Following yesterday’s blog about the impact of 5G on IoT, it seems extremely relevant to expand on the benefits of 5G to other sectors, primarily entertainment. Some of the most immediate effects of 5G will be seen in the media and entertainment space, unlocking new revenues currently limited by slow speeds, congested networks, and latency issues.
With 100 times faster speeds, a more dispersed network of towers, and more reliable connections, 5G will impact entertainment in both obvious and nuanced ways. Often the first point made is the the improvement in download speeds – a HD movie can be downloaded in several seconds with 5G, something that would take minutes with 4G, or hours with 3G. However, we want to look more astutely into 2 sectors of entertainment, Mobile Gaming and VR /AR, to see the impact that 5G will have:
Mobile gaming is no longer synonymous to Snake, Solitaire, or Tetris. In recent years, large scale mobile games, like Pokemon Go, have taken the world by storm. In Pokemon Go’s case, its first month’s revenue was the highest ever of any mobile game, at $207M. These new games are growing larger, some such as Injustice 2 and Valkyrie Profile now take up over 1GB of space to download. Traditionally, players would wait to connect to WiFi (and probably their charger!) to download, however with 5G, the downloads would be quicker, taking a few seconds. This means that the player can enjoy the game immediately while not worrying about straining his or her phone battery.
Moreover, in-game accessibility to shop purchases, global leaderboards and rankings, and updated avatars will have hugely lowered wait times. As a result, players will become more involved in game play and the game community than before.
VR / AR
VR / AR had been hyped in recent years, but often fell short due to connectivity and latency issues. With 5G, the ‘reality’ issues currently felt with VR and AR will be addressed as the speed of the platforms will be improved. Also, as VR relies on a network of services, including a powerful PC to operate, the smaller and more distributed cell towers will allow for more facile and efficient access to the cloud and to other devices.
Within the next few years, the next era of immersive and cloud-connected experiences will undoubtedly have large effects in entertainment, gaming, and many other traditional services.