Apple’s ‘Gather Round’ product event took place today, and while the company is predictably heavy on the new hardware iterations, including Apple Watch Series 4, the A12 Bionic chip, and new iPhone X versions, the company is still plugging its AR capabilities with two featured ARKit 2.0 apps. Taking the stage was NEX Team, which showed off an updated version of their HomeCourt basketball app, and Directive Games, which debuted Galaga AR, an upcoming augmented reality multiplayer version of the classic arcade game.
Directive Games is a Shanghai-based AR/VR studio behind Super Kaiju (2018) for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and The Machines, a PvP multiplayer AR game announced during the Apple iPhone X event last year.
Atli Mar Sveinsson, CEO of Directive Games, took the stage at the Steve Jobs Theatre to show off Galaga AR in a live demonstration. Built with ARKit 2.0, which puts multiplayer AR at its core, Galaga AR lets at least three other people play in what looks like an absolute sensory explosion of lights and action.
Busting out of a classic arcade cabinet placed on a table, players duke it out for max points by shooting down laser drones and even going against a level boss. While it seems a bit busy visually, it’s one of the highest quality multiplayer AR experiences we’ve seen to date—no small part played by Apple’s new A12 Bionic chipset.
Directive Games’ Atli Mar Sveinsson further announced that more classic arcade games would be getting the AR treatment in the future, although he made no specific mention of which games are yet to come.
The so-called ‘AR Arcade Series’ is slated to hit the App Store later this year, although no specific dates have been announced at this time. At the time of this writing, it’s unclear exactly which AR-capable iOS devices will see support.