‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ Open Beta Comes to Australia and New Zealand

Niantic, known for Pokémon Go, has been working with WB Games on a new augmented reality project set in the Harry Potter universe, called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Today, Niantic officially made an open beta of the game available in Australia and New Zealand for both iOS and Android users.


In the game, players become recruits of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force and must investigate and contain a "Calamity" that has befallen the wizarding world. To that end, players must cast spells and collect artifacts and memories, and rescue characters to level up, all with the goal of keeping magic hidden from muggles.

The collecting mechanic is similar to Pokémon Go, with players locating magical artifacts instead of Pokémon, and using spells rather than Pokéballs to capture them.

Niantic notes that in the beta version of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite the features, available languages, design, and overall appearance are not final, and the product might be buggy and unstable at times. The idea of the beta is to get feedback from players so that the developers can improve the game experience.

The open beta launch in Australia and New Zealand follows a similar pattern to Pokémon Go, which was initially released in the two countries first before launching worldwide. A global release date hasn't been announced yet for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, but Niantic plans to release the game later this year. Interested gamers can sign up to receive updates on the Wizards Unite website.

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This article, "'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' Open Beta Comes to Australia and New Zealand" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Niantic Shares Gameplay Details for Upcoming ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ Augmented Reality App

Niantic, known for Pokémon Go, has been working with WB Games on a new augmented reality project set in the Harry Potter universe. Today, Niantic officially unveiled some gameplay details, giving us our first look at how the game will work.

In Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, players become recruits of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force and must investigate and contain a "Calamity" that has befallen the wizarding world.


Players (or witches and wizards) from around the world will need to come together to cast spells and return Foundables, which are apparently artifacts, creatures, people, and memories, to their proper place after freeing them from Confoundable magic, all with the goal of keeping magic hidden from muggles.
As you step outside and explore the world, the Map will reveal Traces of magic, highlighting the location of magical Foundables. While these Traces can be found all around you, certain Foundables may be more likely to appear at various types of real-world locations including parks, banks, municipal buildings, college campuses, libraries, monuments, zoos, art galleries, and more. Cast a variety of spells to overcome the Confoundable magic, keep the magical Foundables safe, and send them back to the wizarding world. By returning Foundables, you'll earn unique rewards that can be tracked in the game Registry.
All in all, it sounds similar to Pokémon Go, with players locating magical artifacts instead of Pokémon, and using spells rather than Pokéballs to capture them. Players will have access to inns to replenish spell energy, magical ingredients for brewing potions, and portkeys that unlock AR portals into "iconic wizarding world locations."


According to Niantic, combat will also be included when witches and wizards visit real-world locations called Fortresses, which host Wizarding Challenges. These are real-time multiplayer battles against dangerous foes, similar to the raids in Pokémon Go.

Players will be able to specialize in different magical professions, including auror, magizoologists, and professors, each with unique skills and abilities.

Niantic plans to launch Harry Potter: Wizards Unite on iOS and Android later in 2019.


This article, "Niantic Shares Gameplay Details for Upcoming 'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' Augmented Reality App" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Pokémon Go Creator Niantic Launches Major Update for Augmented Reality Game Ingress

Before Pokémon Go, Niantic had an augmented reality game called Ingress that was similar to Pokémon Go, tasking players with taking over and controlling real world locations in a virtual world.

Niantic is today introducing an updated version of Ingress, Ingress Prime, a free game on iOS and Android. Ingress players who already have the Ingress app will get Ingress Prime as an update, while new players can download it from the App Store.


Ingress Prime features the same general gameplay as Ingress, where players choose one of two sides (Enlightened and Resistance) and aim to take control of XM energy portals that represent real-world landmarks, but there's an overhauled interface with higher-resolution maps, improved animations, support for one-finger touch movement, swipe shortcuts for attack, inventory, and comms, and inventory improvements.


Niantic rebuilt Ingress Prime using the Real World Platform that's the basis for Pokémon Go, and it's introducing a new storyline built on the existing Ingress backstory. There are new Recursion Prime events going on throughout the month of November, and an Ingress Prime-related anime called Revisions is available.


To help new players get started, there's a tutorial system, and for existing high-level players, there's a new Prestige-style system that lets you reset your level for benefits that carry over.

Niantic says that additional improvements will be made to Ingress Prime going forward, with the Ingress Prime update serving as the beginning of a new focus on Ingress.

Ingress Prime can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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Pokémon Go Developer Niantic’s Next Augmented Reality Smartphone Game Will Be Harry Potter Themed

Following the success of Pokémon Go, TechCrunch is reporting today that developer Niantic Labs' next augmented reality game will be themed around the world of Harry Potter. The smartphone app will be called "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite" and is set to launch in 2018.

Specific details about the app's gameplay have not yet been released, but it's said that "there will be significant influence" from Niantic's original game, Ingress, which also influenced Pokémon Go. The developer's previous two games task players with exploring the real world to perform in-game actions, defending locations, and collecting items. Still, it's unclear which aspects of the Harry Potter universe would be used to create an augmented reality experience.

Niantic Labs had tremendous success with Pokémon Go, which paired their expertise in building location-based augmented reality mobile experiences with a top-flight IP with a ravenous fan base. So, it stands to reason that we should expect a similar fan response to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, an AR title set to launch in 2018, co-developed by Warner Bros. Interactive and its new sub brand Portkey Games.

The app is now official, bu the details are still scarce, with the launch timeframe of just sometime next year, but it sounds like there will be significant influence from the Niantic game Ingress, which allows players to roam the real world collecting power-ups, defending locations and exploring their environment.
Augmented reality is quickly becoming a popular feature on smartphones, particularly for Apple's products. This year, the company debuted ARKit in iOS 11, greatly expanding the reach and availability of AR apps on the iOS App Store. Company CEO Tim Cook is constantly referencing his excitement for the technology, and a report by Bloomberg earlier today reinvigorated rumors that Apple is now on a "very aggressive" timeline to debut AR glasses by 2020.


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