Skip Navigation

Sony sign-up with Virgin Media for PS4 launch
Wednesday 21 August 2013 09:42:04 by Andrew Ferguson

The launches of the Xbox One and PS4 are going to dominate the tech headlines in the run up to Christmas as its six years since the biggest consoles of the current generation launched. In this frenzy to gain some competitive advantage both by the console manufacturers and other parties looking to benefit many more partnerships are to be expected in addition to the news that Virgin Media is to the UK ISP partner for its launch.

Many may question the decision to go with Virgin Media as its reputation is variable, but it is the largest superfast broadband provider in the UK, with 64% of its four million customers on a 30 Mbps or faster service. Though for this next generation of console upstream speeds may be more critical and in areas where Virgin Media has completed its network upgrades 30 Mbps customers should have a 3 Mbps upload. This upload is slower than the fibre services sold by BT Infinity and Sky (the Fibre Medium from TalkTalk is capped at 2 Mbps), unless you are unlucky to be one of the few more than a kilometre from your street cabinet.

The content sharing for both the Xbox One and PS4 were key wow factor moments at the launches, but the reality of broadband around the world has perhaps led to the Xbox One choosing to limit clip upload size to 5 minutes of game play, and the PS4 has a 15 minute limit. If the clips are approaching HD quality and using decent codecs we can expect a bit rate of around 1 Mbps, which gives a respective file size of 37MB and 113 MB, the short table below will show how long each would take to upload on various connections. In theory the consoles themselves are powerful enough to continue game playing while uploading, but if the clip was sent at a speed that fills the upstream it would wreck any online game play.

Times for uploading shared content on PS4 and Xbox One
Connections upload speed Xbox One (5 min clip) PS4 (15 min clip)
IPStream ADSL (448 Kbps) 13 minutes 37 minutes
ADSL2+ (~800 Kbps) 7 minutes 19 minutes
TalkTalk Fibre Medium (1.8 Mbps) 3 minutes 9 minutes
Virgin Media 30 Mbps (3 Mbps) 2 minutes 5 minutes
BT Infinity 1, Sky Fibre (9 Mbps) 33 seconds 99 seconds
Virgin Media 120 Mbps (12 Mbps) 30 seconds 74 seconds
BT Infinity 2, Sky Fibre Pro(18 Mbps) 17 seconds 49 seconds
Symmetric Gigabit (1000 Mbps) 0.3 seconds 0.9 seconds

Precisely what the Virgin Media announcement will mean for PS4 owners is not known yet, other than Virgin Media will have some to play at the Eurogamer Expo in Earls Court connected to a Gigabit connection.

Virgin Media is now just one of many cable providers in the Liberty Global empire and this may have also helped to gain Virgin Media this partnership as Liberty Global is one of the largest cable providers outside the United States.


Posted by ukhardy071 over 4 years ago
I find it funny given that our PS3 never would work with Virginmedias superhub in the past.

Lets hope this is different.
Posted by undecidedadrian over 4 years ago
I wonder if the PS4 will have traffic priority over the VM network?

Although all I reckon is that Sony took a big cheque from somebody to slap their sticker on the box.

I seriously doubt that too many people will move ISP just because there has been a marketing tie in.
Posted by Kushan over 4 years ago
"I find it funny given that our PS3 never would work with Virginmedias superhub in the past."

Plenty of people don't have an issue (Other than the superhub's terrible wireless). Think you may have had a fault.
Posted by adslmax over 4 years ago
No, wrongly. My 30 Meg upload still on 2 Meg (double speed had done in my area few months ago) I rang up virgin media and they say it up to 3 Meg doesnt mean 3 Meg. Big lied on Virgin Media. My mate had 30 Meg downstream and 3 Meg upstream. I was robbed by Virgin Media.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
The double speed for download speeds may have happened, but the upload sometimes takes longer to take place.
Posted by adslmax over 4 years ago
virgin media just say the large on 30Mb will only get 2Mb upload but the xtra large on 30Mb will get 3Mb upload (the extra large will cost £8 more) rip off and conned

Primary Upstream Service Flow SFID 68619
Max Traffic Rate 2058000 bps
Max Traffic Burst 8160 bytes
Min Traffic Rate 0 bps
Max Concatenated Burst 8160 bps
Scheduling Type BestEffort
Posted by jroadley over 4 years ago
And yet hardly anyone can get their cable service unless you live in a town/city.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Aha, so the old legacy L product, why not upgrade to XL? Or are Virgin not allowing you to?
Posted by adslmax over 4 years ago
Virgin say I can upgrade to XL but it going to cost me an extra £8 a month for just 1Meg extra on the upload from 2Meg to 3Meg. Pretty pointless.
Posted by adslmax over 4 years ago
Add on: also required a new 12 months contract too. I told them no thanks. I stay with L.
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
Where did Virgin advertise 3Mb upstream speed on the 30Mb?

Your mate pays more, he gets more.
Posted by adslmax over 4 years ago
Virgin say those who are on old product such as Large 30Mb or Large 60Mb won't be getting 3Mb and 6Mb upload speed because it the lower price for these product. Upgrade to extra large on both 30Mb or 60Mb will get 3Mb and 6Mb upload.
Posted by adslmax over 4 years ago
I had signed up a new 12 months contract moving to extra large 60Mb/6Mb for an extra £1.50 per month cost me £19.65 with a discount loyalty. (these price are including a price rise of £2.50) with a credit of £30.00 on account too. Nice one virgin media.
Posted by gsituffers1 over 4 years ago
Posted by gsituffers1 over 4 years ago
check out traffic management policy above as all show upload and download speeds on new and old packages and also upload upgrade programme is stillongoing untill later this year
Posted by adslmax over 4 years ago
I was annoyed as they had put me on 60/3 as they lied to me say it will be 60/6. I am going to complaint.
Posted by weesteev over 4 years ago
There is no 60/3 tariff, the speeds are on a 10/1 contention ratio so it will be 60/6 that you get.
Posted by otester over 4 years ago
You'd have too be pretty dumb too pick VM knowsdays unless you are one of the few in a non-BTW FTTC but VM area.
Posted by forsaken over 4 years ago
I can't see many picking this over a 80/20 package with unlimited data and no throttling... Just wish my PCP was part of the roll out plans for FTTC! .

What's jitter like on FTTC comparable with Virgins hybrid cable ? Traditionally ADSL2+ performed better in that respect.
Posted by roughbeast over 4 years ago
Perhaps VM have some announcements to make regarding 200Mb/20Mb or higher and special deals for PS4 users.
otester. I would choose VM over BT on TV packages alone, with or without BT Sport, let alone my totally consistent 126Mb/11.6Mb performance. Sky on Openreach FTTC I wouldn't dream of touching until the Murdochs have nothing whatsoever to do with it!
Posted by roughbeast over 4 years ago
Foresaken, I'm on VM FTTN, my jitter is never higher than 1. Latency never higher than 11ms
Posted by adslmax over 4 years ago
VM 120/12 is probably cheaper than BT FTTC on Demand
Posted by Joppy over 4 years ago
@forsaken, jitter is pretty much non existence on Sky's FTTC in my experience. Consistently 0 or 1ms jitter here which is brilliant for gaming. Had Virgin fibre before and their latency and jitter was horrendous in comparison.
Posted by roughbeast over 4 years ago
Joppy. I guess VM latency varies according to contention levels or levels of over-subscription.
Posted by gsituffers1 over 4 years ago
i still think that most comments from unhapy customers are still a little jaded - most customers choose or chose vm as supplier as their was no better bb supplier avaialble at thier location and have only moved on once an alternative is or becomes avaailable and as per roughbeast oversubscription /contention is to blame as said as no better option avaialble
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.