Few could have predicted that SEGA’s big news would be Fog Gaming. Let’s be honest. It’s probably the first time most of us have heard the term.
Last week Japanese technology journalist, Zenji Nishikawa, teased a huge scoop from SEGA. The ground-breaking news, he said, would appear in the June 4th edition of Famitsu magazine. This prompted widespread speculation as to what the news could be. A new console? The X-Box Series X being SEGA branded in Japan. Google buying SEGA and using their catalogue of games for Stadia?
Oddly, that last one is the closest to the truth. Rather than SEGA games being made available via the cloud-based Stadia platform, it seems that SEGA are developing their own concept based on Fog Computing.
Cloud, Fog? What’s the difference? Well, I’m certainly no expert on the subject but a crash course suggests that Fog Computing compliments Cloud computing rather than replacing it. Effectively bringing data geographically closer to the end user with the benefits of negating latency and lag. Look, if you’re hell-bent on getting to grips with the complexities, let me point you in the direction of Sam Solutions.
Image | Xavier Portela
In simple terms, SEGA plan on utilising their infrastructure of arcade machines across Japan to process data and stream games to end users. Effectively allowing gamers to play arcade games on mobile devices or from the comfort of their own homes.
It’s clever really, if a little left-field. Unlike the West, arcades are still big business in Japan worth millions in revenue for SEGA every year. This new concept uses the existing infrastructure of hardware, but enables arcade owners and SEGA to monetise arcade machines during idle times by offering games across a streaming network. Presumably via a subscription service and for Japan only.
There’s even scope for a new SEGA home console to accompany the service. The device wouldn’t need high-spec hardware as it would simply be sending and receiving data rather than processing. Any such device could be produced relatively cheaply.
No doubt more information will become available shortly. But for now we’re waiting to see what other wacky news SEGA can come out with after yesterday’s unveiling of the Game Gear Micro.