Author(s): Raghu Gopal
Last week, Hatch, a subsidiary of Rovio Entertainment, officially launched in the UK. The timing was planned to coincide with Vodafone's 5G network launch in the country (see Vodafone Marries 5G Launch With Unlimited Data). Rovio Entertainment is the Finnish company best known for its popular game franchise, Angry Birds.
Hatch is a cloud-gaming service that needs a robust Internet connection for a smooth experience. This makes 5G connectivity a strong enabler for this type of gaming. The platform delivers full-featured games to mobile devices and TVs without asking players to download content, make in-game purchases and without imposing limits. Hatch is already available in Japan, South Korea and several countries in Europe.
In the UK, Hatch will offer Vodafone customers complimentary access to its premium offering: 5G-powered on-demand mobile gaming with unlimited access to over 100 mobile games including Angry Birds, Monument Valley, Beach Buggy Racing, Crashlands and Hatch's own game Arkanoid Rising. Hatch Premium also unlocks Hatch Kids, a dedicated children's area within the platform where kids can play, create and learn. Vodafone offers a similar deal to its subscribers in Spain.
In the US, Hatch has tied up with Samsung to bring 5G cloud gaming with the launch of an app, Hatch for Samsung. Users of the phone-maker's first flagship 5G-ready phone, Galaxy S10 5G, will be able to play popular games like Hitman Go, Monument Valley and the newly released Arkanoid Rising.
While the industry continues its search for the core 5G uses, gaming often makes the shortlist, as it can take advantage of 5G's greater throughput and lower latency, which create a smoother experience, with little or no lag, buffering or drop-out. Cloud-based gaming services like Hatch, along with those from Google and Microsoft, will be a test of demand for 5G services.