By Sean Hyunil Sohn
Poised to bring revolutionary growth across industries, the 5G network launch has been one of the most anticipated technology phenomena in India’s recent history. The 5G technology represents major potential in connecting people and, more importantly, paving the foundation for newer applications across industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and entertainment amongst others. For the gaming sector, 5G will open a world of possibilities and thereby adding impetus to a rapidly growing industry. As 5G services begin to be gradually rolled-out in the country, it will usher in a new era comprising of cloud gaming, super-fast downloads and uploads, high-quality live streams, seamless real-time multiplayer gaming and much more.
Democratising access with cloud gaming
The deployment of 5G services can enable a platform-agnostic gaming experience via cloud gaming. With 5G, gamers will have access to high-speed and reliable internet connections that will enable them to stream games on their device of choice. Cloud gaming will eliminate the need for high-end hardware thereby widening access and ensuring immersive and elevated game experiences for all gamers. For developers, this creates new opportunities to make more AAA games available on mobiles, especially in a smartphone dominant market like India.
Enabling robust multiplayer experiences
Multiplayer games have found a growing audience in India owing to its ability to foster community connects, enable socialisation, and build friendships online. High bandwidth and low latency of 5G networks will allow richer multiplayer gaming experiences across devices. It can enable faster downloads for large multi-player games, better game state synchronization between players and dynamic configuration to avoid network congestion in order to deliver an immersive gameplay across titles.
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Boosting the growing Esports ecosystem
The Esports landscape in India has changed drastically in the past few years. The ecosystem has now evolved into an INR 250 core industry with specialized gamers, sponsors and dedicated fans. As Esports tournaments garner massive viewership and investment in the country, the adoption of 5G will help improve player performance and quality of streaming. It can significantly elevate the viewing experience by allowing for multiple camera angles, live interactions with the stream. As 5G enables high-quality gaming experiences on mobiles, it will also widen accessibility and level the playing field for new players.
Immersive applications of extended reality (XR)
The gaming industry has experimented with immersive experiences in the form of VR games, Wii games and the popular Pokémon Go. The high bandwidth of 5G and low latency will enable more realistic extended reality (XR) experiences in gaming as well as enable multi-user experiences. It will also enable the creation of large-scale, platform-agnostic events and social experiences such as in-game concerts where users can enjoy seamless interactions along with fellow gamers.
Adaptive gaming with artificial Intelligence (AI)
5G will give rise to a new era of AI-powered interactive gaming. With 5G, games can support user-generated content in the form of characters, levels and even storylines and provide an adaptive game experience. This will help enable players with larger control of the game experience by basing the gameplay on their behavior and choices. Adaptive gaming will make for a realistic, challenging and intuitive gameplay allowing a more rewarding gaming experience and 5G adoption will enable advanced applications of AI in gaming.
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While the potential of 5G technology to transform the gaming industry is massive, the roll-out is still at an early stage. Telecom players, developers, publishers alike will have to innovate and collaborate to overcome challenges and unlock new possibilities of multiplayer connections, curating new experiences across entertainment, streaming and in-game events as the technology sees wider adoption.
(The author is CEO, KRAFTON, Inc. India. Views expressed are personal.)