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Niantic Celebrates April Fools Day with 8-Bit Pokémon Go Upgrade


Niantic Celebrates April Fools Day with 8-Bit Pokémon Go Upgrade

No, Pokémon Go players aren’t seeing things; some of the game’s original creatures have been downgraded to 8-bit graphics, courtesy of Niantic as an early April Fools Day gift.

Revealed earlier today, the aesthetic serves as a limited time event for the game and will last over the weekend. Niantic also offered a press statement on the “update,” saying it’s the result of looking out for ways to offer the most cutting edge graphics possible to players.

“Experience Pokémon GO like never before with cutting-edge 8-BIT GRAPHICS! Registering approximately twice the definition of 4K, the chunky squares of each pixel provide realistic detail and unbelievable definition,” the statement reads. “Your Pokédex will feel lifelike in ways previously unimagined on any handheld device ever created.”

To be fair, it is a more accurate approximation of what original fans would have expected if they saw Pokémon in the real world back in the ’90s. Plus, who doesn’t love the adorable sprites of Charmander, Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Pikachu from yesteryear?

Nostalgic tastes aside, the change is set to last through the end of the day on April 1. For more on all things Pokémon Go, check out our recent coverage of the game’s latest update which will offer players research tasks and the chance to catch Mew.


Keenan McCall is a freelance journalist with experience in a variety of areas, but for whatever reason, he decided to cover everything related to nerd culture. From games to comics, anime to figures, TV to books and music, he’s always looking for what’s new from the world of entertainment and what it means for the people who consume it. It should also be noted that his Twitter feed is less a series of insightful thoughts and opinions so much as it’s a steady stream of memes, references and cute animal videos.

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