Nintendo's Pokemon GO mobile game has launched in Japan bringing the record-setting global hit to the home of the Pokemon characters. Paul Chapman reports.
Pokemon GO finally hit the birthplace of the mini-sized monsters on Friday. It's arrived in Japan behind more than 30 other countries. The new game in which players visit real-life places to hunt the virtual characters on their smartphone screens has become an instant global hit. Players in Tokyo gave the new mobile augmented reality version an enthusiastic welcome. (SOUNDBITE)(Japanese) TOSHINORI ISHIBASHI, POKEMON GO PLAYER, SAYING: "The game is just as I imagined it to be, it's really fun. It's also a great reason to go outside so I'm really enjoying it." Burger chain McDonald's in Japan has teamed up for the launch with nearly 3, 000 of its restaurants nationwide acting as spots where Pokemon can be battled or trained. It's not entirely without risks. Police in other countries are warning the use of GPS technology leaves players vulnerable to muggings or theft, and signals when they're not at home. The Japanese government has issued instructions to players ranging from advice not to use their real names to warning about heat stroke in the muggy Japanese summer Pokemon GO, which marries a classic 20-year-old franchise with augmented reality, is on its way to becoming the first mobile game to break the $4 billion-per-year barrier.