It’s hard to avoid the phrase “5G” these days, particularly if you’re a gamer. The upcoming wireless network has promised to transform the gaming industry, the wireless industry and the broadcasting industry all at once. So how much of this is hype and how much is real? Will a 5G network actually affect video games? Let’s take a closer look.
Before we can go any further, it’s important to take the time to define what exactly 5G is. 5G is the fifth-generation of cellular technology. The current generation is commonly known as 4G LTE. 5G wireless services will deliver upload and download speeds that put 4G LTE to shame. This newfound speed will change streaming, the quality of video content and more.
It is worth mentioning that 5G service is already available in select areas around the country. The problem is that the infrastructure needed to offer the service at scale is still being created. As a result, most of the country is still awaiting the promised new service. 5G is coming, when just depends on who your carrier is and where you live.
If you’re a gamer, you know how important an internet connection is for playing online. Many single-player games even require a constant internet connection to function. As a result, having your gaming console or computer hooked up to the internet has gone from a nice to have to a must have for any gamer today.
For gamers, both upload and download speeds are important. That’s because the latency, or time between the moment a button is pressed and registered in game, is the most important metric for all online games. The lower the latency, the more seamless the gaming experience. A low latency requires a fast upload speed, and game files require a fast download speed. 5G seeks to deliver both.
Currently, a fast 4G connection can deliver speeds of 10 Gbps at the highest level. A 5G connection will easily be able to double that. These speeds will make cloud-based gaming (like Google Stadia) an actual viable choice for even the most hardcore of gamers. These fast speeds will make regional connections a thing of the past. Online gamers will be able to play with friends across the world, with both parties experiencing lightning fast gameplay.
5G will completely transform augmented and virtual reality alike. 5G Insider writes about these changes, explaining that, “[Current] VR headsets are connected to the system via wires, never allowing the user to be completely wireless. With 5G, VR headsets will have the capability to be wireless and smaller, making them easier to transport anywhere. The wireless capability means more mobile gameplay, no matter where you are.”
Faster speeds, wireless VR and regionless matchmaking are just some of the major improvements that 5G service will bring to the gaming community. If you like video games, the day you get 5G service is going to be a good one. Now, just when that day will be here depends on a lot of factors but the reality is 5G is coming, and that’s good news for gamers.