Fog Gaming Revealed by Sega via Famitsu Columnist Zenji Nishikawa (UPDATED)
Fog Gaming would allow you to play Arcade games from home during open and closed hours of game centers.
Update: Please note that multiple details and corrections on Fog Gaming by Sega have been added throughout this article.
Sega, via the Game no Muzukashii Hanashii column in Famitsu magazine written by Zenji Nishikawa, revealed Fog Gaming. We initially wrote this article using the usual Famitsu leaks. Now, Famitsu is officially available, and further details are out. I’ve also corrected a few translation mistakes made earlier due to lack of context, so please read the article again.
Moreover, note that in his column, Zenji Nishikawa mentioned he interviewed Sega staff part of Sega’s next generation R&D, and obtained permission from Sega executives to publish this info. Both the Sega R&D staff and executives aren’t named. It’s also important to note that since this is in form of a column instead of a straight interview, it is a bit hard to discern what is info from Sega and what is speculation by Zenji Nishikawa. Lastly, many points are still unclear and it’s quite possible Fog Gaming is a project in very early phase at Sega, that might actually never see the light of the day.
Here’s a summary of the Fog Gaming column:
The idea of Fog Gaming is to connect together Sega owned Game Centers through a Cloud server with a user delay of less than 1 ms. This way, players at home will be able to play Arcade games anytime through cloud gaming. It’s unclear if it would work on PC, existing platforms, something similar to Stadia, or a brand new platform.
In order to make this viable costs wise, the idea would be to both renovate arcade machines already in use to make them able to connect to the Could server, and release new arcade game machines specifically made for Fog Gaming. That way, during the Game Center’ opening hours, you’ll be able to play both by going there as usual and through Fog Gaming. While during the closing hours, you’ll still be able to play via Fog Gaming even without going there.
Players will supposedly be connected to Game Centers closer to their homes to reduce delay. However, note that this might only be speculation.
Sega is also considering collaborating with Game Centers it doesn’t own, and sell Fog Gaming for other companies and industries. For now however, there are still many questions left in the air. The column doesn’t speak about when this could launch. Plus, it’s unclear if it would truly be viable for game centers. Especially when it comes to maintenance cost, equipment cost, and the electricity bill rising with having machines on at all time. If it happens, Fog Gaming might turn out very expensive for the players to cover all that.
Famitsu columnist Zenji Nishikawa, who also writes for multiple big Japanese outlets including 4Gamer, teased this reveal last week during a live stream. If you’d like to know more, I strongly urge you to read our past coverage, as we already explained everything about his teasing then.
Personally speaking, hearing “Fog Gaming” reminded me of how I never played Zelda Majora’s Mask or Donkey Kong on Nintendo 64 because we couldn’t afford an Expansion Pak. If Sega does end up releasing Fog Gaming one day, it could be the equivalent of Google Stadia but for arcades, and it’ll definitely be interesting. There is a myriad of arcade only worthwhile games you’ll never play unless you directly go to a game center in Japan. In any case, more information should be coming from Sega in the future. Stay tuned like Ulala would say.
Sega’s Toshihiro Nagoshi recently expressed concern over the state of game centers in Japan amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Sega owns multiple game centers in Japan. As such, it’s not unexpected to see the company come up with Fog Gaming.