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5G promises to make cloud gaming on-the-go a reality

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Published on Mar 3, 2019

(26 Feb 2019) LEAD IN:
Videogame enthusiasts who spend day and night in front of a computer screen at home may soon be able to play their favourite games on the go.
5G technology will allow them to access the cloud and so play their favourite games in real time on their mobile phones.
STORYLINE:
Gaming on demand or cloud gaming allows users direct access to video streaming of games stored on a gaming company's remote server and needs a strong internet signal to allow for smooth gaming experience.
One of the companies working on this is PlayGiga, dubbed by some as the Netflix of video games.
It is the first company to provide a virtual reality game on a cloud via a 5G network in the United States and in Europe.
This was impossible in the past because the latencies, or delays in data transmission, of 4G or 3G networks did not allow for a 360 image to reflect the user's movement fast enough, nor for an interactive game to load in real time
Javier Polo the CEO of PlayGiga explains:
"So, today when we deploy cloud gaming, we typically do it over fibre over cable networks or even over ADSL networks. Now, 5G adds something very important to the game because you can actually play on the move. Because, 5G has special properties that allow you to play AAA gaming high quality gaming wherever you are as long as you have 5G coverage. So, this is what it brings to the table."
In a live demonstration at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress on Monday (25 February 2019)  PlayGiga compared VR cloud gaming on a 5G network and a 4G network on two screens.
The latency on the 5G network averages at 10 milliseconds while the 4G network averages at a 100 milliseconds, according to calculations displayed on the screens.
Meanwhile the packet delay rate was zero on the 5G network, so the video comes through in real time, while it reached over 50 percent on the 4G one, and thus the video streaming was delayed.
"So telcos (telecoms) around the world are looking for use cases for 5G technology, and we are working with a number of them to provide sort of the most extreme use case for 5G which would be cloud gaming, but instead of streaming a standard game, such as the Rise of the Tomb Raider or Streetfighter, we stream a virtual reality game. So, that really requires better latency performance, because when you are in virtual reality it is a 360 degree experience, therefore whenever you look at a different place you expect the reality to be there immediately. So, that is a proof of how 5G really behaves and it adds new value to the mobile technology today," says Polo.
Cloud gaming gives users access to the latest and highest quality videogames without having to purchase physical or online versions of the same. A game console is also not needed as cloud gaming is usually part of a telecoms digital portfolio via fibre or cable, like Netflix.
However, with 5G networks, cloud gaming will go mobile. Although a 5G network is required to cloud game on the go, a new device is not.
But users in most countries will have to wait until 5G networks are implemented widely. And that may take some time.

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