Nitesh Salvi, Founder and CEO, Pocket52

The history of the gaming industry does not go very far back and is still evolving. It was only in the mid-twentieth century that the first gaming machines were introduced. Since then, the gaming industry has grown by leaps and bounds.

Gaming is no longer seen merely as a mode of entertainment. People across the world have taken up professional gaming and gamers are participating in championships, even on smartphones. But how did we reach such an advanced gaming scenario? The answer lies in the growth of cellular networks.

The advancement in cellular technology from 2G to 4G and now 5G has enhanced the way games are played. The scope of 2G networks in gaming was limited due to low bandwidths of 30-200 kHz. Then came 3G, which supported high speed data transmission. It enabled online gaming, offering the computer screen experience on a smartphone.

The journey to 4G was short, but it  involved struggling with the demands of advanced technology. The augmented reality (AR) experience, multiplayer gaming, high definition visuals, video streaming, etc. offered by games requires higher speeds and lower latencies. These requirements can be met through the 5G network, which is set to revolutionise the gaming sector.

It is important to note that advanced cellular networks allow free-to-play games on mobile. This has had the biggest impact on gaming revenue, bringing in more gamers, and improving the overall gaming culture. So, what are the major technological gaps in the industry today that 5G is filling? While a game needs a high speed computer processor and graphics engine, the network that carries the action on the screen is equally important. The ways in which 5G is going to change the gaming industry in the near future are:

Reducing network latency

The gaming industry is at the cusp of a great change with 5G technology. Reduced network latency is one of the many aspects of a 5G network that the e-sports industry looks forward to. Professional e-sports is a fast growing segment, both as a competitive sport and as a spectator event, and 5G Wideband allows processing to occur closer to the user, resulting in reduced network latency.

5G offers reduced network latency, which is a key driver for mobile gaming. The technology improves the responsiveness of interactions by making them real time. It amplifies the real-money gaming experience in poker as well. The increased bandwidth will allow players to make video calls through features like private tables on poker apps like Pocket52. Thus, a person will not play against the computer, but will get a more interactive, lifelike experience of playing the game.

Game development

The high speed network will not only benefit gamers, but will also allow developers to handle more arduous processing and render duties remotely. They can stream high quality feeds to players with higher bandwidth and lower response times. The developers will focus on making the best games possible and ensuring that they are running on the said network or over the cloud, without worrying about the limitations of a specific platform, network, or device.

Experience of AR

5G technology is going to give AR its due. The complete AR experience has been held back by issues like improper video rendering and battery draining. It is either because the software falls short of the desired standards or the inability of the device to handle the same. But all of this will be resolved as 5G has the potential to level up the AV experience with its edge-computing-based approach. 5G-enhanced AR/VR will truly transform the way people interact with the spaces around them. It will relay the majority of computing operations towards the edge network, thereby making user experience a lot more seamless.

Conclusion

The barriers between the real and the virtual worlds are blurring as more people hop on to the digital bandwagon. Since entertainment is an integral part of our day-to-day lifestyles, it is natural for them to explore what the digital world brings to the table in this context. E-sports has the potential to deliver an immersive gaming experience to people, which can literally eliminate any and all boundaries that remain. Both competitive gaming and spectator sports have a long way to go and 5G technology is going to be an integral part of this journey.