Pokémon GO developer Niantic has been hard at work deploying new gameplay elements like the research feature and Pokémon GO Community Days, which offer trainers an opportunity to catch shiny versions of rare Pokémon with powerful moves. These features haven’t stopped Niantic from improving other elements of the game however, like the graphics used in some of Pokémon GO‘s interfaces. Yesterday Niantic released information about their latest update, which arrived just in time for the start of April.
“We always want to bring you the most immersive graphics experience possible, and we’re excited to share our latest breakthrough with millions of Pokémon GO Trainers around the world. Starting later today, you can be one of the first to experience this all-new graphics engine.
“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. Your Pokédex will feel lifelike in ways previously unimagined on any handheld device ever created.
“We feel 100% confident in saying that you’ve never seen Pokémon like this in Pokémon GO! We’re looking forward to your feedback on this brand-new feature. Tell us your thoughts on our latest update with #PokemonGO, and be sure to include a picture of your favorite Pokémon!”
— The Pokémon GO team
Excited to see the new graphics with my own eyes, I ran outside and encountered a Hoppip. The Hoppip was sadly still the same high-definition sprite you might expect to see in
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Undeterred, I pressed on and encountered an equally non-pixelated Sunkern. After catching a few more Pokémon and still not seeing the all-new graphics, I went to check the stats of my newest team members. As soon as I opened my Pokémon list, I was greeted by 8-bit sprites and a wave of nostalgia. Opening my Pokédex, I found the sprites there as well. When I first read the update, I had thought it might be odd to see a giant 8-bit Snorlax staring me down in the field. It seems Niantic did too and chose this approach instead.
A quick note for any trainers lucky enough to have a shiny Pokémon: it looks like Niantic did not bring shiny versions of each sprite over. My shiny Shuppet was denoted by a sparkle icon in the Pokémon list, as seen in the image below. Thankfully, shiny Pokémon still can’t be mass-transferred, but be careful transferring individually until Niantic reverts back to the “downgraded” graphics.
Source: Pokémon GO Official Site