Niantic's Pokémon GO - in which Nintendo has a major stake - has been a lion's roar to the naysayers, for as you're probably well aware the app is breaking records all over the shop. Naturally, we can expect to see this huge spike of interest drop as the novelty may wear off for the more casual fans. However, if you're thinking of ditching the app anytime soon you might want to keep it on your radar due to some of the upcoming updates we can expect Pokémon GO to receive over the rest of 2016 and beyond.
Let's begin with a no-brainer. We'd like to think - at least this writer does - that Pokémon GO will eventually include the 800+ 'mon (factoring in Sun & Moon's upcoming critters) within the app. This will keep the game fresh and interesting, as those who fill up their Pokédexes pretty fast will always have something to look forward to. Encompassing seven generations of Pokés will certainly provide longevity for the app, though all we truly know to date is that more 'mon are coming.
Online trading + battling
Trading has always been a huge element of the Pokémon series, and so online trading is something we should expect to see in the future of the app's development; in fact, this was mentioned in Nintendo's Pokémon GO demonstration at this year's E3 event as an upcoming feature, and Niantic has repeated the point since.
Nothing was really mentioned regarding online battling, however, but this writer feels it would be a fun casual game to further enhance the app's engagement. It should be said that having online battles that contribute towards XP would defeat the purpose of the game's motive to get players outdoors, so perhaps the mode would only offer the chance to practice battle techniques and nothing more.
Currently, there's not a great deal you can do in regards to customising your avatar to further differentiate yourself from the millions of people around the world playing Pokémon GO. Yes, you can change your skin and hair colour, as well as choose your getup from a limited number of clothes/gear that you could count on both hands, but in all honesty it's a little lacklustre at present. We would like and expect to see this feature boosted, allowing the player to re-edit their avatar after starting their adventure, with more (perhaps unlockable) options to add variety to an avatar's look.
Also mentioned during Nintendo's Pokémon GO demonstration at E3 2016 was the notion of in-game events. One thing that immediately comes to mind is one of the first Pokémon GO trailer videos that was presented to us, where we saw hundreds of people in New York's Times Square spotting Mewtwo. This gives us an idea of how Legendary Pokémon may be presented within the app, such as via exclusive events that are reminiscent of how rare Pokémon used to be distributed to players of the Game Boy era.
Connectivity between Pokémon GO + main series games
A rather interesting piece of information touched upon in Nintendo's Pokémon GO E3 2016 demonstration was the mention of the app perhaps interacting with the main series Pokémon games in some way, shape, or form in the future. No further light was shed on this matter, but if it was mentioned we can be sure to expect some sort of nifty mechanic that bridges the two casual and core game experiences. Then again, we were promised multiple GamePad usage on the Wii U, and here we are in mid-2016 eagerly awaiting the NX still with only one GamePad per Wii U in play.
Whether we're able to transfer Pokémon from the upcoming Sun and Moon games (or the Pokémon Bank) to the app and/or vice-versa (pretty much destroying the core mechanic that's made Pokémon GO so unique), we don't know. Whatever it is though, it shouldn't necessarily take away from the core app experience at all, but offer a sort of complimentary experience such as how amiibo are used in certain Wii U and 3DS titles.
And finally...better server performance
Yes this one's a big'un - the servers haven't been great over the past few days (it's actually cost this writer a victory in a heated gym battle, a hatched 10km egg, and dozens of Gastly that refuse to be caught). The app is so great that despite all the connectivity issues it's kept people trying and trying again. But for the most part its performance has been unacceptable. Hopefully a given, we can expect the app's servers to be improved a great deal - but let's keep our fingers crossed that this is done before it loses too many players who have given up on their progress being squandered by faults beyond their control.
What do you think the future holds for Pokémon GO? Sound-off below!