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Forget Pokémon Go — Pikmin AR game is coming this year

Pikmin AR game
(Image credit: Niantic)

Nintendo has announced a new partnership with Niantic, the developers behind Pokémon Go, to collaborate on a new mobile Pikmin AR game. The new app is set to launch later this year.

The news came yesterday in a blog post on Niantic's website. According to Kei Kawai, vice president of product management, the upcoming game will "include gameplay activities to encourage walking and make walking more delightful." 

Niantic also clarified that the app will be created by its Tokyo Studio, established in 2018. The Pikmin AR release date is set for this year. 

Sadly, that's all the information that's been shared so far. However, more details are expected in the coming months. The good news is that this is not a one-off partnership. 

"We're excited to continue building on this partnership as we pursue our mission of encouraging people to explore the world together."

And if you're already over-the-moon excited about playing with Nintendo's adorable characters from the Pikmin series, you can pre-register for further updates via Niantic's website

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The news was quickly followed by a press release from Nintendo. According to Shigeru Miyamoto, representative director, fellow at Nintendo, Niantic's AR technology will let us "experience the world as if Pikmin are secretly living all around us." Miyamoto also highlighted that the partnership's aim is to deliver "a new experience that's different from traditional games."

John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, described the partnership as "a natural next step with Nintendo."

"We're looking forward to shaping the future of AR together," Hanke said.

At this stage, it's too early to judge whether the upcoming Pikmin AR game will be just as big of a hit as Pokémon Go, a game that quickly became one of the most popular smartphone after it was released in 2016. 

Speaking of Pokémon Go, during last month's Microsoft Ignite conference, Hanke presented a demo of what Pokemon Go could potentially look like using Microsoft's HoloLens AR technology. And although it was nothing more than a demonstration, this proves that Niantic means business when it comes to "shaping the future of AR."

Denise Primbet

Denise is a news writer at Tom’s Guide covering all things tech, gaming software/hardware, streaming, and more. She regularly produces short-form news articles as well as long-form content, including reviews, buying guides, how-tos, and features. When she's not live-streaming horror games on Twitch, she can be found exploring East London while playing Pokemon Go. She’s also a part-time piano enthusiast and regularly experiments in the kitchen. You can reach her at denise.primbet@futurenet.com.