Niantic and Nintendo's Pokemon - Perfect Together

It doesn't take a hard-core gamer to understand the power that was revealed by +Ingress​ - the augmented reality multiplayer game that swept up a global following under Google's Niantic Labs. Now Niantic Labs is +Niantic​, Inc., and they are about to launch an amazing gaming coup with its all-star game partner +Nintendo​.

Nintendo's classic Pokemon game is becoming Pokemon Go via Niantic, and if the teaser video posted on +YouTube​ is any indication, it will have an effect on the gaming world like no other game to date. Go leverages the enormous, global, site-specific data map of the world that Ingress built up through a huge and fanatic network of users playing Ingress in the real world, and now advances it into AR gameplay that enables Pokemon critters to pop up on your mobile device screen as if they are right in the scenery before you.

As a concept, it's amazingly powerful. Combined with the field-tested technology and fan management infrastructure of Niantic, it has the potential to become a global craze at a speed that may snap a few necks here and there - especially at game console companies that are still stuck on the couch potato culture in the middle of a mobile generation shift that values IRL-powered tech fun as much as on-screen fun.

I've always had great respect for the amazingly high quality of Nintendo's Wii game and fitness software, and for their pioneering work in bringing human motion into the world of game consoles via Wii so powerfully. They have a great dedication to quality - which, unfortunately, got eclipsed by market-think about proprietary platforms that was way out of sync with today's consumer-think.

Now, with Pokemon Go, Nintendo finally gets to break out of its self-designed, proprietary cage in a huge, global, cross-platform way - and Niantic gets to shake off its over-tight ties to Google's +Android​ platform and gets its own kind of cross-platform liberation through an amazingly powerful marketing and technology alliance. It's a perfect example of how Google's Alphabet Inc. spinoff strategy can pay off big. Should be a huge launch!
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