Catch them Zzzs with Pikachu: Pokémon Sleep will let you play while snoozing

By Louis Shankar

Published Mar 4, 2023 at 09:15 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

On Monday 27 February 2023, also known as ‚ÄėPok√©mon Day‚Äô as it was the date that Pok√©mon Red and Pok√©mon Green debuted in Japan in 1996, Nintendo gave Pok√©mon fans a sm√∂rg√•sbord of announcements.

Alongside a nostalgic new set of Pok√©mon cards and initial details about downloadable content (DLC) for the most recent mainline games‚ÄĒPok√©mon Scarlet and Pok√©mon Violet‚ÄĒthe long-anticipated Pok√©mon Sleep was finally given a release window. There was also news of a new and original television show, Pok√©mon Concierge, a stop-motion animated series in development with Netflix, which looks incredibly sweet.

What is ‚ÄėPok√©mon Sleep‚Äô?

Pokémon Sleep has been in the works for years. Nintendo regularly schedules live news broadcasts, named Nintendo Direct, and each time, the mobile game has been anticipated but never formally announced. Until now.

It was first announced back in 2019, when the president and CEO of The Pok√©mon Company, Tsunekazu Ishihara, explained: ‚ÄúThe concept of this game is for players to look forward to waking up every morning.‚ÄĚ

Effectively, it‚Äôs a sleep-tracking app that incorporates various Pok√©mon into the software. The mascot is obviously Snorlax, a rare first-generation Pok√©mon famous for its capacity to sleep. Each night, placing your phone by your pillow will track the length and quality of your sleep‚ÄĒas is expected from such sleep-tracking apps, which have been popular for years now.

With Pok√©mon Sleep though, the longer you sleep, the higher your score will be come morning. And a higher score means more Pok√©mon will gather around your Snorlax avatar. Each night, your sleeping pattern will be classified as dozing, snoozing, or slumbering‚ÄĒdifferent sleep styles attract different Pok√©mon.

Compatibility with other apps and devices (Pokémon GO, for example) has yet to be explained. Will you be able to battle with these new friends, or simply snooze alongside them?

Certain Pok√©mon have specific and unique sleeping types‚ÄĒwhatever that might mean‚ÄĒand over time, you can collect them. Gotta catch ‚Äėem all, right? The game (if that‚Äôs even the right word for this slightly dystopian perspective) takes place on an as-yet-unnamed island, where the player is called on to help Professor Neroli carry out research into how Pok√©mon sleep.

It’s a confusing and convoluted premise, sure, but then again, Pokémon is a global phenomenon and has never aspired to logic or sense.

Is the aim to get children sleeping more, and having lie-ins, or to achieve a higher quality of sleep? It‚Äôs hard to tell at this stage. And, no doubt, keen (adult) gamers will be hacking and finding ways to cheat the system within weeks. Pok√©mon GO, which was partly intended to encourage children to spend more time outside and get exercise‚ÄĒquickly saw workarounds and unintended, sometimes disastrous, accidents. Although it‚Äôs unlikely anything similar could happen with a sleep app‚Ķ I hope.

Nintendo also announced a new and wholly unnecessary piece of hardware, confusingly named  Pokémon GO Plus +, that uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to link to the app on your phone and offers more accurate sleep tracking.

It also provides the option of having Pikachu give you ‚Äúcute prompts‚ÄĚ when it‚Äôs time to wake up, or sing you lullabies. That sounds either frightening or absolutely adorable, I can‚Äôt quite decide.

Pokémon Sleep will be available on iOS and Android, with a worldwide release expected this summer. A specific date is yet to be confirmed. Pokémon GO Plus + releases on 21 July.

Keep On Reading

By Charlie Sawyer

The very best moments from Variety’s 2023 Actors on Actors series

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

From Bunga Bunga to a political awakening: Gen Z’s real talk on Silvio Berlusconi’s government

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

With the rise of narco influencers comes a rise in narco-funerals. Here’s what you need to know

By Charlie Sawyer

10 juicy rumoured celebrity romances that began on TikTok

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Jada Pinkett Smith calls Britney Spears a badass and shows support for the singer’s new memoir

By Abby Amoakuh

UN Secretary-General António Guterres critiques siege on Gaza as hospitals about to shut down

By Charlie Sawyer

Watch this video of Luigi ruining a wedding proposal at Super Nintendo World

By Charlie Sawyer

Acid attacks have risen by 45% in London in just a year. Women are now also at greater risk

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Lana Del Rey’s now working where…? Watch the viral video of musician’s bizarre new job

By Mason Berlinka

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is proof that multiverse madness needs to end

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Suella Braverman’s lifestyle choice remark sparks outrage amid growing homelessness crisis

By Charlie Sawyer

Project Armageddon wants to see Parisians cohabitate in harmony with rats

By Phoebe Snedker

What’s wrong with the girl dinner TikTok trend? Gather your cheeses and grapes and let us explain

By Charlie Sawyer

In defence of romanticising your life, even though The Guardian thinks it makes gen Z boring

By Charlie Sawyer

M&S pulls Christmas advert post of burning hats after being called out by pro-Palestine supporters

By Louis Shankar

Here’s why the PinkNews Awards 2023 were disrupted by the activist group Fossil Free Pride

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

90% of UK female surgeons have witnessed sexual misconduct in the last 5 years, new report shows

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Man climbs over train tracks to harass woman at London station, prompting calls for safety measures

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

US town bans autumn-obsessed influencers from taking pictures of its fall foliage

By Mason Berlinka

Doctors warn that Kim Kardashian’s $2500 full body MRI scans might do more harm than good