Nintendo will release a new Poke Ball controller this November that works with Pokémon Go and the recently announced Nintendo Switch Pokemon games. Called the Poké Ball Plus, it’s an actual Poké Ball that you can carry around and catch Pokémon with. For real.
OK, there are obvious caveats here. The Poké Ball Plus only works with its compatible games, not with any real-life Pokémon you may run into. (Which, like, let us know if you do.) The device is a bit larger than a golf ball and has a tiny joystick in its center, allowing players of the Let’s Go! games on Switch to control the entire game using it. But it’s most appropriate for battles, where you can swing the Ball toward the screen while trying to catch a Pokémon.
Poké Ball Plus continues to be lifelike from then on; if you manage to capture your monster opponent, the device will vibrate and light up. The Pokémon “inside” will even make a noise, for further authenticity — both when you catch one and when you shake the Poké Ball.
Another bonus is that you can use the Poké Ball to transfer Pokémon between Let’s Go! and Pokémon Go, so you could theoretically start off Let’s Go! with a very full Pokédex.
Those features aside, this is essentially an upgraded version of Pokémon Go Plus, an accessory that enables you to catch Pokémon and accumulate steps without opening up Pokémon Go. And if you want to be cynical about it, the Poké Ball Plus looks like another highly specific peripheral whose functions are limited to just a small number of Pokémon games. (Remember the PokéWalker? I miss it every day.) But for the dreamers out there, the Poké Ball Plus is the closest we’ve ever been to owning a Poké Ball — even throwing it to catch ‘em all. And that pretty much owns.
The Poké Ball Plus will be available Nov. 16. No price has been announced yet.