Pokemon Go is getting a major new feature; AR occlusion. Or it is on some Android devices, anyway.
Niantic announced today that select Android devices will be able to participate in a beta test that introduces a ‘Reality Blending’ feature while using AR in Pokémon Go. The beta will begin in June and is essentially a form of occlusion for Pokémon Go that will allow the game’s sprites to be blocked or hide behind real-world objects.
The ‘reality blending’ beta will be available from June for select players with a Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S10 and Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 4. Niantic says that the feature will only be available to a limited number of players on those devices first, and that support for more devices will be added in the near future. Check the occlusion out in action in the GIF below.
According to Niantic, with the reality blending feature, “Pokémon will be able to hide behind a real object or be occluded by a tree or table blocking its path, just like a Pokémon would appear in the physical world.”
Pokemon Go occlusion is something fans have been asking for for some time. It should stand to make that game that big more immersive. In fact, Niantic itself first teased the feature two years ago now.
However, this isn’t the only update that game will receive — users will soon be able to take part in an opt-in feature called PokéStop Scanning, which brings the Portal Scanning feature from Niantic’s other title, Ingress, to Pokémon Go. This will mean Level 40 Trainers will be able to contribute 3D maps of PokéStops and Gyms by walking around and uploading images of those places with their phones.
Besides generating dynamic 3D maps of points of interest in the game, this new feature will also allow future improvements where Niantic can “tie virtual objects to real world locations and provide Pokémon with spatial and contextual awareness of their surroundings. For instance, this awareness will help Snorlax find that perfect patch of grass to nap on or give Clefairy a tree to hide behind.”
All these new Pokémon Go features will be available in a limited capacity to select players starting from June.