As part of an article forecasting the impact of 5G networks on various technologies, the NPD Group believes gaming is set to become a new battleground for smartphone companies. We’re set to see a focus on building devices built with gaming in mind, they predict, as companies like Microsoft and Sony prepare to launch their streaming subscription services targeting the smartphone market.
While it is true that gaming has always been important for smartphones, the limited connectivity of 4G has restricted the viability of multiplayer gaming. That is set to change this year as the first 5G networks begin to roll out, which not only will allow current console-quality multiplayer smartphone games to run more effectively but also for upcoming streaming services to function.
The NPD Group believes we’ll see a shift in which features are marketed and perceived as innovations for smartphones. Instead of the single-minded approach to cameras we see today, companies will begin marketing the superior specifications of their hardware for the purpose of gaming to entice consumers.
It is noted that mobile carriers will find this prospect particularly appealing, as consumers addicted to multiplayer games will be less likely to opt for a different carrier in the future and more likely to refer other friends to join them.
As for the timeline, it is suggested that this initiative could come as early as this year when the first networks are up and running. But “the gaming network concept is both a sprint and a marathon.”
Meaning that there will be both a rush to capture the early mindshare among consumers, but many multiplayer games will have to rely on Wi-Fi connectivity to function as the network becomes properly established.
You can read more insights from the NPD Group on how 5G will impact several other technologies, including VR, AR, drones, and laptops by subscribing to their newsletter.
Elsewhere, the NPD Group recently revealed that Anthem and Nintendo Switch led the way for US software and hardware game sales last February.