What is Cloud Gaming?
Cloud gaming is a form of online gaming wherein all the required data processing for the game to function on your device takes place on the server, or ‘the cloud’. Playing online cloud games requires the device to always be connected to a high-speed internet connection with ultra-low latency. In order for cloud gaming to operate seamlessly without any lag or delay, a reliable internet connection is a must.
This results in cloud gaming to remain tethered to spaces where a strong Wi-Fi network is available and restricts game play on devices that possess the ability to cope with the heavy data processing.
Cloud gaming may not require strong hardware processing power from your device, but it does need a strong internet connection with high-speed and super-low latency. It is therefore correctly predicted that 5G technology has the potential to revolutionize the cloud gaming industry, and benefit both game developers and gaming enthusiasts at the same time. Unlike console gaming wherein the games are downloaded and then require a considerable amount of hardware capacity to run smoothly or run at all.
What is the Difference Between Cloud Gaming and Online Gaming?
As we have explored Cloud Gaming above, let us try and understand ‘Console Gaming’ and how it differs from Cloud Gaming.
Console Gaming is a rather self-explanatory term, referring to the ‘console’ which can be a computer, a PlayStation console, an Xbox, or any other type of device that houses the necessary hardware components required to play a game. A console may or may not be connected to the internet. However, the way Console Gaming differs from Cloud Gaming is that all the data processing required to play a game happens within the confines of the device for Console Gaming. For Cloud Gaming, all the computational processing takes place not on the device but on the cloud – an online server that is connected to your device via the internet, which is why 5G internet is poised to revolutionize Cloud Gaming as we know it.
This is the fundamental distinction between Console Gaming and Cloud Gaming. Of course, there are lots of other nuances, differences, and some overlaps between the two categories like modern consoles built for digital game downloads instead of playing them via a cartridge or a disc and so on. Nevertheless, the essential difference between Console and Cloud remains the same.
Benefits of 5G Technology in Cloud Gaming!
The attributes of 5G technology that set it apart from 4G LTE and all its predecessors are expected to drive more innovation in the cloud gaming sector and allow more gaming enthusiasts to join this community and thrive. 5G mobile network can facilitate peak internet speeds of up to 1GB per second, lower latency than ever before, more density for connections per metre and the ability to deploy small cells and lightweight network infrastructure. All these factors will play a pivotal role in the evolution of cloud gaming in conjunction with the global spread of 5G technology.
Here is how 5G technology will benefit cloud gaming to present new opportunities for game developers, improve the cloud gaming experience for users and act as a catalyst for the creation of more immersive and complex games to benefit both developers and gamers.
High-Speed 5G Internet
Faster internet speeds are generally considered a positive for all kinds of recreational purposes whether its downloading content, streaming videos, file transfers and so much more. However, the peak internet speeds of 5G are many times superior to that of 4G and approach the territory of fiber broadband speeds in most cases.
Gamers can download, update, and play their favourite games seamlessly with the help of high-speed 5G internet. It also improves discover ability, enables users to experiment with new games with heavier file sizes and encourages more users to try out multiplayer mobile gaming. 5G wireless mobile network also enables users to indulge and play their favourite games regardless of their geographical location. 5G can allow unrestricted connectivity for cloud gaming with no lapses in internet speeds which is an incredibly beneficial attribute for the cloud gaming sector.
Major mobile operators in India have already started expanding 5G connectivity to major cities and towns. It is expected that over time, 5G connectivity will be successfully delivered throughout the country to the densely populated urban areas as well as the remote and sparsely populated rural areas. Users will be able to experience peak internet speeds with 5G compatible handsets and 5G SIM Cards. Currently, telecom operators in India are working towards establishing 5G connectivity in major cities and towns and offering 5G services to users with existing 4G LTE SIM Cards. However, for a smooth and uninterrupted gaming experience with 5G technology,users will eventually have to avail 5G Sim Cards for their devices.
Low Latency of 5G Technology
Beyond the peak internet speeds that are many times faster than 4G LTE and its predecessors, 5G technology also offers ultra-low latency that can be immensely beneficial to the overall cloud gaming experience.
Latency is the delay between information being sent from your device to the cloud and back. Lower latency means that the delay is negligible and does not cause lagging in the game. This means that when you take an action while playing the game, it gets reflected in the game within milliseconds. When the latency is not adequately low, the game lags and it’s not a particularly pleasant experience for the gamer. As you can see, lower latency is fundamental for the evolution of Cloud Gaming and that is an obstacle 5G technology can help overcome.
As 5G low latency makes effortless and smooth cloud gaming possible, more and more gaming enthusiasts will find it enjoyable to play their favourite games without any lag. With more players becoming a part of the cloud gaming community, game developers will also be encouraged to introduce better graphics, new technologies and other complexities in their games. This could result in the integration of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality into popular cloud-based games as 5G offers the internet speed and low latency to make it possible.
Advancements in the cloud gaming sector also enhances the accessibility for more gaming enthusiasts to join the community. Smartphones with limited processing power that were previously unable to support complex games with heavy graphics will face no problems running cloud-based games with a decent performance.
Improved 5G Connectivity and Coverage
Since 5G can be deployed across high, mid, and low bands, operators can deploy lightweight 5G base stations with the help of existing network infrastructure and through 5G small cells to deliver superior coverage and capacity for more devices per hundred metres. These deployment of these 5G small cells in urban areas will be possible through smart street furniture such as bus stops, streetlights, advertisement billboards and more.
Whether it is densely populated urban areas or faraway rural areas, operators will be able to provide connectivity and coverage with high-speed internet to most users regardless of their geographical location. Even with the expected low frequency, high coverage bands in remote rural areas, operators will be able to deliver internet speeds much higher than that of 4G LTE.
Improved accessibility of 5G services allows more users to join the cloud gaming community and has the potential to have an immensely positive benefit on the growth of this industry. More participation can boost creativity and innovation which benefits all parties. Eventually, 5G technology could drive significant progress and evolution of cloud gaming as we know it.