Is the Poké Ball Plus worth buying? | Release Date, Price, Features, and more
The Poké Ball Plus is essentially a ball-shaped Joy-Con controller that can be used in the upcoming Nintendo Switch games Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee!
But is it worth purchasing? And what does the Poké Ball Plus actually do? We've created this handy guide to bring you up to speed and to answer your questions about this device.
The Poké Ball Plus will be released on Nov. 16, the same date as the Let's Go games.
The Poké Ball Plus by itself is priced at $49.99, while the Poké Ball Plus and one of the Let's Go games as a bundle comes to $99.99. Thus, it'll save you a few bucks if you buy both the game and the device at the same time.
The Poké Ball Plus can be used to play the Let's Go games like a Joy-Con, but it also has an abundance of other features that make it a worthwhile purchase for any avid Pokémon fan.
In Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee!, you can transfer a Pokémon to the device and walk around with it while you aren't playing. The Pokémon will interact with you by making sounds and small rumbles. Those who purchase the Poké Ball Plus will also be given a special Mew to use in-game.
In Pokémon Go, the device can work as a Pokémon Go Plus device. You'll have the option to link the Poké Ball Plus with your phone to spin PokéStops and capture Pokémon by clicking the middle button. If you also have a Pokémon in the device from the Let's Go games, the Poké Ball Plus will spin PokéStops for you automatically without the need to do it yourself.
Is the Poké Ball Plus worth the purchase?
In short, it depends—but not really.
If you're an avid Pokémon fan, chances are you're going to pick this up regardless. But it's worth listing out a few problems that the device had when we tried it out during a demo event a few weeks ago.
The analogue stick is one issue because it’s used to both move your character around in-game, but also as the main button by pressing down on it. By selecting the option with the analog stick, you then need to press the button to continue on your quest—sounds simple, right?
When you go to press the analogue stick’s button, however, you might accidentally move the stick at the same time, which causes your current selection to go to something else. This led to us choosing different options and moves far too many times, which made the experience frustrating.
The Poké Ball Plus also isn’t really that responsive in terms of motion control when you try to throw the ball toward the screen. In a game that requires motion controls to work, this could essentially ruin the entire experience.
There are positives with the device, but for something that costs $49.99, the product really doesn't work that well to justify the price tag.