The global cloud gaming market size is expected to reach $740 million by the end of 2025
SK Telecom has been deemed Microsoft’s “exclusive operating partner” for its cloud gaming service, xCloud, in Korea. The pair have partnered up to deliver the streaming service to South Korea over the mobile operator’s 5G network.
The cloud gaming industry is poised to explode. In fact, according to the Cloud Gaming Market report, in 2018, the global cloud gaming market size was $45 million and is expected to reach $740 million by the end of 2025. However, the industry remains hindered by its dependence on reliable, fast connectivity.
5G may be the answer to the industry’s prayers. The next generation of cellular technology can deliver the low latency and high-speed connectivity required for cloud gaming, and also meet high data demands from gaming platform subscribers. 5G also offers network slicing, which will allow operators to provide portions of their networks for specific customer use cases with each use case receiving a unique set of optimized network resources, enhancing a player’s gaming experience by ensuring a dedicated data stream for gaming.
Microsoft’s interest in the South Korean gaming community is wise, especially considering that the software giant is currently focusing on trialing phone-based versions of xCloud. South Korea is the fourth largest mobile game market in the world, spending a total of $5.6 billion on mobile games in 2018, according to market research firm Newzoo.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, executive vice-president of gaming commented, “[We are] moving the gaming industry forward, starting with the incredibly engaged gamers and game studios in South Korea.”
As part of the partnership, SK Telecom customers can try out xCloud next month over both LTE and 5G, but little else is known about Microsoft’s preview plans. Many expect more details to be confirmed at the company’s October Surface hardware event.
Microsoft is not the only entity rushing to get a strong foothold in this emerging industry. Google unveiled its cloud gaming service, Stadia, in March, and in early August Qualcomm announced its cooperation with Tencent Games, China’s largest gaming company, to develop high-quality games across a variety of Qualcomm’s 5G-enabled platforms and devices.
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