Chinese gaming giant NetEase recently began testing its cloud gaming service, allowing users to play an array of popular mobile titles on iOS, Android, and PC without having to download any game content, game media GameLook reported.

Why it matters: Cloud gaming has been on the horizon in China, and is widely expected along with 5G network rollout to significantly change the country’s gaming market dynamics.

  • Top Chinese internet companies such as gaming giant Tencent as well as hardware behemoth Huawei have announced their own cloud gaming solutions and platforms.
  • Tencent showcased a cloud gaming platform named “Tencent Instant Play” in February and announced plans to start beta testing another one named “Start” in March.

Details: NetEase’s cloud gaming service went live in November, and currently offers only mobile games though it will soon support PC games as well, according to the company’s website. The platform uses 4G networks.

  • The platform supports 38 mobile titles, including 20 NetEase titles and heavyweight games from other publishers, such as Tencent’s “Honour of Kings” and Bilibili’s “Fate/Grand Order.”
  • Users can access the titles by visiting the website and every title can be played in a mobile browser. Android phone users are given the additional option of downloading a cloud gaming app.
  • Upon logging into the titles, users can choose the quality of graphics based on the speed of their internet connection.
  • There are long lines for a number of popular titles on the platform. Honour of Kings and Fate/Grand Order, for instance, both had more than 170 people waiting to play as of Monday morning.
  • In addition to saving storage, NetEase Cloud Games also reduces battery usage and prevents overheating, the platform’s website said.
  • NetEase was not immediately available for comment.

Context: NetEase’s Thunder Fire Studio partnered with Huawei in June to establish a cloud gaming innovation lab using 5G networks.

  • One of the primary goals of the lab was to help existing titles become 5G compatible.

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail:

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