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Niantic’s new 5G gaming demo highlights the future of AR gaming



Niantic turned mobile gaming on its head by forcing players to venture out outdoors in Pokémon Go. The game was an instant smash, and its popularity has only endured over the years, nurtured through common events. With the advent of 5G, Niantic is showing its approach to next-generation augmented reality social gaming. We have already got a glimpse of the original AR glasses, now it presented a multiplayer demo to show the larger scale of its 5G games.

Loan elements from the existing lineup, included Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the new Codename: Urban Legends see players band together to give magical magic to big and small monsters, cute and awe-inspiring. The demo looks very much like Japanese anime Dennou Coil, a mystery about a group of children living in an increasingly virtualized world.

Niantic has already tapped a number of major mobile operators to test the network, including Deutsche Telekom, Globe Telecom and (Engadget parents) Verizon. The first results show that 5G allows the game to handle up to 10 times as many concurrent players and increases the waiting time by up to 10 times as well. Further down the line, Niantic claims that the new network will also improve the game by enabling longer battery life on the phone.

The demo follows the launch of Niantic’s “Planet-Scale AR Alliance”, a partnership to test AR on global networks using major carriers, including Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe Telecom, Orange, SK Telecom, SoftBank, Telus, Verizon and Telstra. Together, the companies hope AR turns out to be 5G’s “killer app.”


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