This was supposed to be the season of Nintendo. With the release of the NES Classic edition along with new games and updates to the Wii gaming system, Nintendo was supposed to be the big video game splash at the end of 2016. But poor planning, low inventory, and online price gougers have Nintendo fans aggravated.
That frustration left an opening that no Hatchimal could fill. Enter Apple, reaching a deal with an earlier 2016 video game craze. Now Apple fans can play Pokemon Go on the Apple Watch, an innovation many people did not expect, but have been hoping for nonetheless.
Both Apple and Pokemon Go’s creators have floated rumors throughout the year, testing the waters to see if there was a market. As soon as they learned there was a market, and that the market was hungry, “someone” leaked the news that it wasn’t going to happen. Plans had been canceled. Sorry. And, predictably, both Apple Watch and Pokemon Go fans went online to vent their grievances, creating what appeared to be a groundswell of demand for the product.
So, just when NES fans are sitting home debating whether or not to pay that ridiculous price through Amazon or standing in line in the dark to grab one of a few at the local consumer electronics store, Pokemon Go fans are thinking that, just maybe, it’s time to spring for that Apple Watch they’ve been thinking about getting.
Why the enthusiasm? Can’t they just play the game on their smartphones? Well, yes, but being able to play on a smartwatch could make the game easier and allow users to advance more quickly. There are two immediate benefits of playing PGo on an Apple Watch. First, the watch makes it easier to log your steps, which is a vital way to advance faster in the game. Second, players won’t have to wander around with their phones held out, staring at screens and searching for Pokemon. The watch can “play” and alert them, allowing players to keep their focus on the world around them.
The big benefit for Apple is that Niantic, the game’s designer, has yet to release a version for either Android Wear or Samsung Gear, so, for the moment, Apple has cornered the market on easier to catch Pokemon. And, by making it easier for players to “win” in the game, they have given consumers a strong incentive to make a buying decision while increasing brand loyalty for those who already own the Apple Watch.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.