SK Telecom and Microsoft launch cloud gaming service


SK Telecom hopes to secure 100,000 users on the cloud gaming service by the end of this year

The cloud gaming platform born from a collaboration between SK Telecom and Microsoft has officially launched. SK’s cloud gaming service, called 5GX Cloud Game service, is powered by Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and allows gamers to stream and play Xbox console titles on Android smartphones and tablets using SK’s local 5G networks to ensure low latency and seamless gameplay.

However, SK Telecom did mention that the service is also available through Wi-Fi and 4G LTE.

SK Telecom hopes to secure 100,000 5GX Cloud Game users by the end of this year and 1 million users in three years.

Another South Korean operator KT has taken a different route to cloud gaming, developing its own platform called GameBox. KT partnered with Taiwanese cloud gaming company Ubitus on the project and has gained more than 40,000 users since its release last month.

South Korea is just one of the countries included in Microsoft’s global, 22-country Xbox Game Pass launch. Other countries include the U.S., Mexico, Japan, Germany and Denmark.

South Korea is the fourth-largest mobile game market in the world, spending a total of $5.6 billion on mobile games in 2018, according to market research firm Newzoo, positioning the country as a key market for cloud-based gaming, which is being hailed a killer use case for 5G.

A recent study commissioned by Ribbon Communications demonstrated that 95% of gamers are willing to pay more for 5G services if it means they’re experience improved game play. In fact, according to the study, 58% of gamers already pay a premium to their provider to enjoy the best gaming experience possible and 60% are willing to pay 50% more for an even better one.

The biggest takeaway is that, if it means better gaming, gamers are willing to pay.

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