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Pokémon Masters coming to smartphones later this year, more Pokémon products on the way

Nintendo is set to host a Pokémon Direct presentation next week focused on Pokémon Sword and Shield, but before that, The Pokémon Company hosted a press conference late last night, where it revealed information about many other Pokémon-related products and games. Not many details were revealed about each of the products, but the announcements do shine light on where the franchise is going.

One of the more interesting announcements is Pokémon Masters, which is a new game coming to Android and iOS later this year. It's not entirely clear how the game will play, but it will feature main characters from many previous games in the main Pokémon series, such as Blue, Cynthia, and more battling with each other. The short trailer showcased battles with three Pokémon on each side, but it's not clear if that's the only battle mode available. Nonetheless, for fans of the traditional Pokémon formula, this could be the closest you can get to it outside of Nintendo consoles.

Another big announcement was Pokémon Home, a new cloud-based service to bring together all the separate ecosystems that currently exist in the Pokémon franchise. Pokémon Home will be available as a smartphone app, and allow players to connect to three major ecosystems that are mostly separate: Pokémon GO, which is on smartphones; existing Nintendo 3DS games, such as Pokémon Sun and Moon; and Nintendo Switch titles such as the existing Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee, as well as upcoming ones.

Not only will Pokémon Home let players connect all those titles and transfer Pokémon between them more easily, but it will also be useful for communication with other players. For the first time outside of Pokémon GO, it'll be possible to use a smartphone to trade Pokémon with other players, something which will be a major improvement in terms of convenience for players. The service will launch in early 2020.

Moving on to a somewhat unexpected product, the company announced Pokémon Sleep, a new app for smartphones which aims to "turn sleep into entertainment". The Pokémon Company believes it changed how people think about walking and got people to go outside with Pokémon GO, and now it wants to do the same to help people improve their sleeping habits. Aside from the generic concept of the software, not much was revealed in regards to how it will work.

The company, along with Nintendo, did announce a new device, the oddly-named Pokémon Go Plus + (yes, there are actually two pluses). It'll work similarly to the original Pokémon Go Plus accessory for Pokémon GO, in that you can use it to interact with the game, but it will also connect to Pokémon Sleep, tracking your sleeping patterns when you have it with you in bed. It's unclear how this will work, however.

The last announcement was that of a sequel to Detective Pikachu, a 2016 Nintendo 3DS game which inspired the movie with the same name that was released earlier this year. Neither the name or any further details were revealed, other than that the ending will be different from that of the movie, and that it will be a Nintendo Switch title.

If you're interested, you can watch the full presentation here. And, of course, you may want to stay tuned for next week's Pokémon Direct.

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