Nintendo and Niantic have announced a partnership to jointly develop new AR games based on Nintendo franchises. The first game will be based on the Pikmin series, and be “built on Niantic’s real-world AR technology,” which has most famously been used for Pokémon Go.

Niantic is the studio behind the well known Pokémon Go, a mobile game that leverages geo-location mechanics which require that players traverse the real world in order to play.

Now the studio says it has entered into a partnership with Nintendo to develop multiple new AR titles, starting with the Pikmin franchise, which got its start in 2001 on GameCube as an RTS puzzle game where players command hordes of little plant characters. Niantic says the title will launch later this year and is being developed by its Tokyo Studios group.

With such a success already based on Pokémon, partly owned by Nintendo, it makes sense that the companies would seek to expand the concept with new games.

A big question for us is whether or not the upcoming games will truly make use of AR, or simply be based on geo-location mechanics. Although Pokémon Go is referred to by Niantic as an “augmented reality” game, it’s gameplay is largely based on mapping rather than overlaying the real-world with digital information. And while there are some true AR functions in the game, they’re largely optional and aesthetic.

SEE ALSO
Huawei Motion Controller Patent May Point to Greater VR Ambitions

We’d love to see the Pikmin AR game learn further into real AR mechanics than Pokémon Go. At a minimum, Pikmin seems well suited for proper AR mechanics as the original games focus on controlling lots of tiny creatures that the player commands to achieve goals within the environment—something that would be much more grounded with proper AR visualization.

Unfortunately the only hint the studio has offered for the gameplay so far is that, “the app will include gameplay activities to encourage walking and make walking more delightful,” which doesn’t give us too much hope that it will be more than geo-location features.

Still, with more titles on the horizon, and Niantic recently showing a concept demo of Pokémon Go built for proper AR and running on HoloLens 2, it’s possible that the company is heading in a more immersive direction for the upcoming Nintendo titles.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.


  • Cragheart

    ‘Although Pokémon Go is referred to by Niantic as an “augmented reality” game, it’s gameplay is largely based on mapping rather than overlaying the real-world with digital information. And while there are some true AR functions in the game, they’re largely optional and aesthetic.’ – it’s not a true AR game, “AR” there doesn’t work (I tried), it’s a crap game, not worth anyone’s time and we don’t need more poor, low-quality games

  • Cragheart

    Lousy cheap “VR” like cardboard, Samsung Gear VR etc, or crummy substandard “AR” like Pokémon Go gives true VR and true AR a bad name.

    VR and AR must FIRST become GOOD and THEN affordable! People NEED to be shown how true VR and AR look and work. Too bad 2021 technology is so underdeveloped and half-baked…

    • Bonnie Rogers

      Get $192 per h from Google~a1317~ Yes this can be best since I simply got my initial payroll check of $24413 and this was just of a one week…I have aslo purchased my good BMW M5 right after this payment…~a1317~ it is really best job I have even had and you will not for~give yourself if you do not check it >>>> https://trimurl.co/oxMwJZ ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤.

    • Trenix

      Samsung Gear VR was actually pretty nice to experience VR. All you needed is your own phone and $99. Unfortunately they stopped supporting it. Sure you won’t have some crazy gaming, but you’ll definitely have a nice experience. However AR is still a complete gimmick, I’ve yet to see it work properly.

      • Cragheart

        The biggest problem was the lack of 6 DoF. Also, they didn’t implement in time very important functionality of controlling any phone app and any setting from inside VR.

        • Trenix

          You guys need to understand that VR is not just for gaming. Samsung Gear VR was great experience for a cheap price. I’m surprised that Samsung abandoned it. Aside from that Samsung is just going downhill lately. Their latest phones have been awful.

  • Merzcat

    I want Animal Crossing AR

    • Cragheart

      How would it work?

      • Amy Matlock

        Get $192 per h from Google~a1255~ Yes this can be best since I simply got my initial payroll check of $24413 and this was just of a one week…I have aslo purchased my good BMW M5 right after this payment…~a1255~ it is really best job I have even had and you will not for~give yourself if you do not check it >>>> https://ulvis.net/PzZ ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤.

      • Merzcat

        Similar gameplay as the console game except location based like PGo.
        You could visit various locations to mine items such as treasure, apples, weeds etc.
        Just like how in Pokémon Go gyms and stops are in fixed locations the same could apply to villagers.
        As for the house aspect I’m not sure.

        • Cragheart

          Seems stupid to me.

        • Holdup

          Bad Port sorry, that’s stupid

        • Trenix

          Having to find specific bugs or fish depending on the season and time would be neat.

  • Orion Willow Parrott

    They could have at least changed the consontants as well as the vowels from “Pokemon”. Pokemon -> Pikmin?!?! Seriously?

    Actual transcript:
    “No, don’t change the order of the consonants, it worked great before. I want the name to start with a P, then a k, then the m…”

    “And then how about a Z?”

    “No, stick with n for the last letter. We know that works.”

    “Ok ‘Pkmn’. And what about the vowels?”

    “Doesn’t matter”
    “Okay, Pikmin it is.”

    • Merzcat

      Seroquel

    • The next one is pakaman, then pekemen

    • Trenix

      Pikmin has been around for quit some time and the game had no similarity to Pokemon whatsoever.

  • Trenix

    Anyone who has actually plays or has played Pokemon Go, knows that no one really uses the AR functionality. It’s not only a battery drain, which is already heavy since the game already requires the use of a GPS, but it’s highly inaccurate and poorly designed. I don’t know a single person who played Pokemon Go for the AR capabilities. It was a neat little feature which you played with for a few seconds before you got bored and turned it off. These games were successful because they were based on your location, rather than the AR capabilities.

    Aside from that, Niantic is a terrible and greedy company. Basic feature requests required several years to finally be implemented for a game that made millions. Promised features and drastic improvements to the game still have never occurred. The game was also heavily casual, where rarity had no meaning and combat was bare bones. The game wasn’t even Pokemon and the AR was garbage. The game is pretty much dead at this point, where even the diehard fans that played in my community for years, have even quit.

    Perfect example of a company being completely out of touch of their audience.

    • Trekkie

      I think you need to seek professional help.

      • Trenix

        Talking to yourself again?

  • Trekkie

    If you isolate the pic in the top header and study it you will see flowers in the foreground occluding the creatures. There is also a creature sitting on a flower.

    If these flowers are real then they are making a magicleap style promise of what is to come… lets see.