Niantic have announced that as part of the NPSAR (Niantic Planet-Scale AR) alliance mission, they are debuting an exclusive 5G optimised demo called Codename: Urban Legends that’s exclusive to key partners: Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, Globe Telecom. A multiplayer demo experience, players must work together to cast magic spells to blast monsters and rescue mythical allies – including Doty, the original Niantic Explorer!
You can read Niantic’s blog post below for more details.
Over the past few years, you’ve probably heard a lot about 5G and wondered what it means for the video game industry. At Niantic, we believe 5G-powered augmented reality experiences will unite the world. Last year we formed the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance – a team of top global carriers dedicated to creating exclusive 5G-ready AR content experiences and driving 5G AR forward.
Today, we’re announcing our next step towards that vision: Codename: Urban Legends, a multiplayer demo experience that lets people team up to battle waves of monsters, and offering a glimpse into the transformative future of augmented reality, 5G and AR headsets.
Built on the Niantic Platform, the same technology that powers Niantic titles including Ingress, Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Codename: Urban Legends uses 5G to connect multiple people and digital characters for a shared AR experience. Working together, players cast magic spells to blast monsters and rescue mythical allies — including Doty, the original Niantic Explorer!
Codename: Urban Legends blends digital characters into their surroundings, placing monsters in spaces mapped in real-time with 5G devices. Each player participates from a different position within the common area, and teams fight to eliminate waves of monsters while moving to gather keys to free locked-up allies. Thanks to 5G’s ultra-low latency, multiple players contribute in real time to a shared, dynamic experience, and digital characters can assist players with life-like speed and location awareness.
Just like Niantic signature titles, Codename: Urban Legends uses smartphones to augment the real world with digital content. But we’re already working towards the day when experiences like this will also be viewable through AR headsets, making your favourite games easier to play and more immersive.
Showcasing the Powers of Cutting-Edge 5G Technology
Ever since 5G was announced, people have wondered what the “killer app” would be — the software that demonstrates and drives demand for new hardware. At Niantic, we believe AR gaming will be 5G’s killer app, because it’s an ideal showcase for 5G’s high bandwidth, low latency, and massive simultaneous device connectivity, combined to deliver experiences that were impossible or impractical on 4G and Wi-Fi.
5G networks will enable a new generation of immersive multiplayer experiences, like Codename: Urban Legends, with more complex characters and consistent synchronisation across multiple devices at once. Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance members, including Deutsche Telekom, Globe Telecom, and Verizon are already testing Codename: Urban Legends and seeing impressive results.
5G devices and AR apps will benefit from network-level changes, including bigger data pipes and distributed cloud computing, using servers located closer to more users. These networked computers – also known as multi-access edge computing (MEC) or edge servers – will be able to manage AR content on a massive scale.
Practically, 5G MEC means that Codename: Urban Legends can handle up to 10 times as many simultaneous players, and improves latency up to 10 times compared with 4G — differences that players will be able to see and feel. Over time, 5G will simultaneously enable more realistic multiplayer experiences and longer battery life, a key consideration for players using mobile phones today and AR headsets in the future.
Excited? Niantic Explorers will be able to play Codename: Urban Legends at select Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance carrier partner stores — we’ll share more later this year. Keep your eyes on the Niantic blog for news on the first demo locations.
For more information about the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance, its mission, and current partners, check out our announcement blog.
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