What Does 5G Mean to Gaming?
Posted by Raphael Leynes March 12, 2020

The future that is 5G connectivity is almost upon us. In fact, just last month Smart granted access to their still-in-development 5G network to hold the first esports match in 5G here in the Philippines between PLDT-Smart Omega and Cignal Ultra Warriors in Mobile Legends.

It’s clear that the new network is a revolutionary step towards the future but aside from faster connection speeds and quicker downloads, what does 5G really mean to the world of gaming. We did some research and here’s what we found.


Exponential Growth of Mobile


© Newzoo via Influencermarketinghub.com


It comes as no surprise that the arrival of 5G will herald the exponential growth of mobile gaming. The subsect of gaming has been on a steady increase in recent years accounting for almost 47 percent of gaming revenue according to this study in 2018. This means that there is currently more revenue being generated in mobile gaming than either console or PC—and the number is almost just as much as what both console and PC gaming make. That number has most definitely gone up in 2020 and is sure to go up even further once 5G hits the scene.


With 5G, not only will there be more players going to mobile, but there will also be more active players online at the same time thanks to wider coverage and lower disconnection rates which incentivizes players to keep playing. This means there will be more players to serve ads to and entice with microtransactions which in turn means more money for the developers and the gaming industry in general. You know what they say: “A rising tide lifts all ships”


Increased Viability of Game Streaming

© Newsbeezer


Throughout the years, many have tried to make the concept of game streaming services work. However, not even the mighty Google has found success in the area. That could all change with the arrival of 5G. In an interview with Newsweek, Shivendra Panwar, director of the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications at New York University predicts that:


“In five to 10 years, a game-streaming company will be as prevalent as Netflix,”


While 5G won’t guarantee the success of Stadia and the like, it will definitely aid the cause rather than detract. The biggest problem that game streaming services face is connectivity and latency issues, with a more powerful and stable connection like 5G maybe the game streaming dream can become a reality.


More Variety in Mobile Games


Hopefully, the rise of the mobile gaming industry will mean more variety in mobile games as game developers will try to distinguish themselves from the MOBAs and Battle Royales of the world. This opens up the possibility for unique cooperative games like Spaceteam or Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes to become more popular.


Additionally, a faster and more stable connection might give rise to the first crop of successful mobile fighting games such as Metal Revolution or Riot’s Project L. Mobile installments of popular fighting games such as Tekken, Street Fighter or Injustice might also see more complex versions hit mobile and as such become more viable since latency won’t be much of a problem.

Finally, 5G might bring out some more robust online features make its way to the latest mobile games such as NBA 2Ks Pro AM mode where players control one character in a team of five; or something like Battlefield’s Conquest mode where players engage in massive multi-man battles across a sprawling open world.


Limitless Potential Technology

© Warner Bros.


The leap to 5G will definitely bring about more amazing new functionalities and features to our gaming lives, it might just be a little hard to foresee what those might be as we’re living in the pre-5G world. Dr. Timothy Senathirajah, Advisor on Network Strategy at PLDT, who spoke to us during the 5G Esports scrimmage, recalled a similar position back when 4G was launched.


“People didn’t understand the new applications that would come out of a mobile device with an internet connection. Then came the innovation of ‘Why not order your food through the internet?’ or ‘Why not make bill payments with these securities in place?’ We are at that junction now.”


When 4G came around, some 10 years ago, it revolutionized not only the gaming industry but also our everyday lives. It made streaming video directly to our mobile phones, consumer-grade GPS navigation at the touch of a button and made live video calls possible. On the Gaming side, it allowed people around the world to play games in a shared virtual space, it allowed gaming as a whole to grow and prosper and introduce more people to the joy of video games.


With 5G just around the corner, we may not be able to fully predict all of its possible effects but we’re sure excited to see what new wonders it will bring.

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