You wouldn’t automatically place the arrival of 5G and augmented reality together, but I’m of the opinion that the pairing - when utilized for video games - has a great deal of promise. To address the former, and for anyone unaware, 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that, as far as anyone with a brain is concerned, will transform electronic infrastructure to the point where existing connections look like the stone age.

As it currently stands, 4G speeds tend to range around the 40mb/s mark. In contrast, 5G, up to 1GB. If you consider that most households (certainly here in the UK) can barely get the minimum 4G speed, even on a wired connection, there’s little wonder there’s so much excitement about the prospect of low latency, high speed, mobile data connections that - for all intents and purposes - looks set to transform how we play. Even the online players at PartyCasino Fun are looking forward to it, as it can also improve the way they play.

Even now, latency and the woes of it, play such a prominent part in competitive gaming (heck, any gaming for that matter), that the thought of AR combined with 5G becomes an enticing prospect. While the likes of Pokemon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite have brought AR to a whole new commercial audience, there’s no mistaking that the potency of the sub-genre is held back by our devices, and their ability to reliably connect to the internet.

Harry Potter can be fun, until your connection drops.

I can’t be the only one who has had their gaming cut-short, or experience crippled by a dodgy signal. Players want better, and my kids certainly do! If I were a betting on the impact of AR after 5G arrives, I think it has the potential to transform the landscape for years to come. Taking a look at something like Riot’s latest card-game, the potency for AR transform what we see on card faces is undoubtedly exciting.

Such implementations of AR do exist, and Genesis, the trading card game, has made inroads. However, a small studio on a modest budget is unlikely to maximize the potency of AR, or a 5G infrastructure. Riot has the potency, as do a handful of major publishers and developers (especially the likes of Valve and Epic, who have already flexed their muscles).

If there’s one sticking point to how 5G will impact AR, it’s not whether or not it’ll be good for it (unquestionable), but whether the average user can afford it. Here in the UK, it’s £44 a month for a SIM only - almost $60 - and whether you’re on a tablet or phone, that’s a hefty price tag for any gamer.

With 5G having begun to roll-out, and with over 17 towns and cities in the UK already having the service, it’s now a waiting game. Not only for its eventual creep across the country (and the world), but also its price-point. Will 5G automatically make AR the go-to choice for developers? Not necessarily, but its applications increase significantly, and the speeds of 5G and the lack of latency breaks down barriers that previously existed. That, as far as I’m concerned, can only be a good thing.

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Last Updated: Nov 07, 2019

About The Author

Lewis is a long standing journalist, who freelances to a variety of outlets.