Pokémon game that’s all about sleep hits 10 million downloads

Pokémon Go made billions of dollars getting people to roam the great outdoors. Now, the company behind the global game phenomenon is trying to get people to go to bed.

| Updated on: Aug 27 2023, 07:17 IST
Father's day gift ideas: Elevate your dad's tech game, just check out these options
Pokémon GO
1/6 Looking for the ideal tech gift for Father's Day? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Check out our handpicked selection of gifts that will surely impress even the tech-savviest dads. From portable power banks and streaming devices to fitness bands, wireless earbuds, and high-performance laptops, these gifts are guaranteed to bring a smile to your dad's face. Make this Father's Day unforgettable by surprising him with the perfect electronics gift that he'll treasure for years. (Pexels)
image caption
2/6 Apple MacBook Air with the M2 chip is a game-changer. It fits the bill as the perfect Father's day gift. It offers lightning-fast performance, exceptional battery life, and a stunning Retina display. Whether for creative work, productivity, or multimedia consumption, the MacBook Air M2 elevates the computing experience.  (Vijay Sales)
image caption
3/6 Treat your dad to an immersive audio experience with boAt Airdopes 341 ANC wireless earbuds. With active noise cancellation (ANC) technology, crystal-clear sound, and ergonomic design, these earbuds offer a seamless listening experience. They are IPX7 water-resistant, have touch controls, and are available for purchase on Amazon, and boAt's official website. (Boat)
image caption
4/6 Upgrade your dad's TV experience with the new Amazon Fire TV Stick. This compact streaming device offers access to popular services like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+ in 4K Ultra HD. With its voice remote and simple setup, he can enjoy endless entertainment options and control smart home devices with Alexa.  (Amazon)
image caption
5/6 The Mi Power Bank Hypersonic is a portable charger with a whopping 20,000mAh battery capacity, perfect for keeping your dad's devices powered up while on the move. Its sleek design, fast charging capabilities, and multiple ports make it an excellent travel companion. Available for purchase on Amazon. (Xiaomi India)
image caption
6/6 The PLAYFIT FLAUNT fitness band is the perfect gift for fitness enthusiasts or those looking to start a healthier lifestyle. With its heart rate monitor, sleep tracker, step counter, and various sports modes, it helps users stay active and track their progress. Its stylish design and long battery life make it a practical and fashionable accessory for everyday use.  (Play)
Pokémon GO
icon View all Images
Pokémon GO players pose with Eevee during Pokémon GO Fest 2023 on Friday, August 18, 2023 in Randall's Island Park, N.Y. (AP)

Pokémon Go made billions of dollars getting people to roam the great outdoors. Now, the company behind the global game phenomenon is trying to get people to go to bed.

Pokémon Sleep records and rewards your sleep with Pokémon that you'd otherwise have to spend many waking hours catching. Developed by Japanese games studio Select Button Inc. and published by The Pokemon Co., Pokémon Sleep was the most downloaded game during the week starting July 16, according to mobile data analytics firm data.ai. The game celebrated hitting 10 million downloads Friday by offering some in-game items for free.

Users play by sleeping with their smartphones close to their heads, and the game keeps track of vibrations caught by the phones' sensors to estimate sleep quality. The better your sleep metrics, the more creatures you collect.

You can also speed things up in the free-to-play game by buying in-app items to befriend more Pokémon, or by paying for a premium subscription that comes with bonus sleep points.

“I really make an effort to go to sleep at my set bedtime, which I never did before,” said Tomoki Toma, a 23-year-old from just outside Tokyo who's used Pokémon Sleep faithfully for more than four weeks.

Pokémon Sleep enters an arena crowded by health-oriented apps such as Calm, BetterSleep and Sleep Cycle. Pokemon, a joint venture owned by Nintendo Co., Creatures Inc. and Game Freak Inc., said it spent over four years on the game, trying out different game designs in an effort to add “an element of fun.”

But interest is waning as more users voice boredom about a game whose outcome is determined while the player is asleep. What's more, users can't transfer creatures they find in Pokémon Sleep to other games. Searches for the title have sunk to about half their peak worldwide, according to Google Trends.

“It's a lot of fun collecting different Pokémon, but the game does get a little repetitive after a while,” said 22-year-old Tokyo resident Reina Watanabe, who started playing three weeks ago.

There's also plenty of ways to cheat: you can tell the game you're going to bed when you're actually curling up with a book, leave the phone on your bed while you get coffee, or just manually enter false sleep data.

Whether Pokémon Sleep can keep users checking in every night depends both on the draw of the characters as well as the perceived health benefits. Game play is limited, but there's a long list of idle games that remain popular for years, running in the background on phones everywhere, such as AFK Arena, AdVenture Capitalist, Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector and Egg Inc.

Pokémon Go broke records and celebrated its seven-year anniversary last month in part because the augmented reality game designed by Niantic Inc. reinvented itself through updates. That title's success contrasts with Niantic's struggles on some other games, which prompted the San Francisco-based company to close its Los Angeles studio and cut 25% of its staff.

Pokemon is exploring ways to link its newest game to more devices in the future, according to the company's Pokémon Sleep producer Kaname Kosugi.

“Pokémon Sleep is fun, but without the quintessential Pokémon battles, it just doesn't feel like you're playing a game,” said Masamitsu Takahashi, 30, a longtime Pokémon fan from Gifu Prefecture in central Japan. “But I'll wait to see if any major overhauls are in the works before I delete the app.”

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 27 Aug, 07:17 IST