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Pokemon Company develops sleep app, aims to 'turn sleep into entertainment'

TOKYO: Japan's The Pokemon Company said yesterday it was developing Pokemon Sleep, a mobile app that tracks players' sleep and uses the data for gameplay, with a release date set for next year.

"We want to turn sleep into entertainment," said Mr Tsunekazu Ishihara, chief executive of The Pokemon Company, which helps manage the Pokemon franchise, at an event in Tokyo.

At the same event, Kyoto-based Nintendo said it was developing a sleep-tracking successor to its Pokemon Go Plus device, which allows users to "catch" Pokemon without taking out their smartphones.

Pokemon Sleep will use data points, like how long the user slept and when they woke up, to change gameplay, though The Pokemon Company did not elaborate.

The title could help entrench Pokemon's appeal beyond core gamers and tap into a growing market for health-tracking services.

Nintendo has been trying to attract casual fans of Pokemon Go to its hybrid Switch games device with two beginner-friendly Pokemon: Let's Go titles, which have sold more than 10 million copies as of end-March.

It will release two fully fledged Pokemon titles for the device in late 2019.

Pokemon's global appeal is reflected in the success of the recent movie Pokemon Detective Pikachu, which has taken more than US$358 million (S$495 million) at the global box office. - REUTERS

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