Pokemon Go is getting an immersive AR+ augmented reality mode for Christmas

It’s an exciting time to be a Pokemon Go player! It’s been only about a week since the introduction of generation 3 Pokemon and a literal game-changing weather addition, but data miners at Silph Road have already noticed something new. While the recent holiday event announcement confirmed the sale of the new star piece item among other goods, 20 new water and ice Pokemon, increased ice type spawns, and free single-use incubators from December 22-25, we also received news of a huge AR update in league with what we’ve seen for the upcoming AR game Walking Dead: Our World. While data miners think it may work with Android’s ARCore, Niantic’s press release only talks about accessibility for Apple’s ARKit on devices running iOS 11.

Admittedly, this means that AR+ is a feature that only a fraction of the player base will be able to experience. The fact that using this mode also gives players additional experience points and stardust (the game’s rarer currency for leveling Pokemon) is disappointing for those left out, but it makes sense as the new catching method seems rather involved.

In the clip, we see Archit Bhargava, Niantic’s Global Product Marketing Lead, showing a member of the press the new feature. Yes, clearly-not-a-POGO-player journalist, Pokemon in AR mode don’t currently run away if you get too close to them. The new mode has players checking “tall grass” icons to scare the ‘mon out and approaching the little critters (which can sense and react to players based on an “awareness meter”) to catch them. You can apparently even get behind the Pokemon! It’s certainly an interesting new feature for those who can access it.

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Fervor Bliss

Nice thing to do while partner takes their time picking (insert your partners shopping item here) rolls eyes.

Denice J. Cook

Wow, that looks cool! I hope it comes to Android soon as well. 9/10 users worldwide are Android, you’d think they’d start with that platform instead.

Melissa McDonald

Google is heavily pushing their Star Wars AR tags for their Pixel camera. Looks like that will be an increasingly common thing.

Loyal Patron

Apple’s latest ad push on their X model heavily features AR on their camera mode.