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The Pokemon Company and Niantic have revealed new details about Pokemon GO. Today’s news comes as an early user test begins in the United States today. Tests are already underway in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand as well.

Find all of today’s information below. You can also look at some new screenshots in the attached gallery.

Pokémon GO will allow players to find and catch more than a hundred different Pokémon as they explore the world around them. When players approach a Pokémon in the wild, their phones will notify them and give them the opportunity to engage and catch the Pokémon using the phone’s touch screen to throw a Poké Ball. Poké Balls and other special items can be found at PokéStops, which are located at interesting places such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments. During gameplay, Pokémon GO players will be encouraged to join one of three teams and engage in Gym battles with other teams. After joining a team, players will gain the ability to assign their Pokémon to Gyms. Like PokéStops, Gyms can be found at real locations in the world.

Battling is essential to any Pokémon game, and Pokémon GO is no different. Players can battle using the Pokémon they’ve caught to gain control of a Gym. By using their own Pokémon’s attacks and dodging incoming attacks by swiping left and right on the screen, Pokémon GO players can defeat the defending Pokémon to reduce the Gym’s Prestige. Once the Gym’s Prestige reaches zero, the defending team loses control of the Gym, and the victor’s Pokémon can be assigned to defend the Gym. When a team has control of a Gym, team members can increase its Prestige and level by training their Pokémon with other defending Pokémon. As the Gym gets to a higher level, the defending team gains the ability to assign more Pokémon to defend it. They can also team up with friends and battle together at a rival Gym to take down stronger Gyms faster.

The usual Pokémon Shuffle update is upon us, and while there’s only one new stage, the repeat runs are still notable. Four stages have been added to both the mobile and 3DS versions, all of which run until June 7th.

First up is the Magmortar stage, which is new and lets you catch Magmortar. The Ash-Greninja stage makes a return, as well, where players will face off against Ash’s special Greninja from the anime. The legendary Kyogre also makes a return. Both of these stages let players earn Skill Boosters for their respective Pokémon once the Pokémon is captured. Finally, the Carnivine stage is returning. This stage is a Try ’em Items stage, which lets players try items out without using coins.

Good luck out there, champ in the making!

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Miitomo has managed to reach a new milestone on Android. As stated through the app’s page on the Google Play store, it’s now surpassed 5 million downloads on the platform. It currently sits somewhere between 5 million and 10 million installs.

Miitomo topped 1 million installs at the start of April. It seems that the app is still going strong!

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Over on My Nintendo, the pack of five Miitomo game tickets has been discounted. It’s been reduced from 420 Platinum / Miitomo points to 350.

You can see the offer on My Nintendo right here. It’ll last until June 20.

The weekly Pokémon Shuffle update has hit, and it brings a sizable number of catchable Pokémon to the table, as well as a new mechanic to make things a bit easier. This new mechanic is the Skill Gauge, which makes a Pokémon’s ability grow stronger as it uses it. The gauge can also be filled with new items.

Meanwhile, there are quite a few Pokémon to try and catch, all of which will run until May 31st. Two new challenges have been added: the Electivire stage and a safari, which will give trainers a chance to catch Drowzee, Hypno, Frillish, Jellicent, Elgyem, Beheeyem and Mesprit. Several repeat runs have also begun, such as Groudon and Wobuffet. And, if you’re a regular player, why not give the returning Daily Pokémon Challenge (#4) a try? Like all the Daily Pokémon Challenges, it will change which Pokémon is available on every day, starting with Wynaut, and then going through Torkoal, Zangoose, Luvdisc, and Seviper, before going back to Wynaut.

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Some Miitomo users might be curious as to what Nintendo does with the answers they provide. In a statement sent to Kotaku, the company commented directly on how the data is used.

It was explained that answers are merely a way “to provide a better experience for Nintendo consumers and to support the application.” The company added, “Neither Nintendo nor any of its partners sells or shares that answer information for any other purposes.”

Here’s the full statement:

The goal of our Miitomo questions is to spark fun conversations with your friends and for you to discover new facts about them as they answer the questions being posed. That’s why Miitomo generally avoids yes or no questions. As to the answer information our consumers provide through the Miitomo app, it is only used to provide a better experience for Nintendo consumers and to support the application. Neither Nintendo nor any of its partners sells or shares that answer information for any other purposes.

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The Pokemon Company and Niantic are expanding the Pokemon GO field test once more. Later this month, fans in the United States will be able to give the app a go.

The field test “will give users the opportunity to share early feedback and help improve the Pokemon GO experience.”

Those who are interested can sign up here. Note that doing so doesn’t guarantee access.

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A few hours ago, we posted some tidbits from a new Asahi interview with Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima about the company’s movie plans. The outlet’s complete interview has now been translated in full.

We have Kimishima’s complete comments on movies, plus remarks about mobile and NX. Continue on below for the translation, courtesy of GSR.

-You’re currently working to invest your IP in new fields. In April Nintendo sold its stake in the Seattle Mariners; are you putting the income from that to use?

We aren’t looking to make money simply by directly licensing our characters, but we must invest heavily in new areas such as film production going forward. When we’ve finalized that sale, we’d like to use part of the proceeds in these areas.

-By film production, you mean movies?

The most common meaning is films, but there’s a variety of opportunities such as video content. We’re currently talking with a number of partners, and I think we’ll be able to finalize something in the not-too-distant future.

Two separate versions of Miitomo are out now. iOS users can download version 1.2.1 while the app is up to version 1.2.2 on Android.

We reported yesterday that the new email invite feature was resulting in crashes on iOS. After updating, this should no longer be a problem. At this time, we’re not quite sure what version 1.2.2 includes for Android users.

Pokémon Shuffle updates are back, this time bringing a new stage for Bellossom, the return of the Thundurus, and a returning Mega-Swampert stage. All of the stages are available on both the 3DS and mobile versions, and each runs until May 17th.

While the Bellossom and Thundurus stages are pretty standard, the Mega Swampert stage is (as usual for Mega stages) a competition stage, with the best players by region getting better prizes. The coveted Swapertite will go to the top 60,000 players in Japan, 22,000 in North America, and 15,000 in Japan, as well as the top 80,000 Mobile players worldwide. Note that, if you got a Swampertite last time the competition rolled around, qualifying players will get a Mega Speedup instead. A Raise Max Level will be given as a bonus prize to the top 10,000 players in Japan, 3,500 in North America, 2,500 players in Europe, and 15,000 worldwide on Mobile. The top 80,000 Japanese, 30,000 North American, 20,000 European, and 120,000 Mobile players who did not qualify for the Swampertite will get an Attack Power instead, and everyone who played but didn’t qualify for any of those prizes will get a Disruption Delay.

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