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(LEAD) SK Telecom launches cloud gaming service with Microsoft

11:15 September 16, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 4 and 6)

SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- SK Telecom Co., South Korea's top mobile carrier, said Wednesday it launched a cloud gaming service in partnership with Microsoft Corp., joining other telecom operators to compete for the growing local cloud gaming market.

The mobile carrier's 5GX Cloud Game service is powered by Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, allowing gamers to stream and play the U.S. tech titan's Xbox console titles on Android smartphones and tablets.

Microsoft officially released its cloud gaming service simultaneously across 22 countries, with South Korea being the only Asian country in the global launch.

Former professional gamer Lim Yo-hwan uses SK Telecom Co.'s 5GX Cloud Game service, in this photo provided by the company on Sept. 16, 2020. (NOT FOR SALE)(Yonhap)

SK Telecom said it aims to garner 100,000 5GX Cloud Game users by the end of this year and 1 million users in three years, targeting the 3 million console and high-graphics mobile gamers in the local market.

The subscription-based service currently offers around 100 games, including popular third-person shooter Gears 5, and will add sports titles from Electronic Arts Inc. by the end of this year.

The service makes use of local high speed 5G networks to stream games on mobile devices, ensuring low latency and seamless gameplay, though it is still available through Wi-Fi and 4G LTE, according to SK Telecom.

The telecom operator's move comes as rivals have already pushed out cloud gaming services to capture mobile gamers.

Major mobile carrier LG Uplus Corp. was the first to release a 5G game streaming service last year, offering U.S. tech giant Nvidia Corp.'s GeForce NOW.

Telecom operator KT Corp. has opted to develop its own cloud gaming platform by partnering with Taiwanese cloud gaming company Ubitus Inc.

KT's GameBox service has racked up over 40,000 users since its release last month, and the company opened the platform to other mobile carrier users earlier this week.

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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