Last time I fired up Pokémon Go, the sun was still shining, the trees were still green and life was in full, resplendent swing. Oh summer of frenzied Pokémon hunting, how distant you seem. Now, in the deepest misery of winter, there's new evidence that Niantic's flash-bang cultural phenomenon might be ready for a second lease of life, if recent datamining discoveries are anything to go by.
The hard-working folk over at Silph Road (the same team that shed light on Pokémon Go's more obtuse mechanisms at the height of its popularity), have picked their way through the game's most recent update and discovered loads of references to potential new features.
Of most significance perhaps, especially following recent whispers that more Pokémon will be coming to the game soon, is news that the latest Pokémon Go update added sound files for Pokémon #152-252 - AKA Gen 2, AAKA the Pokémon from Gold, Silver and Crystal. That's not a promise of anything, obviously, but it sure sounds like Niantic is primed to unleash the next wave of Pokémon sooner rather than later.
There's also strong evidence that Pokémon Go players will finally soon be able to properly customise their Trainers, hopefully meaning an end to the rather bland current avatar system. Buried deep within the game's code are references to customisable hair, eyes, hats, shirts, shoes, backpack, and pants - in the American sense, obviously - plus tags that suggest these will be available in both unlockable and purchasable forms.
Better still, it looks like Pokémon will be getting in on the dress-up action too, with the discovery of code pointing to specially themed Pokémon costumes. There's a 'holiday' costume category already in evidence, so we might well be about to see some special festive Pokémon outfits as the season of baubles and kiss-twigs gets properly underway.
Elsewhere, Silph Road has spotted references to a new 'baby' position for Pokémon Go's recently added buddy system (that sees the little creatures flolloping alongside you), plus gender tags for all Pokémon. You could speculate that both these additions hint at the early stages of a breeding system, but there's no solid proof of that right now. Finally, there're more hints that super-rare Pokémon shinies are incoming, although, as usual, the only way to confirm any of this is simply to wait and see.