…in Japan. The rest of the world will have to hold their breaths for just a little bit longer. After announcing the cancellation of its presentation during GDC, Niantic followed up with an announcement for a Japan-only regional field test for their highly anticipated location-based mobile game, Pokemon GO.
— Niantic (@NianticLabs) March 4, 2016
Unless you’re located in Japan, clicking on the link will alert you that the content is currently unavailable in your country. It does however, link to Niantic’s development blog, whose latest post is the following:
March 3, 2016
The Pokémon Company and Niantic will be inviting users to field test Pokémon GO in Japan later this month. The Pokémon GO field test program will give users the opportunity to share early feedback and help improve the Pokémon GO experience. Please stay tuned for information about expansion of the field test to other markets.
Thank you for your interest in Pokémon GO.
— The Pokémon GO Development Team
Reddit user /u/yus0359 with help from /r/translator was able to translate some information from the Japanese beta site.
- Field testing will begin in late March for Japan and can be terminated without warning
- Participants must either own an iPhone 5 or later model, or an Android running 4.3 or higher. These minimum requirements don’t guarantee smooth operation
- As usual, beta participation is not guaranteed. iOS has more limited slots for testing
- Progress will not transfer to live version
- No rewards for participation
- Beta accounts cannot be sold or give away by participants
- Testers have to agree to a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
- Niantic won’t be held responsible for testers that hurt themselves while participating
Another redditor, /u/mil1ion has provided an image of a translated version of what Japanese users are seeing on the beta page:
Though optional, Ingress (Niantic’s other location-based game) players might get some sort of preference during the acceptance period, due to their familiarity with a similar system.
While Niantic has been nearly silent since announcing Pokemon GO, the beginning of a closed/limited beta does seem to be a signal that development is slowly heading in the right direction for its intended 2016 release. This post will be updated with any additional news.