'Tis the season for decking the halls, seasonal beverages, and awkward holiday office parties where your boss cuts loose by donning some elf ears (oy). But the augmented reality game "Pokemon Go" is adding a little festive flare, too, with a new addition to the Pokedex! If you're wondering, "When can I catch Holiday Pikachu?", you'll want to boot the app up right now. The little electric rat wearing a Santa hat is probably already lurking nearby — but it won't be around forever.
Earlier this week, Niantic Inc. announced that a seasonal Pikachu would be released into the wild starting at 10 a.m. PST on Dec. 12. For those on a quest to catch 'em all, this festive pocket monster is a must have and is drumming up quite a bit of excitement. Just a few days into the special Pikachu's tenure, Twitter is abuzz with pics of this limited edition Pokemon popping up around the world. If you question whether this little guy is obsession-worthy, keep in mind that players only have a limited time to add this festive Pikachu to their Pokedex: Pikachu will hang up its Santa hat on Dec. 29. Luckily, once you add him to your Pokedex he will keep his little red hat on forever — so even after the holidays are over, you can still enjoy a little festive fun.
While the normal Pikachu is fairly difficult to hunt down, over the duration of the holiday event, Pikachu spawns will apparently increase: Notes 9 To 5 Mac, and our little hat wearing friend is being released in “large quantities.” Holiday Pikachu is so common, in fact, that they are even popping up in player's living rooms. (Fingers crossed I get so lucky, because baby, it's cold outside.)
With so many festive hat-wearing Pikachu around, committed trainers will have the opportunity to quickly rack up the 50 candies necessary to turn Holiday Pikachu into his evolved form: Festive hat wearing Raichu!
December has been a big month for Niantic, with partnerships with Sprint and Starbucks, adding a few well-known Gen 2 Pokemon such as Pichu and Topegi into the mix (though they can only be obtained by hatching eggs), and of course the Holiday Pikachu event. However, there may be more still to come, Niantic hints in a Dec. 14 blog post, "The month isn’t even half over, and it’s been a blast so far. Stay tuned for more." As Heavy points out, releasing a seasonal event 13 days before the holiday is a little early for the Niantic team. If we look to the Thanksgiving event, which began Nov. 23, and the awesome Halloween event that kicked off Oct. 26, "Pokemon Go" may have some more in-game events up their sleeve before December is out. For now, let's just enjoy this adorable Pikachu, and hope that Niantic has something waiting for us under the tree.
There's no need to update the app is needed to catch this special seasonal 'mon, by the way, so what are you waiting for? Grab that coat and a few Great Balls, and hit the streets!
Images: Lily Feinn/Bustle