The fifth generation of mobile networks (5G) is here and it is undeniably one of the biggest and most exciting leaps forward in mobile technology that we have seen to date.
Faster and more reliable mobile connections will bring numerous benefits to users across the world. The applications are almost endless and numerous industries are about to be shaken up as the roll-out of 5G changes how they can deliver their products and services.
Gaming is one of the industries ready to be shaken and in this article, we will explore how the 5G rollout will impact game developers.
5G has definitely been a term that's been thrown around for a while now, but just how far along are we with adoption? According to a NewZoo report, at the end of 2019, 0.2% of all active smartphones globally were 5G-ready which is 7.5 million devices.
This was an incredibly small fraction of worldwide devices, but adoption has been speeding up. By the end of 2022, there are forecasts to be more than one billion mobile devices that are 5G ready.
Even though 5G is still a fairly new technology, it is on track to become part of daily life for billions of people in the coming years. The technology is on track to have a massive impact on the gaming sector as more and more users gain access to it.
5G will have several major use cases within gaming, and is paving the way for things such as smooth cloud and VR gaming experiences.
The majority of gaming happens online these days. Even if you are gaming at home with high-speed internet that offers fast download speeds but slower upload speeds, you will still find that you experience some kind of “lag.” Essentially this means that a user experiences a pause between hitting a button and their character taking an action.
Lag can ruin the user experience. 5G will revolutionise the user experience by offering improvements to both download and upload speeds. Reduced lag will mean gamers can enjoy a seamless experience.
For the gaming industry, this jump forward in mobile technology and connectivity will have a direct effect on game streaming services, mobile gaming, and AR and VR games.
Cloud gaming will make gaming accessible to more users. Today’s mobile-first gamers are increasingly able to access more of the premium game titles via mobile rather than having to purchase a hard copy. This makes gaming more accessible as users who live in remote areas no longer have to find a hard copy of a game but rather can download and play the game through cloud gaming on a mobile device.
With the 5G speeding up internet in the home it is also speeding up the internet on your mobile. As mobile adoption rates continue to rise across the globe, mobile gaming becomes more affordable and convenient in new, international markets.
Game developers will have the advantage that they can quickly launch their products to new markets as 5G makes them accessible through the cloud. But marketers within gaming companies will need to be strategic when launching in new regions with different languages, cultures and demographics.
Low latency in 5G gaming experiences will fuel the development of AR and VR games. We are already seeing an increase in usage in metaverse gaming which requires high-speed internet to reduce lag.
This new generation of mobile technology will also allow for augmented or virtual multiplayer experiences (such as those in the metaverse) that have not previously been possible due to slow internet and high latency.
With improvements in VR technology and increased internet speed, gamers' mobile devices will seamlessly connect users to a virtual gaming world and allow them to interact with other VR users without any breaks in their experience.
5G is going to revolutionise the way gaming companies operate. Adoption is coming fast and high-speed connectivity will open up accessibility to new demographics of players in new regions. As gamers get fast internet speed from the devices in their pockets the future of gaming will move to the cloud and this is where gaming companies need to focus their strategies.
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