Console-less cloud gaming services powered the demand for edge services for real-time, interactive gaming last year.

Singaporeans are binge-gaming longer than their global peers, at an average of four hours and 42 minutes, higher than the global average of four hours and 36 minutes. That is according to the latest “State of Online Gaming” research report on worldwide consumers’ gaming behaviours and expectations from edge cloud services provider Limelight Networks.

The rise of binge-gaming has also resulted in sleepless nights, with Singaporeans leading the way at almost 60% missing sleep, a 17% increase over 2019. The longer binge-gaming sessions can be attributed in part to the rise of anywhere, anytime gaming, made possible with smartphones.

Mobile phones remain the primary gaming device, with players in Singapore spending most of their playing time gaming on mobile phones, followed by the use of computers, tablets and gaming consoles.

In addition, this year’s report identified strong interest in console-less gaming services that run on the cloud, with 45.7% of respondents in Singapore saying they are interested in subscribing.

Additional insights from the report include:

  • Price and performance could hinder adoption of console-less gaming. Across the world, interest in new console-less gaming platforms is especially high among those who define themselves as experts (71%), and among aspiring professional gamers (77%). However, concerns with high price points (62.7%) and performance issues such as latency (16.1%) are cited as the top reasons players in Singapore wouldn’t subscribe.
  • Online video gaming continues to be popular. On average, video gamers spend six hours, 20 minutes each week playing games. However, this is a decrease in playing time of 11% in the past year.
  • Watching others play video games increased in popularity for younger gamers, sparking the desire to go pro. Globally, gamers ages 18 to 25 watch others play video games online (via platforms such as Twitch or YouTube Gaming) for more than four hours each week and are the most likely to want to turn this hobby into a profession (53%).
  • Gamers prioritize playing over many daily activities. Singaporeans are most likely to choose video games over sleeping (60%). Many consumers were also missing out on social activities (36%) and taking a shower (24.3%). Gaming can interfere with daily activities. Gamers from novices to aspiring professionals report they had missed daily activities due to playing video games for long periods of time. Across all the countries surveyed, missed sleep is the most pervasive.
  • Gender biases are clear: Women are more likely to use mobile phones for gaming than men, while men use computers and gaming consoles more than women. Men played nearly seven hours per week. This is an average of one hour and two minutes longer than women, who played 5.80 hours. 19.6% of men played for 12 hours or more, compared to just 14.4% of women.
  • Download speed is a top frustration especially for hardcore gamers. Globally, 87% of gamers found the process of downloading games frustrating, a small increase of two percent since last year which may represent an improvement in performance. The length of time it takes to download games was noted as the top issue, with 32% of gamers citing this as their primary concern. Expert gamers and aspiring professionals have the most frustration with download speed, with half of them noting this. Frustrations with download speed are the highest with expert gamers (41%) and aspiring professionals (58%).

Said Edwin Koh, Director of Southeast Asia, Limelight Networks: “The popularity of mobile gaming and console-less gaming that run on the cloud is expected to exacerbate the demand for edge services to reduce game interaction latency. In order to power real-time interactive gaming at the edge, companies must be able to handle interactions between remote gaming servers and the player. Pivotal to this is working with a Content Delivery Network (CDN) with a globally distributed network of servers to ensure the delivery of reliable and consistent gaming experiences while ensuring optimum download performance.”

The State of Online Gaming report was based on responses from 4,500 consumers in Singapore, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States age 18 and older who play video games at least once a week.