Pokemon Go developer, Niantic, announced that it’s entering a partnership with Microsoft and its new mixed reality platform, Microsoft Mesh. Niantic stated that it will be using HoloLens 2 to test play Pokemon Go in an AR experience among people.
The announcement was made on March 2 during Microsoft’s Ignite 2021 virtual conference.
The video to the demo is down below and we see how players use the HoloLens to find wild Pokemon out in the street and feed them berries. Judging from the demo itself, the game looks like it’s pretty far into development but Niantic has said it’s not ready just yet.
CEO and Niantic founder, John Hanke, said. “while this demo is not intended for consumer use, it offers an early glimpse into the future evolutions in both software and hardware.”
What’s Microsoft Mesh?
On March 2, 2021, Microsoft launched Microsoft Mesh which is an online platform that allows people to come together in a virtual reality experience. Alex Kipman, the inventor of the Kinect and HoloLens, said Mesh is meant to share content with others like they’re in the same place but with “different mixed reality devices”.
Niantic hopped on early because the company sees the huge potential of the HoloLens 2, Microsoft’s own mixed reality smart glasses, as one of the best tools to test out the game with.
Facing New Challenges
Since its release in June 2016, Pokemon Go has seen worldwide success with over a billion downloads and made over $1 billion in 2020 alone. Branching out onto new hardware makes sense but it’s not without a new set of challenges.
Among the series of questions Niantic is trying to answer, privacy appears to be a big one, “What happens when somebody reports in from somewhere else? And what do they see? What do you share?”
John Hanke notes how different of an experience it is from playing on a smartphone versus augmented reality, “Holding up your phone and seeing through the screen is one thing, but when you have the headset on and [Pokemon] are all around you,… it’s just magical.”
Virtual reality gaming has seen huge strides with amazing games coming out but this augmented reality-style seeks to take players beyond their expectations.
Hanke says, “Theoretically, you could imagine a world where [Pokemon Go] spans phones and AR and potentially even VR.”
Dedicated fans have fired up Photoshop and shared what this new Pokemon Go AR could look like when it eventually comes out. Twitter user, Ash Ketzchup, shows himself extending his hand out to a Vapereon at the beach while other users show what it would be like to encounter other Pokemon at the park.
— Ash Ketzchup (@ashketzchup) March 2, 2021
As mentioned, this new Pokemon Go AR game isn’t available yet; however, you can purchase your own HoloLens at two for $3,500. So, if you’d like to be ahead of the curve, be prepared to shell out some serious cash.
What do you guys think of this new Pokemon Go AR game? Would it compel you to pick up Pokemon Go if you haven’t already?