‘Pokemon Go’ Holiday Event, Genders, Costumes & Shiny Pokemon Expected Soon


‘Pokemon Go’ is now available for iOS and Android devices. (Niantic)

The newest Pokemon Go update is on the way, and its code suggests that Niantic is preparing to launch several exciting features.

Although the latest update has not yet hit the app stores, the folks over at The Silph Road were able to analyze Version 1.19.1’s code, coming away with some striking conclusions. For one, it appears that Niantic is working on a holiday event as expected. This makes sense, considering the company recently held special events celebrating both Halloween and Thanksgiving. The update’s code includes information about Pokemon costumes, and one type of costume is “Holiday.” Does this mean trainers will be able to dress their creatures up as Santa Claus, or perhaps as a reindeer, this Christmas?

It looks like Niantic is also planning to introduce genders into the game so that a particular creature is identified in the code as male or female. This wouldn’t be a big deal on its own, but that suggests that Niantic might be adding a breeding feature sometime soon. At Comic-Con back in July, Niantic CEO John Hanke said the idea of adding breeding to the game was being discussed, though he gave no specific timetable. However, there isn’t any code in this update that would display the different genders on screen, so there may not be a visual difference between a male and female Pokemon.

Next up is shiny Pokemon, with The Silph Road discovering language in the code related to the addition of these shinies. If this works the same way as it did in previous Pokemon games, shiny Pokemon will not actually function any differently than regular Pokemon, but they’re just rare, sparkly versions of the same creatures that don’t serve much of a purpose other than looking cool.

Finally, the code suggests the upcoming addition of avatar customization, so trainers will be able to adjust their character’s hair, clothing and backpack.

This update comes ahead of Niantic’s announcement that new Pokemon will be added to Pokemon Go in the near future. We don’t have any other details yet, but the company plans to shed some more light on this on Monday, December 12th. It has been widely speculated that Niantic is preparing to launch the second generation of Pokemon. Another theory is that they’ll launch some of the legendary Pokemon and tie that into the holiday event.

The fact that an announcement is coming on the 12th and that a holiday event is being planned has also lead some fans to speculate that the company will be doing some sort of “12 Days of Christmas” spectacular, where a new Pokemon is released every day from the 12th through the 24th, with something else special happening on the 25th. Might Christmas Day see the release of the legendary birds? What will Niantic be hiding under the Christmas tree this season?

No new moves were found in the newest update, though, and so if the second generation does launch next week, those Pokemon will probably have to use the game’s existing moves. It’s also worth considering that Niantic could have just been referring to the addition of shiny Pokemon, not new Pokemon species, although this would be an incredibly disappointing conclusion to this week of hype.

On December 8th, some sort of Starbucks promotional event is expected to begin, although this has only been rumored, and it’s not clear that this will involve anything other than Starbucks locations turning into PokeStops and special Pokemon themed drinks being offered.

Pokemon Go Version 1.19.1 for iOS and 0.49.1 for Android has not yet hit the app stores, but it should arrive sometime within the next few days. Check back in on Monday for a major announcement concerning the addition of new Pokemon and the future of Pokemon Go.