pokemon go

Pokémon GO Celebrates the Holidays this Weekend

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Today kicks off a special holiday weekend event in Pokémon GO. The Santa hat-wearing Pikachu returns this year, as well as new Water and Ice-type Pokémon from the Hoenn region (Gen 3). The event begins later today at 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern.

The first Gen 3 Pokémon were recently added during the Halloween event. As a further incentive to go out and catch ’em all, you can earn a egg incubators from PokéStops. The first PokéStop you spin each day between December 22 and December 25 will award a single-use egg incubator.

If you fancy spending a little money in the in-game shop, you can find some of the best deals during the holiday event. Special boxes will include Super Incubators, Lure Modules and Star Pieces. Star Pieces are a new item that grants bonus Stardust for 30 minutes when activated. Another bundle sale will kick in right after the holiday event, from December 25 through January 4, where you can grab special boxes of Premium Raid Passes, Super Incubators, and Star Pieces.

Niantic, Inc are in the process of updating Pokémon GO to support the new AR+ feature in iOS 11 (supported in iPhone 6 and newer). With this new optional feature, Pokémon will be more accurately positioned and sized relative to their environment and distance from you. AR+ mode adds a new challenge to catching Pokémon by tracking your proximity. Pokémon can flee if they see a trainer coming too close to quickly. The additional challenge comes with more rewards, including XP and Stardust.

The holiday event ends December 25 at 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Is a Pokémon GO-like AR Mobile Game

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The creators of Pokémon GO (Niantic Inc.) are joining forces with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to create an augmented reality mobile game based on J.K. Rowling’s incredibly popular Harry Potter series. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will utilize the same AR technology as Pokémon GO. No release date has yet been announced. More details will be revealed in 2018.

“At Niantic, our goal is to leverage technology to create real world experiences that help people to discover the wonderful, and often magical parts of the world around them,” said John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic, Inc. “The beloved Harry Potter stories have captured imaginations worldwide for more than 20 years and soon we’ll turn the fantasy into augmented reality, allowing fans and their friends to become wizards and witches.”

Gameplay will operate much like Pokémon GO. Players will explore neighborhoods and cities, learning and casting spells, finding magical artifacts, and encounter beasts and characters from the Harry Potter universe.

“With this game, we are allowing the passionate, worldwide fan base to experience J.K. Rowling’s deeply powerful and imaginative universe in a new, truly immersive way,” said David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “It is wonderful to have Niantic’s remarkable augmented reality expertise as we develop this incredibly rich wizarding world for players to explore in their everyday lives.”

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is co-developed by Niantic and Portkey Games. Portkey Games is a games label under WBIE that specifically creates content based on the Harry Potter license. Harry Poter: Wizards Unit will be published by Niantic, and is probably coming some time next year.

Niantic has come under frequent fire and criticism regarding server issues and instability for Pokémon GO, particularly surrounding the game’s rocky launch in Summer 2016. Despite frequent setbacks and problems Pokémon GO proved so popular it reached mainstream cultural phenomenon that most games can only dream of.

Harry Potter’s popularity easily rivals that of Pokémon. Let’s hope they have a handle on the incoming tide of wizards.