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Monday, July 18, 2016

Canada Gets Pokémon Go - But Japan Still Waits And Fidgets - Updated

Pokémon Go was released in the U.S. earlier this month, and in Europe just after. Now Canada has it.

But still no word on when Japan will get it—something the Japanese feels is an incredible slap in the face to the country that “invented” it and loves it more than the rest of the world combined.

Okay, I don’t know about that last part, but certainly Japan has a bone to pick with Niantic, the company that designed Pokémon Go on behalf of Nintendo and Pokémon Co.

But here’s what Niantic chief executive officer John Hanke told Forbes on just why it appears as though Japan is getting the shaft, but isn’t really:

“At present, the server capacity in Japan is not powerful enough. We are working hard with our partners in Japan to enable the servers to keep up with demand once the game goes online there. We expect it to be released by the end of July.”

There you go, Japan… end of July.

Don’t worry… all of the Pokémon won’t be grabbed up by newbies to your beloved and iconic pocket monsters… as each country and I bet each game will provide you with enough Pokémon critters for you to capture.

Look… I’m sure there is a Pokémon creature to catch at say… one of the Mt. Fuji stations… probably a strong one, but I would bet that you don’t HAVE to climb Mt. Fuji to find it. It will probably show up on your phone and somewhere in your neighborhood at some other date.

That’s just my guess, of course… I have NO IDEA just how the location of Pokémon has been inputted into the game. Perhaps you do have to travel all over the Pokémon world of Japan to catch’em all.

I mean… is it fair that a Snorlax might only be available under some trees in a remote part of Hokkaido? What is a 35-year-old salary-worker in Osaka to do? He can’t take time off from work without bringing shame to his country, company, bosses, family, family dog or himself…

And what if you live in that fairly remote part of Hokkaido… is it fair for others if you just walk 20 meters into your backyard and snag yourself a sleeping Snorlax?

No, it’s not.

Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but I would guess that YOUR controller (IE phone) will generate a Snorlax in your location based on its rarity and likelihood of being in your current neighborhood… meaning... good things like a Snorlax, may indeed eventually come to those who wait.

The Snorlax is on the right… no left… uhhhhh… no left… definitely left. Here’s a link to this dude on the left, I mean right’s Pokémon Go Snorlax gym battle:
Consider… I know of one player who walked down a street looking for Pokémon and found none… and then walked back the same way he came… and presto! There was a previously undiscovered Pokémon.

In Pokémon Go, the Pokémon move around their Pokémon world, just as you do. So finding one requires a bit of luck and patience. And then you have to capture one. You might not be able to capture a Mew, even though you just found one because you are a beginner player… your Pokémon ball just might bounce off him/her as it flies away through the smoggy confines of Roppongi on a Saturday night.

Here's the cool aspect of the game's technology—if people walk in front of the Pokémon, the people stay in the foreground; if the people walk behind them, the people go in the background. If there's a table in the middle of the room, the monster will walk around it instead of through it, and they'll also move around lampposts, signs or any other obstacles.

Anyhow… I’m sorry if I just made you want to play the game even more, Japan… but take heart… in two weeks time, it should be ready for you to play.

I wonder if Japan’s famed workplace production will take any sort of noticeable hit when Pokémon Go becomes available in Japan—if adults will be slacking off from work to track down, capture and battle their weird and wonderful Pokémon?

Pokémon GO is currently only available for Android and iPhone. Hey… I have an iPhone. It’s not hooked up to a telephone… but can I still play? Hmmm… experiment later tonight.

I wanna be the very best
Like no one ever was
To catch them is my real test
To train them is my cause…

Oh... by the way... in Canada, after Pokémon GO launched... the APP servers crashed one hour later.

Andrew Joseph
PS: Last four lines are the opening lyrics to the Pokémon television show.

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