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Since the time of Snake on your Nokia or the tape loading of the Commodore 64, gaming has changed. The levels of quality of the sound and graphics are just insane in today’s modern gaming. You can be playing against someone across the world, experiencing the same virtual environment in real-time.

Yet, with superfast wireless 5G things are about to change the nature of gaming yet again. Whatever the worries about the next generation of internet technology, there is no doubt that every serious or would-be serious gamer will need to evolve their equipment. Let’s explore in some depth the changes to expect and why you will want to sign up.

Greater speed
Most of the advances promised involved things happening faster. The promise is that the technology will be 100 times faster than anything we can download to our smartphones right now. With this speed comes increased reliability - which in an age where mobile signal and broadband access is an essential for work and play - is a significant bonus.

There is lower latency, or lag time, for data between the phone and the two and back again. Imagine that this is currently 20 milliseconds - well 5G will make this 1 millisecond.

While you might think you don’t want this sort of speed, if you are a gamer wanting to enjoy VR then you need it. Lower latency will mean VR gaming developers such as Oculus will be able to create bigger worlds with more detailed graphics - as the demands on the internet connection can be met by 5G.

Developers at EA games are clear that 5G will permit more immersive experiences because the speed of the signal allows them to unlock a greater level of potential in gaming. 5G will make interactive gaming both commonplace and mobile. There will no need to be tied to a console and a broadband connection to enjoy real-time gaming with your friends.

Gaming in the cloud
Right now gaming interactively and quickly is difficult. Console gaming requires you to download the game to your specific console and there can be no gaming across consoles. For some players, the level of detail in some quality titles are astounding, while on others they are rudimentary. When an update comes along, the time for update can frustrate the player and eat into play time.

With 5G games can be played from the cloud and it won’t matter what device you access the game with - the experience will be the same. The Xbox player can play against the PlayStation console owner and even the PC gamer can get in on the action. More excitingly, those mobile gamers can get involved in interactive gaming. Right now, those looking to play on a tablet are excluded from some of the top games. However, with 5G, they will be let into play.

Playing from the cloud also means two other wonderful things for gamers: 1) you can play from the box. There is no need to wait for hours for the game to be ready to play, 2) you can pick up the game from your profile on a different machine.

The really new stuff
For those gamers already playing at the edge of technology, none of this is that spectacular. This sort of tech has been tested for years - including significant testing in virtual reality headsets. Remember the phenomena of Pokemon Go that use augmented reality technology - available to your mobile. Indeed, the idea of cloud gaming has been available since 2010, as OnLive and Gaikai have proven the technology can work. PlayStation Now is the highest profile cloud gaming service but Nvidia’s GeForce Now can also offer unlimited play for a small price. Microsoft have been testing their xCloud game streaming service for over a year.

5G will speed this up and make it more widely available. The issue of such cloud gaming at the moment is lag and buffering. There is no way you can play in real time with another player, as your gaming experience is unlikely to be in sync.

The research to find the new
The truth is that gamers will want to use 5G because of the freedom it offers at a speed that is realistic. However, the true potential of 5G has yet to be fully discovered. Verizon, for instance, are looking to find a way to stream detailed images over 5G into a headset. The idea?We could be wearing glasses with our shopping list scrolling literally before your eyes. Imagine what these glasses could do for AR gaming.

Then there is a volumetric video. Such a video would be filmed with many cameras from multiple angles. This tech will allow the user to go anywhere with an image that is covered by one of these cameras. While sandbox gaming allows such exploration already, imagine this in real environments.

In short, the future is definitely bright… and fast… and super-realistic - the future is 5G.