• Bloomberg, Kyodo


Pokemon Co., partly owned by Nintendo Co., unveiled several new initiatives at an event in Tokyo, including a game inspired by the “Detective Pikachu” film for the Switch console and a new device for tracking sleep.

The Detective Pikachu title aims to cash in on the popularity of the eponymous movie released this month. The game could further boost demand for the Switch, although Pokemon did not announce a release date.

Another new game, Pokemon Sleep, aims to turn sleep into “entertainment” by recording when the players go to bed and wake up and what times of the day they sleep, although more details will be unveiled at a later date.

A new device called Pokemon Go Plus will sync with Pokemon Go and is aimed at helping people develop healthy sleep habits and turning sleep into entertainment, Pokemon Chief Executive Officer Tsunekazu Ishihara said at the event in Tokyo. It will be released in 2020, he said. “Everyone spends a large part of their life sleeping, and turning that into entertainment is our next challenge at Pokemon,” he said.

Players can pair the Pokemon Go Plus device with their smartphones. The device will be able to track players’ sleeping time and send data to their smartphones when it is placed by their pillows.

“Players will enjoy a good sleep together with Pokemon and waking-up will be a delight for them,” Ishihara said.

Pokemon is looking to follow up on its surprise hit Pokemon Go, which created a sensation in the gaming community by letting users hunt for monsters and prizes in the real world with their smartphones. It also showed off a cloud services app called Pokemon Home that will let players pool pocket monsters collected across Switch and 3DS titles, and in Pokemon Go. The app will be released in 2020.

Ishihara also revealed the first details of Pokemon Masters, a new title developed with DeNA Co. The new game is scheduled for release by the end of 2019 and will focus on battling Pokemon, with footage showing impressive graphics quality. News that DeNA was developing a new title with Pokemon was cheered by investors and analysts this month.

Nintendo owns a significant stake in Pokemon Co. and recorded ¥6.9 billion of operating profit from that investment in the latest fiscal year.

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