Sega of Japan recently announced that they have begun development on their Fog Gaming initiative to be utilized in arcades.
According to previous reporting by Famitsu—sourced by yours truly from SegaBits—Fog Gaming is a cloud-based service that will enable “ultra low latency” gameplay and allow players to enjoy their favorite coin-operated games at home by channeling the CPUs and GPUs of arcade PCs, also resulting in lower operating costs.
“The main difference between fog computing and cloud computing is that cloud is a centralized system, while the fog is a distributed decentralized infrastructure,” said Twitter user @Doorkez (quoted in the SegaBits article). “Fog computing is a mediator between hardware and remote servers.”
This announcement comes as the payoff to an earlier remark by technology journalist Zenji Nishikawa, teasing “revolutionary” news to coincide with Sega’s 60thanniversary.
Provided this service ultimately reaches fruition, it could very well be, in my opinion, the most monumental innovation to grace the arcade industry since the implementation of online infrastructures like e-Amusement and Banapassport in the late 2000s.
Whether or not we’ll see Fog Gaming outside of Japan is obviously yet to be determined, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up. Considering that Sega Amusements International removed all online functionality from House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn for its worldwide release in 2018, it doesn’t seem like the company is all too keen on bringing the Internet to our arcades.
That being said, American arcade operators in particular have historically been extremely opposed to online gaming, so this can’t all be blamed on Sega.
Of course, my words serve as mere speculation for a service that hasn’t been more than teased at the time of this writing. Much could change between now and release.
Make sure to check back here at Wilcox Arcade or join my Discord server for more up-to-date news on Sega’s Fog Gaming platform and arcades as a whole.