CHIBA – Next-generation 5G networking was the big draw at Tokyo Game Show 2019, setting pulses racing with the prospect of a radically more immersive gaming experience. Offering data transmission speeds around 100 times faster than 4G, 5G is expected to enable more seamless imagery with lower latency, more vivid images and sharper motion. Industry experts say it will dramatically improve the quality of augmented and virtual reality games. "It was very smooth, responsive and consistent," said Omar Alshiji, a 23-year-old game designer from Bahrain, after trying out the fighting game "Tekken" at the NTT Docomo Inc. booth at the four-day game show in Chiba. The major mobile carrier installed 5G base stations at its booth this year, making the high-speed network available at the show.
CHIBA, JAPAN – The Tokyo Game Show opened on Thursday with the spotlight on how game makers will take advantage of ultra-high-speed 5G mobile data networks ahead of the technology's commercial rollout in Japan in 2020. Game makers and related network developers cite their sector as one which will benefit from next-generation wireless networks that are expected to allow players of increasingly popular online games to utilize faster downloads and smoother connections. At the annual extravaganza at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba Prefecture, major mobile phone carrier NTT Docomo Inc., which will start commercial 5G services in 2020 along with rivals KDDI Corp., SoftBank Corp. and Rakuten Inc., has set up a booth promoting 5G gaming. It will arrange a tournament where up to 100 players can be simultaneously connected, and will also offer augmented reality games in which users can watch battles between characters that are superimposed in their current physical locations via their smartphone screens. The next-generation services can send and receive data around 100 times faster than current 4G technology.
Mobile World Congress takes place this week, so it's time again for carrier and vendors to serve up bold claims about what 5G cellular will do for users -- this time, with a dash of realism. "5G is not ready yet," T-Mobile USA's CTO Neville Ray said Monday morning. "It's maturing quickly, but it's not real today, and I can't go and deploy a 5G radio to serve my customers with and give them a handset." Like most other carriers, T-Mobile is testing pre-standard 5G technology, and Ray is enthusiastic about the next generation in the long term. But he reminded the audience that some parts of 5G, like using ultra-high frequencies to reach mobile devices, still face big technical challenges and 4G will still be around for years after the first big 5G rollouts happen around 2020.
While next-generation 5G cellular will bring faster downloads for consumers, the new networking technology is poised to bring big benefits to business users enabling new uses for cellular networks. At this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Japan's NTT DoCoMo is demonstrating one such use: remote control of robots via a wireless virtual reality system. In one corner of the company's booth was a simulated factory floor with three robots. The area was surrounded by four depth-sensing 3D cameras that together provide enough video for an immersive, all-around virtual reality image. That 3D video, totaling roughly 700Mbps of data, was sent across a 5G radio link to a receiver where it was processed and fed to a VR headset.