Pokemon is coming to mobile phone handsets in Japan at last, in the form of an email application with virtual pet functionality which is being created as a collaboration between Nintendo and publisher Square Enix.
The new product, which will feature the signature Pokemon characters - including Pikachu - heavily, is the latest cautious move by Nintendo towards the thriving mobile phone content market in Japan.
Despite, or perhaps because of, the company's dominance of handheld gaming platforms, Nintendo has been slow to engage with this sector, with the only current venture being a recently launched ringtone and animated wallpaper service called Nintendo Mobile.
This new collaboration with Square Enix will allow Nintendo to leverage its publishing partner's significant experience in the mobile market - which includes publishing the hugely acclaimed Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis mobile game, which utilised the camera in the phone as part of the play experience and is one of the most successful mobile games in the region to date.
News of the collaboration was revealed by Japanese consumer magazine Famitsu, and no word has yet been forthcoming regarding any plans to bring the application to territories outside Japan.