Pokémon Go‘s heartwarming Buddy feature will get even better with Reality Blending

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Pokemon GO
This game is determined to be the very best. Like no game ever was.
Photo: Niantic

Pokémon Go‘s Buddy feature gives you a, well, Poké buddy to go on adventures with, much like Pikachu was to Ash in the animated series.

Now, thanks to a new feature called Reality Blending, the experience is going to get even better — and a lot more glitch-free. If you haven’t seen it, check out the (weirdly tear-jerking) ad for the Buddy Adventure feature below, as well as details about how it’s been improved.

The Reality Blending feature takes advantage of new augmented reality (AR) capabilities on smartphones to add something called occlusion to the mix. What that essentially means is that the Pokémon buddy will better merge into scenes without dodgy clipping effects. If, for instance, you dodge behind a tree that your Buddy is on the other side of, they will remain obscured by the tree, rather than teleporting halfway up it.

The Reality Blending feature isn’t going to be available for everyone. It will initially be rolling out for the Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy S9, Google Pixel 4, and Google Pixel 3. However, given the iPhone’s impressive AR capabilities and processing power, it would be highly unlikely if it doesn’t make its way to newer iPhones in the near future.

Game developers Niantic Labs is also creating a new 3D PokéStops and Gyms feature that will ask players to create 10-second videos from multiple angles. These will then be used to help the team create dynamic 3D maps. Niantic writes that:

“This can give us a better understanding of how virtual objects persist and where they are in relation to one another, which will help us improve the game’s overall AR experiences. In addition, the 3-D objects allow our devices to further understand what they are looking at in order to augment reality in real time.”

Pokémon Go keeps going and going

In terms of its mainstream coverage, Pokémon Go had its heyday in 2016. But the game has actually proven to be a long-lasting App Store smash. According to data from mobile app analytics firm Sensor Tower, Pokémon Go raked in $894 million in player spending last year. That’s more than it made in 2016, 2017, and 2018. In all, the game has earned upward of $3 billion in its lifespan. Gotta catch ’em all, indeed!

If you’re one of the very few people not to have tried the AR phenomenon, you can download Pokémon Go for free via the App Store.

Via: Touch Arcade