“Shares in Japan’s Nintendo Co surged on Friday as early signs showed consumers falling in love with its new Pokemon GO smartphone game, raising hopes that the company’s long-awaited shift into mobile gaming will pay off,” Chang-Ran Kim and Makiko Yamazaki report for Reuters.

“Since its launch late Wednesday in the United States, the title has shot up to claim the No. 1 free app ranking in Apple Inc’s U.S. iTunes store. It was also launched in Australia and New Zealand this week and will soon be rolled out in Japan, other parts of Asia and Europe,” Kim and Yamazaki report. “The game, which has players walking around their neighbourhoods in real life to search out and capture Pokemon characters on their smartphones, earned enthusiastic reviews by fans on Twitter despite some glitches. Analysts have also noted that the money-making potential from in-app purchases appears to be better than expected.”

“Nintendo’s shares jumped to end up 9 percent at their highest level in more than two months, giving the firm a market value of about $23 billion,” Kim and Yamazaki report. “While free, Pokemon GO offers in-app purchases for power-ups and extra items. Nintendo also stands to make money from its Pokemon Go Plus – an accessory that will alert players when they come close to Pokemon so that they don’t always have to be looking at their phones. It will be released in late July and will be priced at $34.99 in the United States.”

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MacDailyNews Note: More info about Pokémon GO via Apple’s App Store here.