stayed out of the mobile market foray for so long. They have been holding on to an archaic business model relying on proprietary hardware that requires its users to buy games on hard media in an era where everyone else including Xbox and Playstation allow for digital downloads, internet content, streaming, and API’s for people to build and deploy apps to their platforms. Allowing these API’s to be available allows even more companies to innovate and generate content for your platform on their dollar instead of yours and increases the value, usage, and utility of your system. I am glad to see Nintendo is finally starting to come around and look forward to seeing some of the more nostalgic hits such as Mario, Zelda, and other classics. Crosses fingers for Contra
Microsoft Hololens will assist engineers
GE has big plans for and augmented reality

 

Pokemon Go may be a fun title and a huge win for Nintendo, but the bigger picture for augmented reality goes far beyond Pokeballs, Pokemon Trainers, and Pikachus. The almost unlimited utility of augmented reality is mind blowing.  Everything from assisting doctors in surgery or teaching new ones to building 3d models to helping someone fix a faucet over a teleconference to watching Netflix on a virtual tv screen on any wall the user wants or even have it come with you on a walk in the form of a hologram.  Projects like Glass (now defunkt), Google’s Project Tango,MicrosoftHololens,Google Cardboard, HTC Vive, and many other notable programs are all banking on this technology being not only a huge multi-billion dollar market, but also the wave of the future and one of the keys to a more technologically advanced and enabled society.

If you haven’t had a change to check out Microsoft Hololens or Project Tango, I highly recommend checking out some of the Youtube videos.  They are absolutely mind blowing and give you a good idea of what kind of things are going to be possible and how it will revolutionize not only the technology world but many parts of our every day lives.  Seeing someone play Minecraft on their coffee table in their own living room, or getting weather data off their fridge, or watching Netflix on a random wall, or engineers designing motorcycles and buildings seems like something out of science fiction.  However, the technology is already here, being developed rapidly, and already being beta tested across the globe.

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