Augmented Reality Pokemon for the Nintendo 3DS

Pokemon.com announced a while ago the release of a 3D Pokedex for Pokemon Black and White in the Nintendo eShop for use with, and only with, the Nintendo 3Ds.

That seemed to me a bit of a gimmick, though at least it was a freebie.  And people who bought 3DS units right away probably need all the support they can get, what with the short battery life and such.

But there was a more recent announcement about the 3D Pokedex, regarding the addition of augmented reality to the app.

This allows you to print out what they call and “AR Card,” place it at some real, physical location, such as on your kitchen table, and then, when you view that through the 3DS, the Pokemon whose AR Card you have appears to be there, on the table.

A Pokemon and its AR Card

Again, something of a gimmick in my mind.  People have played with this sort of thing.  Apparently, the side of the card you print out dictates how big the item will be when viewed, so there was a story over at Kotaku about people printing out poster sized cards to insert life-size Marios into the world.

Nintendo even has a poster sized AR Card that will let you view your Mii (yes, the 3DS has Miis) in full, human scale height.

Not having a 3DS as yet (call me when they get to the second generation… and only if they improve battery life) I do not know exactly what you can do, other than view the images and take pictures of them.  Though that might be enough.  I’d put a giant Mario next to my car for a photo op if I could.

But the Pokemon AR Cards also give you something else.

Use the AR Viewer in Pokédex 3D to view Pokémon projected into the real world! When you point the camera at these special Pokémon AR Markers, you’ll be able to see and take pictures of Pokémon in 3D. In most cases, when you view one of these Pokémon AR Markers you will increase your chances of receiving the Pokémon that you’ve scanned. But if you scan certain Legendary or Mythical Pokémon’s AR Markers, you will receive those Pokémon instantly!

Okay, you can only see Pokemon you already have.  And using the AR Card for ones you do not have will increase your chance of getting that Pokemon as part of a SpotPass.

But if you view a legendary or mythical Pokemon, and you do not have it, you will receive it immediately?

I hate to cry “welfare epics,” but isn’t stalking and catching those rare and elusive Pokemon part of the reason to play the game?

Okay, I suppose when the obsession is upon you, you will do many things to fill that Pokedex.  I know how that mania feels, and the lengths to which you will go to catch them all.

I can even go along with the SpotPass option, as it is one of the ways of getting Pokemon that are not in your version of the game. (Black and White each have their own exclusives.)

But handing out legendary Pokemon for printing out an AR Card?

That seems… hollow.

At least to me.

Yes, I have gotten my share of legendary Pokemon from download events.  But at least those were out of the house, limited time, go somewhere and see other Pokemon players activities.

Ah well, gotta sell those 3DS units somehow I suppose.  I bet some Pokemon fan is even now planning to buy a 3DS just to get the legendary Pokemon.

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