Pokémon Sleep was a long time coming. First announced in May of 2019, we heard nothing more about the game for years, and it felt like it wasn’t going to happen. But at Nintendo’s February 27 Pokémon Presents event, we finally heard that the iOS and Android game was coming, and soon at that. The Pokémon Sleep release date finally arrived in July 2023. Let’s take a look.
The Pokémon Sleep release date was July 17, 2023. It is now available to play on Android and iOS.
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What is Pokémon Sleep?
True to the name, Pokémon Sleep is a game that you can play while you’re asleep. This obviously seems counterintuitive, but it’s based on sleep-tracking technology, and you interact with the game based on the amount of time you sleep and the type of sleep you get.
The game takes place on a small island on which, in a rather meta way, you’re tasked with researching how Pokémon sleep. You’re aided by a specialist professor in this field called Neroli, as well as Snorlax, who is a resident of the island.
Your phone or the Pokémon Go Plus tracks your sleep, and based on how you do, you’re rewarded with sleeping Pokémon when you wake up. Like Pokémon Go, the idea is to catch as many as possible, and the rarer, the better. You can even compete against your friends to see who can catch the most slumbering Pokémon.
Pokémon Sleep could prove to be a shrewd move by Nintendo. By gamifying sleep, the brand is increasing the reach of Pokémon beyond waking hours. At the same time, the user gets an extra bit of entertainment as well as encouragement to get a good night’s sleep and improve their sleep habits. It’s a win-win.
How does Pokémon Sleep track your sleep?
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Playing the game requires you to place your phone or Pokémon Go Plus device by your pillow when you go to bed. The app then tracks your sleep using your smartphone’s accelerometer and gyroscope. These sensors measure body movements, which can be used to determine when you are asleep and awake. The app also uses your phone’s microphone to detect snoring and other sounds that can indicate your sleep quality.
By monitoring how long you sleep, when you wake up, your snoring, and other movements, Pokémon Sleep can approximate your total sleep time, as well as how much of that time is spent in light, deep, and REM sleep. Light sleep is classed as ‘dozing,’ deep sleep is ‘snoozing,’ and REM sleep is ‘slumbering.’ This is important in the context of the game because the time you spend asleep will dictate how many Pokémon you encounter in the morning, but the type of sleep you get will decide which Pokémon you find. You will attract the Pokémon that have sleeping habits similar to yours.
When did Pokémon Sleep come out?
The February announcement was that Pokémon Sleep would be coming in Summer 2023. It finally became available to play on July 17, 2023, soon after the Pokémon GO Plus device was launched. The device is an integral part of the Pokémon Sleep game. You can download the game now from the App Store and Play Store.
Pokémon Sleep was announced by The Pokémon Company on May 29, 2019. It isn’t clear why it has taken so long to become a reality.
Based on the May 2019 announcement, we know that the game has been in development for at least four years and probably a significant amount of time prior to that. What we don’t know is whether the game was being developed that entire time or whether it was shelved for part of it.
Snorlax is often associated with sleeping the most in Pokémon, hence the name and association with Pokémon Sleep. It is often depicted sleeping and blocking paths or roads, requiring trainers to find a way to wake it up or get around it. Snorlax is known for its ability to sleep for extended periods of time and can even sleep while standing upright.