The Pokémon Company to launch Pokémon Sleep in summer 2023
The Pokémon Company has finally announced that “Pokémon Sleep” will be released worldwide in the summer of 2023 after being delayed for four years.
The company said Monday during a presentation of the new Pokémon Presents gameplay that the app would turn “sleep into entertainment.”
The new game combines a smartphone sleep tracker with gaming. Users are given rewards based on how long they spend sleeping.
The company described the players as having an adventure that “takes place on a small island” where they will research the sleeping habits of Pokémon.
Players will collaborate with “a large Snorlax who lives on the island” and Neroli, a professor who studies Pokémon sleep patterns.
The company explained that the longer the players sleep, the higher the morning score and “the more Pokémon the players will see appear around Snorlax,” allowing players to catch them all while they get some shut-eye.
All players need to do is get a good night’s sleep, and their sleep patterns will be measured, recorded and analyzed. The company then generates sleep charts with detailed information.
The sleep will be classified as one of three types — dozing, snoozing or slumbering — and players can unlock new Pokémon with varying sleep types.
The Pokémon Go Plus +, a new device in development by Nintendo, will power Pokémon Sleep. The new gadget mimics the form and functionality of the previously released Pokémon Go Plus and Pokéball Plus devices, which are disc-shaped Pokéballs.
Users of the Pokémon Go Plus + need to press a single button to activate Pikachu’s “cute prompts when it’s time to wake up or go to sleep.” The alarm and lullabies will be played in Pikachu’s soothing voice.
Since the Pokémon Sleep app will record basic sleep data like how long players sleep, concerns have been raised about the privacy of users’ sleeping habits.
A Reddit user, u/tropicalhypebeast, created a meme comparing The Pokémon Company’s data collection practices to those of Facebook and Google.
In response to the thread, u/Kanataku said that Pokémon Sleep would merge with Pokémon Go, implying that “Niantic will hold even more” of players’ data.
They were concerned that the app would provide the company access to the player’s location and sleep schedule.
“Players have given this company so much money without even spending actual money on the game,” u/Kanataku said.
U/LeftistFish also warned other players, saying, “Stop giving up your personal data to corporations. They make millions selling it. Even if it’s something as innocuous as your sleep patterns.”
Similar controversies have previously surrounded Pokémon GO due to the game’s tracking of players’ location and personal data.
Android users may remember that to play Pokémon GO back then, the app would need permission to access their device’s camera, their location (both precise and general) and location history.
Additionally, the game could access the user’s entire contact list, USB storage and network.
If a player was on an iPhone, the game might have access to their current location, camera and saved images. Many iOS users sign in with their Google accounts, giving the app access to their data.
As a result, the app “can see and modify nearly all information in your Google Account,” including your Gmail, Drive, Maps, and more.”
Jason Hong from Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Security and Privacy Institute asserted that the privacy threat posed by Pokémon Go would increase if Niantic monetized data for advertising like Facebook and Google do.
He explained that in-app purchases rather than external advertising would be a safer way for the Pokémon Go team to make money off the app without compromising users’ privacy.