By Jaganathan Chelliah
The gaming industry grew by half a billion new gamers in the past three years, totalling 2.7 billion people globally in 2021. Thousands of game titles were released on at least one platform in 2021 alone and it really seems like the golden age for gaming. It is estimated that global sales related to games are higher than the combined revenues from movies and music.
Today, video games are more sophisticated than ever before. They are intriguing, full of plots, subplots, twists, and super-rich graphics that make you feel totally immersed. Characters are layered with personality and the games are full of storytelling. To support a rich and seamless gaming experience the infrastructure is also improving rapidly.
High resolution and richer Content
High-resolution and rich games are bolstering the appeal of video games. Today some of the most popular titles offer multiplayer experiences and are updated with new content and challenges daily or more frequently than before, both of which help in drawing in more players and spectators. Videos games are becoming much longer, in some cases, the sequel instalments of a game are even longer than the original game. Moreover, loaded with rich graphics and longer runs, games are becoming heavier and some of the games even reach up to 250GB today.
Storage- Fundamental to a Better Gameplay
Graphic-rich games are some of the most popular games today, but these also require large capacities of storage to play. Lack of storage or the right kind of storage adversely impacts gameplay from slow load times to frozen screens. Additionally, a recent Western Digital® study has found that two in five gamers are forced to delete their games on PC due to lack of storage.
This is a major reason why gamers need purpose-built gaming storage solutions that provide more capacity, and most importantly, offer lightning-fast speeds. This allows gamers to get into their games at an accelerated speed and win faster. NVMe TM SSDs, such as the WD_BLACK™ SN850X NVMe™ SSD, reach read speeds of up to 7300MB/s, offering a powerful gaming experience.
A mix of internal and external storage from the WD_BLACK portfolio can help gamers steer clear of having to make a painful choice about deleting game titles from their libraries or having bad gameplay due to inadequate storage infrastructure.
The advent of 5G
Multiplayer and competitive games are played online. This is where 5G will make a world of difference. While 4G provided amazing network speeds and helped in gaining popularity for video games, 5G has the potential to completely change the gaming experience – 5G is fast, really really fast, around 20 times faster than 4G, with extremely low latency. The early users of Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband network reported latency of less than 30 milliseconds. To put this in perspective, it takes around 300 to 400 milliseconds to blink an eye. The ultra-fast speed can help to download a game in substantially less time, while the low latency can help in ultimately winning or losing a game, by striking much sooner than the opponent. 5G will also play a critical role in unlocking virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) based games. Through low latency and fast speeds, it can offer a whole new level of reality to VR games and support the immersive experience of AR.
As the gaming infrastructure matures, it will unlock more interesting levels. Will VR become more mainstream, or will AR kick up a notch? We will see the impact of maturing infrastructure in a foreseeable future. The gaming industry continues to evolve at rapid rates and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
The author is the senior director – marketing, India, Middle East and TIA, Western Digital.
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