In the penultimate episode of SlotBeats Spotlight’s venture into the world of mobile, we asked our experts what impact of the newly introduced 5G technology will have on the development of slot titles while also looking at potential negative effects it could have on countries who have yet to upgrade from 4G.
As countries upgrade from 4G to 5G, how much of an impact will 5G technology have on slot development? Will this create issues in countries who are yet to introduce it?
Henry McLean, 4ThePlayer: 5G is an exciting development: it will allow production values and multimedia experiences to increase because we can worry less about file size and focus more on entertainment.
That said, 5G will not be available everywhere straight away and will take a while for full saturation. Recent reports show even 4G is still not at 100 per cent global saturation – 4G was released over 10 years ago.
There will also be an additional consumer cost for 5G; not all handsets will support it and providers can charge more for the enhanced service, so I would expect an even slower uptake.
Therefore, similar to how we always look at device performance, we will continue to look at file size and ensure that, no matter what connection the player has, the game will load quickly and the experience will be optimal.
We might one day get to a point where we can fully relax on file size, but for now there’s still a fine balance between file size and experience.
Andy Sekula, Kalamba Games: 5G enables us to develop content that is richer meaning more fun and engagement. It also allows for more extensive video and animation sequences to be included. This is something we often see in land-based video slots.
Whether this will create future issues in countries lagging behind as we roll out new content is yet to be seen. It will partly depend on the main markets we are targeting.
If our target audience resides in countries that do not yet have access to 5G it would be pretty natural to cater for an audience limited to 4G or in some cases even 3G. It will be interesting to see how this develops over the next few years.
Vladimir Malakchi, Evoplay Entertainment: Offering ultra-low latency, faster loading speeds and greater reliability, 5G has the potential to take entertainment to the next level.
5G tech also offers download times that are between 10 and 20 times faster than 4G networks. As a developer, that gives you the scope to take your visuals up a notch, as well as making games more easily accessible to players on the move.
European countries such as Sweden, Turkey and Estonia have taken significant steps to make 5G networks available to their citizens, and the European Commission’s 5G Action Plan outlines a proposal to connect them with every city on the continent. It’s a hugely exciting prospect – and not just for the gaming industry.
Petra Maria Poola, OneTouch: One of the biggest impacts that the upgrade from 4G to 5G could have is the scope for games to load faster. Individuals looking to play their favourite title on the move could enjoy speedier access to the content they choose, both in terms of loading and download speeds.
The effect of 5G technology, however, is easily overstated. Yes, it could accelerate loading times by comparison with WiFi or 4G networks, but by how much? The answer remains to be seen.