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In cloud-based gaming, the blink of an eye can mean the difference between “game on” and “game over.” A blaster’s blaze or a basketball team’s fast break depend not just on a computer’s processor speed and graphics engine, but on the network that carries the action to your screen. Verizon 5G has the potential to redefine what gaming looks and feels like for those who play hardest.
Currently available in parts of 35 U.S. cities, 5G offers massive bandwidth, super-fast speeds and low latency to create a field of play that benefits developers, spectators and, ultimately, gamers themselves.
Here are five ways 5G can potentially transform the future of gaming.
1. The 5G impact on esports
Professional esports is one of the fastest-growing spectator events in the world. Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband allows processing to occur closer to the user, an advantage that can dramatically reduce network latency or lag. This can help avoid giving an unfair advantage to teams positioned physically closer to the server of the esports league.
"Minimizing latency is how you take gaming to the next level," says Ronan Dunne, Executive Vice President and Group President, Verizon Wireless. "Getting your retaliation in first during a game is all that matters." And Verizon's three-year partnership with the LCS, Riot Games's professional League of Legends esports league in North America, will create further opportunities for innovation, exploration and content collaboration. This is in addition to Verizon’s partnership with Dignitas, which allows gamers to train in a state-of-the-art 5G esports facility—the nation’s first—in Los Angeles.
2. The 5G impact on experience quality
Say goodbye to the days of high-def games bogging down the network. 5G Home can help bring smooth playback to the cloud-gaming experience when people share a network—for example, multiple family members under one roof, each engaged in their own bandwidth-intensive gaming activity. With the high bandwidth of Verizon 5G Home, even the most visually complex cloud-based games can come through beautifully, just as their developers intended.
3. The 5G impact on game development
The speed, low latency and high bandwidth of Verizon 5G means that developers can focus on making the best game possible, rather than worrying about the limitations of a specific platform's hardware. "For their entire careers, developers have had to work within those constraints," says Cat Schmitz, a Verizon 5G Ecosystems Open Innovation team member. "They've always had to optimize, to decide what's really important and then take out the rest. On a 5G network, they don't have to do that. We've given them the opportunity to reverse their thought process."
4. The 5G impact on AR/VR gaming
Truly immersive gaming is held back by many factors: The headsets are too big, the battery packs too heavy and—when latency issues arise—the playback too nausea-inducing. But 5G Ultra Wideband has the potential to level up AR/VR, untethering gamers from clunky hardware and unlocking the medium's earth-shattering potential. 5G-enhanced AR/VR can alter how people interact with the spaces around them, blurring barriers between the real and the virtual.
5. The 5G impact on product design
Playing a game requires processing power, and 5G Ultra Wideband creates a world where that muscle can sit in the “near cloud” rather than within the device itself. This could dramatically alter how product designers think about the mobile device, freeing them to build smaller and lighter forms. Today, gaming takes place on a console or mobile phone, both of which must carry processors and graphics engines on board. In the future, those same games could be played on nothing more than a piece of glass containing a small processor and battery.
To accelerate our progress, Verizon continues to develop and expand partnerships to make mobile gaming more interactive for wireless customers. The latest proof? An expanded partnership with Niantic, the developer of Pokémon GO, will help pave the way for immersive AR experiences on 5G.
It all points to how with 5G Ultra Wideband, the network could potentially help usher in the future of gaming.
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