Posted in Games, Technology

The killer app for 5G mobile networks: cloud gaming

Game consoles, like the Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox are essential for gamers because the hardware has the processing power to manage complex graphics-intensive games. As cloud technology and network communication technologies develop, we get new options for playing those games. Google has developed a cloud service known as Project Stream that can provide even the resource-hungry games via the internet to a web browser running on a laptop.

Google Project Stream

Google Project Stream is in beta test at the moment, but you may ask for an invite if your computer’s IP address is in the U.S. The console game Project Stream provides is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The technical requirements are simple: the latest Chrome browser (only on a computer) and 25 Mbps internet connection.

Business Insider got access to the Odyssey game provided by Project Stream, and the conclusion from the test was positive. They played the game on three computers (two powerful and one ordinary laptop) that had different types of network connections.

The game worked well on all three computers. On two powerful computers, “Project Stream was essentially flawless”. Only the ordinary laptop that had the slowest connection experienced minor glitches.

This is an impressive achievement from Google. Perhaps the Chrome browser and Project Stream do some proprietary tricks together to keep data rapidly flowing from the game server to the browser?

In any case, high bandwidth is essential for playing graphic-intensive games, and that’s where 5G (the fifth generation) mobile networks will help. Even players who don’t have proper fixed broadband may get high speed internet via 5G. Networks will become available from 2020 onwards, but limited commercial trials have already started, for instance, in the U.S. The first application for 5G is to provide high speed internet for homes.

Microsoft Project Xcloud

Google Project Stream is not the only cloud gaming service. Microsoft is already trialing Project Xcloud service that has taken multi-device support as its starting point.

The Microsoft video show how Xcloud games run on tablets and phones:

The Sony PlayStation Now and Nvidia GeForce Now provide games over the internet as well.

One thought on “The killer app for 5G mobile networks: cloud gaming

  1. Marc Rouanne, President of Mobile Networks for Nokia, said that for the next industrial revolution we need a radical new vision rather than classical improvements to “change the way humankind interacts with machines and knowledge.”

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