Augmented reality (AR) specialist Niantic Labs – best known for Pokemon GO – has announced that it entered a new partnership with Nintendo. Working together on a series of mobile applications, to begin with, the companies plan to launch an AR videogame based on the Pikmin franchise.
Niantic Labs will be developing real-world AR experiences based on Nintendo’s beloved characters, so that could very well see Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid Prime and many more get the AR treatment. As mentioned, its those lovable, colourful helpers the Pikmin who will be first. In a similar fashion to Pokemon GO, the Pikmin title will encourage players to get out and about for a healthy gaming experience.
There’s no official name just yet for the AR Pikmin videogame but it is scheduled to launch worldwide later this year. It’ll be the first title created by Niantic Tokyo Studio, the development studio Niantic established in April 2018. If you’re interested in walking around your local park with digital Pikmin at your feet then you can pre-register for the app here.
“Niantic’s AR technology has made it possible for us to experience the world as if Pikmin are secretly living all around us,” said Shigeru Miyamoto, Representative Director, Fellow, Nintendo, in a statement. “Based on the theme of making walking fun, our mission is to provide people with a new experience that’s different from traditional games. We hope that the Pikmin and this app will become a partner in your life.”
“As we continue to expand our games portfolio, it was a natural next step to team up with Nintendo,” said John Hanke, CEO of Niantic. “We’re looking forward to shaping the future of AR together, bringing Nintendo’s beloved game characters to life for mobile game players around the world.”
Earlier this month Niantic Labs showcased another AR project it was currently developing. During Microsoft Ignite the studio demoed a prototype version of Pokemon GO working on HoloLens 2. Niantic CEO and Founder John Hanke strolled around a park interacting with Pokemon using the device’s hand tracking.
The potential for Nintendo characters in AR could be massive, so as further details are released regarding Pikmin VRFocus will keep you updated.