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Community Member

Cloud gaming prediction for fun

What does Stadia community predict for the future of cloud gaming, today on 2020?

Share here. Feel free to make a wild guess. 

In around 2011 or 2012, I asked on the OnLive community (no longer exists), when cloud gaming will become standard. They predicted that 5g internet will be the fasted and cheapest form of wired and wireless internet and universally used on all countries and thus making cloud gaming a very cheap and obvious choice and solution for world wide gaming, in 2016. At the very least, meaning they assumed it would be earlier than 2016. Like 5g would become worldwide standard on 2014 and mass production would begin 2015 max. And that people would be playing 4k games for very cheap, much cheaper than consoles and the internet would also become infinite speed and practically free for all (even the poorest) countries. 

Now we're in 2020 and 5g is actually not the cheapest. Infact, many believe it will actually never come. And that it is a harmful and failed technology aswell. Altho it is applicable for some industries, like factories and maybe space tech. 

It will be funny to see how far off, or not off, your predictions will be.

 

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Stadia Guide
Stadia Guide

Back in about 1997, I did some work on what eventually became LTE. Some of the things we developed back then didn't get in to 4G, but are now appearing in 5G. So, yeah – some of this stuff takes awhile to mature, get implemented, and deployed. That said, 5G is going to be an important upgrade, but it will not be life-changing for the majority of people

The key is understanding the different frequency bands. The bands we use for 4G today have (relatively) long range and reasonable penetration into buildings (so you can get a phone call while you're at the grocery store). So, they are great for rural and even suburban areas where you don't need high capacity (think of this as being measured in bits per second per square kilometer), simply because there aren't as many people close to each other. In a few areas, you have things like shopping malls or stadiums that need higher capacity, and there are microcell solutions to increase the capacity in those specific areas.

But, move into the cities, and things change. Now you have a high density of people and you need more capacity. In that environment, you need each cell to be smaller. This is where using higher frequencies starts to help – they have shorter range to start with, so the cells don't interfere with each other as much (in LTE, all of the base stations are on the same channel as each other). So, for 5G, we have ultra wideband up at around 28GHz, which only has a range of about 500 meters. So, you need to have a lot of base stations to even deploy in that band. It also doesn't penetrate much of anything, so you're not going to be on that band walking around inside a building (unless they've deployed an indoor solution for that building). Honestly, the best use for that band may be replacing the last mile for fixed internet service (which requires either an outdoor fixed antenna or placing a fixed antenna by a window). It may also be useful in a few downtown areas as well as high density environments like stadiums.

So, where 5G may have the biggest impact is the mid-band, which is a compromise between what is commonly used today for 4G and the UWB. In the mid-band, we can get more spectrum to support higher speeds. We don't have quite the range of the lower frequencies, but it's much better than UWB. So, I expect to see a lot of mid-band 5G deployment happening in urban and suburban environments, which will be a nice capacity upgrade beyond what's possible with 4G today. But in rural areas? That will all still be the current frequencies for the time being. You'll be able to use many of the 5G improvements on those channels, which will improve things, but it's not going to become an ISP option out there – the numbers just don't add up.

All of that said, none of this is revolutionary. The basic modulation schemes and channel structure aren't changing much (there are some new things happening at that layer that allow for more parallelism – it's just still OFDM with beam steering). Some improvements in the network will reduce latency, but the biggest cost in deploying 5G is going to be in upgrading the capacity of the wired network that sits behind the base stations. That's why I don't see bandwidth caps going away for 5G customers.

That ended up longer than I'd planned, but the TL;DR is this: 5G is definitely coming, but it will not be a revolution – just a nice upgrade over what we have today. It's also absolutely not dangerous.

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Community Member

Wow, thanks. Didn't expect to have an expert sharing this much information. Cool.

Weird that people say it's dangerous. Sounds more fluid and natural.

 

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Stadia Guide
Stadia Guide

To be honest my thought is always: Guys there were people that mentioned we would never manage to find other planets or even inhabit them. And so far the humanity as found water on the Mars and there are plans to inhabit the Mars with colonies.... so nothing is impossible!

Of course making predictions is always a hard thing, because sometimes Technology "explodes" in the way of speed and sometimes it develops very slow even if the beginning was quick, so you can't rely on predictions.

I really love how many intelligent and amazing people we have on the Earth, all from different cultures, different personalities and we all use our best skills to form such a great world. So enjoy the "now" and don't think too much about the future, all will be good, even if some things develop slowly! 😘

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Community Member

@Chufu

Who ever said there were no other planets? Did you literally come out of a jungle? And if so, what on earth are you doing here on the forums? Like, how did you get here? And how is or was life like in there? 

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Stadia Guide
Stadia Guide

Good question @SilverOwly, maybe you can ask your glass sphere and you will receive an answer to all those questions.

P.S.: No, I am not coming from a jungle. But maybe in 2051 we will all live in a jungle of live and play Stadia on 6G in all countries all over the world or maybe we don't even play outselves anymore, we let a computer play for us. Who knows. Unpredictable!

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Community Member

@Chufu

The glass sphere says that you live inside of a jungle.

Does not coming from a jungle imply that you already live in it?

I ask because if you can run stadia in a jungle, internet on this planet is far more advanced than I thought it was.

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Community Member

It's just like when they introduced downloading to your system from their digital store instead of going and buying a physical copy of a game.

Only this time no download needed.

In time it will improve, and become the new normal.

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