Japanese students play “Pokemon Go” in the street as its released in Tokyo. Pic: AP

Pokémon GO fans rejoice as augmented reality game finally launches in Japan

JAPANESE fans of Pokémon GO can finally download the game on their mobile devices and go out to “catch” the characters in the country where they were created, after weeks of delay due to concern that the servers would not be able to handle the demand.

The game, which makes use of mobile location-tracking capabilities and augmented reality, is already available in over 30 countries, but Japan is the first Asian country it has been officially launched in.

Excited gamers began tweeting early today that they were able to begin playing the game:

The Japan launch of Pokémon GO also marks the first time game developer Nintendo, who along with Niantic and the Pokémon Company created the game, is working with McDonald’s as an official partner.

According to the Japan Times, about 2,900 McDonald’s outlets across the country will become ‘Gyms’ and ‘Pokéstops’, where players go to catch, train, and battle the characters with other players’ Pokémon.

Both Nintendo and McDonald’s are set to cash in on the hype, as both companies saw their shares spike today almost immediately after players began talking about the launch on social media.

Nintendo’s shares jumped nearly 4 percent, while McDonald’s shares were up by 7.91 percent. Yesterday, McDonald’s Japanese unit’s shares hit a 15-year high, rising as much as 10 percent to US$36 (3,875 yen), but closed lower possibly due to the launch delay.

SEE ALSO: Prepare for trouble, make it double: Pokémon GO might be a security and privacy risk

The excitement around Pokémon GO comes amid security warnings issued by Japan’s National Center for Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) in a memo, which advised players not to use their real names as well as to watch out for fake apps.

The NISC also cautioned gamers not to walk into dangerous sites to seek the pocket monsters, and to be aware of the risk of heatstroke while playing in the summer weather, reports Reuters.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference on Thursday: “I would like people to follow the advisory the government issued to use smartphones safely.”