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While Waiting for Pokémon Go Release Date, Real-World Battle Gym Opening in Japan

First Posted: Oct 27, 2015 07:55 AM EDT
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In anticipation for the biggest and most ambitious Pokémon game ever made, fans can practice their Pocket Monster skills at a soon-to-open state-of-the-art facility in Japan.

Sayonas Interaction is set to open a real-world Pokémon hub in Osaka, Japan on Nov. 19. The facility will be called The Pokémon EXPO Gym and will offer patrons "hands-on edutainment" on all things related to Pokémon.

According to Inside Games via Siliconera, the purpose of the gym is to educate kids about Pokémon in a fun and interactive way. Meanwhile, adults can learn advanced tips in using abilities in Pokémon video games.

The gym has a plethora of training games such as "Charizard's Battle Colosseum" and "Gardevoir's Control Score." Each game has its own story to tell and abilities to teach. At the end of it all, top-performing participants will be rewarded with in-game items for Pokemon X/Y and Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby, as per GameSpot.

Admission to the gym's higher-ended and more interactive exhibits will cost between ¥400 and ¥600. If current exchange rates stay the same, that's between $3 and $5. Those figures are good for three to 15 minutes, depending on which areas patrons choose to go, Kotaku reported.

The Pokémon EXPO Gym will also have a companion app for smartphones, which will be available starting next month. The app lets Pokémon enthusiasts pay for Pokémon merchandise and membership cards. It also helps them keep track of training stats and gym rankings.

Daily Express points out that despite providing augmented reality features and real-world Pokémon action to fans, the new Pokémon gym doesn't actually tie in with Niantic's upcoming Pokémon GO mobile game as both are separate ventures from different companies. Still, that doesn't deter the fact that both are highly-anticipated additions to the Pokémon fandom.

The Pokemon Company, Google and Nintendo recently invested $30 million in Niantic Inc. to further improve Pokémon GO.

The augmented reality video game expert is being paid $20 million to develop the game, an extra $10 million will be given as an incentive for meeting projected goals, Business Wire reported.

"The Pokémon Company, Google and Nintendo are incredible investors and strategic partners to help build the next chapter for Niantic. We will be using this capital to continue the development of Pokémon GO," said Niantic boss John Hanke.

For his part, TPC president Tsunekazu Ishihara had this to say when asked to comment about Niantic Inc, "Pokémon's strategic investment in Niantic paves the way for a social mobile experience the world has never seen before. The Pokémon Company is committed to partnering with companies like Niantic that share the same spirit of community and innovation."

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