The announcement of Jio GigaFiber by Mukesh Ambani at Reliance Industries’ annual general meeting has becoming a major talking point. With registrations commencing on Independence Day, Reliance Jio is looking to disrupt the fixed broadband scenario of India.
While the service is aimed at raising broadband speeds in India to global levels, it also raises a question: who is going to use all that speed?
It is a fair question, if you think about it. 4G top speeds can get you through most of your day’s work and entertainment, but it’s a real game changer for the power users, ranging between enterprises that rely on fast internet speeds for data transfer and communication all the way to ultra-high quality entertainment, like 4K video streaming.
But one underrated application of this service is online gaming, and its use in it stretches beyond just raw speed.
Fast internet and online gaming
According to KPMG, the Indian online gaming industry was valued at $290 million in 2017 and it projects this will become a $1 billion dollar industry in 2021. This can be attributed to many factors, including affordable new technologies, localised games, growing local developer ecosystem, and in-game purchases.
The addition of smartphones as a gaming platform is also adding to the popularity of gaming in India. Added mobility and improvement in gaming experience have made mobiles a convenient gaming platform. Further, the popularity of games available on multiple platforms like Fortnite, PUBG and Asphalt have proved that switching from a dedicated gaming machine to a mobile phone doesn’t spoil the experience.
The only thing missing in the Indian gaming equation then is a good internet connection.
There’s no surprise that internet speed and online gaming are directly correlated. A faster connection means your computer can download data faster, which improves gameplay. But more than raw speed, latency is the key here. Latency or ‘ping’ is the total time taken by data for completing a round trip from its source to your computer. This means if your ISP has low latency, you’ll observe less lag during gameplay, which means everything for a serious gamer. Anything below a ping of 50 ms is considered to be great, while anything over 150 ms could result in noticeable lag.
At Reliance’s AGM, it was mentioned that the Jio GigaFiber will have a latency of 30 ms, which is decent for online gaming.
The game changer
While smartphones and portable consoles are bringing convenience to the gaming experience, they’re not the only game changers. What if you had a service, similar to Netflix or Amazon Prime, which lets you stream and play games on any device that comes with a screen and a controller?
Cloud gaming or gaming on demand is an upcoming technology that is still in its trial phase which has a potential to revolutionise the gaming scene. It uses a remote operator to store, execute and render a game on its server and stream the video results directly to a consumer’s computer. This eliminates the need for a gaming console or expensive hardware to play a game. All you need is a screen and a controller to play games. That means you can stream a game on your mobile phone with high end graphics that only a PC or a gaming console can provide.
Cloud Gaming services like Nvidia’s GeForce Now and Vortex have made their way to India, giving you access to games like Assassin’s Creed, Arma 3, Borderlands 2, Call of Duty, Counter Strike, Dota, F1 2017, PUBG and Fortnite, to name a few. GeForce Now is in beta stage, so it works on an invite basis, while Vortex charges you ₹ 690 per month.
The reason why cloud gaming hasn’t taken off in India yet is because it requires a reliable, high-speed internet with low latency for best results. Jio GigaFiber has promised to provide quick, reliable internet, which can be a relief for gamers.