News: Niantic Previews the Future of AR Gaming with Codename: Urban Legends Demo

Niantic Previews the Future of AR Gaming with Codename: Urban Legends Demo

As if teasing its own smartglasses weren't enough, augmented reality gaming developer Niantic gave gamers a glimpse of how 5G speeds can revolutionize how they play mobile games in the near future.

This week, the company revealed Codename: Urban Legends, a demo game built with the Niantic Real World Platform that showcases action-packed, multi-player mobile gameplay achieved through low-latency 5G connectivity via edge servers.

Footage of gameplay from the demo, spliced together with CGI cinematic scenes in a trailer for the game, shows a first-person shooter that unfolds in the real world, with enemies emerging from the ground and firing projectiles that incinerate the physical surroundings.

Don't look for the game in the App Store or Google Play just yet (despite the fact that there are multiple apps that share the Urban Legends title), but Niantic hints that an official launch will occur.

Images via Niantic

Carrier partners Deutsche Telekom, Globe Telecom, and Verizon, members of the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance forged last year, are testing the game on their networks, reporting ten-fold improvements in latency and simultaneous player capacity.

"Verizon built 5G Ultra Wideband for gamers, with ultra-fast speeds and ultra-low lag that unlocks amazing interactive experiences. Codename: Urban Legends is just the type of creative AR multiplayer game we envisioned benefiting from our leading network, and our customers will be able to see and feel the difference 5G Ultra Wideband brings when playing the game," said Erin McPherson, vice president of consumer content and partnerships at Verizon, in a blog post.

The Niantic Real World Platform already powers AR features for Pokémon GO, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Ingress Prime, as well as Niantic's forthcoming Pikmin mobile AR game, but none have truly harnessed what footage of Codename: Urban Legends promises.

However, the dream of battling pocket monsters in the real world instead of on touchscreens appears to be much closer to reality in the not-too-distant future.

Cover image via Niantic/YouTube

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