In this week’s Famitsu, one of Sega‘s big upcoming projects was revealed. Dubbed “Fog Gaming,” this new initiative will link Sega’s sizable arcade presence to the cloud and allow machines not in use to provide service to remote players.
Details on Sega’s Fog Gaming initiative are still lacking. According to DualShockers, the service will allow users to play arcade games at home by streaming the games similar to what we see with GeForce Now or Google Stadia.
Unfortunately, that’s about all the news we’ve gotten on the concept. It’s reported if the Fog Gaming project comes to fruition, Sega will upgrade current arcade hardware to be compatible and emphasize the service with any new designs. It’s possible Sega arcades won’t be the only ones equipped with this system as well. It’s allegedly considering marketing the service to other arcade owners and businesses.
With how urbanized Japan is, smaller cloud computing centers like this make sense. With proper traffic routing, Japanese players could expect to connect to their nearest Sega arcade and get good latency. However, the project likely doesn’t hold much interest in the rest of the world for multiple reasons.
Outside of Japan, Sega’s arcade presence (and the presence of arcades in general) is practically non-existent. There are a few Sega arcades in the US, but not nearly enough to make low-latency cloud gaming a possibility. Furthermore, Sega doesn’t release many arcade games outside of Japan. It’s unlikely it would localize relatively niche titles for an untested service in a location where arcades are continuing to vanish.
For Japan, though, Fog Gaming is a smart move considering the events of this year. Instead of having its arcades sit empty, with Fog Gaming, Sega could continue to put those machines to work and entertain people at home. Hopefully, we’ll hear more about this initiative in the coming months.