Blog > The Evolution of Gaming and the Need for Ultra-Low Latency

The Evolution of Gaming and the Need for Ultra-Low Latency

5G makes online gaming feel like you're in the same room as your opponent, and edge data centers support lower latency and faster response times for gamers.

What started as a simple bouncing ball in the 1970s developed into a $10 billion industry by 2004. A decade later, the US market alone was worth $23 billion and the global market $83 billion, according to Newzoo. Gaming has evolved from challenging the person sitting next to you, to competing with players around the globe. Without ultra-low latency, such competition is simply not possible. And, with emerging technologies such as augmented reality (AR), the importance of low latency will increase even further.

Whether shrunk into the smartphone in your palm during a lunch break or streamed to a Madison Square Garden jumbotron, video games thrive on speed. Gaming companies realize the need to enable ultra-fast content delivery and processing speeds. With edge computing and 5G in combination, video game companies can provide the rapid turnaround needed from a gamer’s action to an in-game response.

5G-Enabled Gaming at the Edge

Alone, 5G offers massive speed increases, beating out 4G by 100 fold. The emergence of 5G will allow game companies to not only innovate beyond what’s possible with 4G, but also to create an environment that provides the ultra-low latency necessary for today’s gaming market. However, to meet the latency requirements needed, 5G-enabled games must also be supported by edge computing. As a Linley expert noted in conversation with CNET, packets sent quickly over 5G can still suffer from latency if they need to bounce to the cloud and back. When combined with edge computing, the reduced turnaround rate makes gameplay over the internet feel like you are in the same room as your opponent.

Although the cloud may be a great solution for processing when ultra-low latency isn’t of the essence, it doesn’t make the cut for video game experiences. Powerful local processing is key, especially for VR and AR games. The edge offers the power of the cloud with the speed of local processing. With data processing closer to the end user, customers enjoy low latency and high bandwidth. While 5G is rolling out slower than anticipated, edge computing provides low latency where the newest networks have yet to land.

Video game users are, unsurprisingly, more common in densely populated areas. Bringing the processing to them with well-located data centers means less lag and faster response time. Video game designers and developers do all the heavy lifting to make their games come alive: detailed 3D renderings, endless pages of code, ever-changing storyboards. When it comes to the networking, let the edge do the work for you.

To learn more about how Netrality can enable ultra-low latency and fast content delivery for gaming companies, contact us.

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