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50GB games on the way for Sony PS4
Tuesday 01 October 2013 12:48:14 by Andrew Ferguson

The nights are starting to draw in which means the day when people will be able to get their hands on the new PS4 and Xbox One consoles is getting closer. In an interview with Sony UK boss Fergal Gara over on Eurogamer the impact that the next generation of consoles will have on broadband speeds and demand for faster services has been made clear.

"First of all, it is (digital downloads) definitely going to grow as a means of consumption. And there are big innovations in the PS4 to make it more attractive and more easy gamer wise to want to download. The Play as you Download functionality, for example, means you don't need the whole file before you go. This is a little bit counterbalanced by the fact the files themselves are getting bloody big. Killzone: Shadow Fall is an uber file - I think it's cracking on for 50GB. It looks it, too, when you see it."

Sony UK boss Fergal Gara

The PS4 is going to try and reduce some of the waiting by allowing you to start playing the early levels of a game while the rest is still downloading, but a 50GB file is still a significant download, and as our chart shows even with a Gigabit broadband connection there would be time to make a cup of tea for the full file to download.

Download Speed Time to download 50GB
0.5 Mbps ten days
2 Mbps 55 hours
10 Mbps 11 hours
30 Mbps 3 hr 45 mins
50 Mbps 2 hr 15 mins
100 Mbps 1 hr 10 mins
1 Gbps (1000 Mbps) 7 minutes

This of course assumes that the Sony servers would be able to provide the file at the various download speeds, and as those with ultrafast connections are finding not every web or download site has the capacity on its servers to give fast speeds to everyone.

The rise of the CDN (Content Delivery Network) often helps to distribute load around the net, but in the UK the fastest broadband connections are generally on smaller providers, which the big firms like Sony and Microsoft may not even be aware of. One presumes that the deal between Virgin Media and Sony means that Virgin Media customers should have access to fast download servers and Virgin Media will be hoping that massive digital downloads will push demand for their faster products.


Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
Hopefully while Sony and Microsoft aren't aware of the smaller providers the CDNs they are paying to distribute their content will be and will have public peering.

ISPR have an interesting take on this from the point of view of unlimited services coming under strain.

Attempting to downloading 50GB in peak hours on Virgin Media already results in throttling, operators may have to ask people to pay more directly instead of hiding it in line rental or use management methods.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Was wondering how big updates/map packs will be too.
Posted by farrina over 4 years ago
Does your estimation of download times (for Virgin customers) allow for the throttling of their connection speeds once they (rapidly) reach their data download caps.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
No I would need to recalculate and add a second column specifically for them, and who knows maybe the Sony deal will suspend STM - and then again I might be posting this from my 50 room mansion.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Doesn't their STM only affect something like 2% of their users anyway, if so they could just turn it off :)
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
i've seen 5 and i've seen 10% I

My area's STM was off last friday. it was bliss all day. But is back on now. I guess they were testing it to see what it was like off - or it was broke that day.

I wish they had done this with Steam
Posted by adslmax over 4 years ago
Impossible to do 50GB with Virgin Media 120Meg as it will be throttling down speed quickly! Virgin media need to get rid of STM.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
STM does not kill of a connection, or stop it in its tracks. It throttles the speed back.

To do the sums based on a 120 Meg Virgin Media connection is not rocket science, if you start it in the STM and due to previous downloads trigger STM immediately it is 80 minutes.

(QUESTION: Should I add that a fourth column?)
Posted by otester over 4 years ago
Where are those people that said we didn't need FTTP?
Posted by ggremlin over 4 years ago
(QUESTION: Should I add that a fourth column?)
and a fifth what it would cost on a 'cheapest' connection, viz:
"7. For Plusnet Essentials: if we charge you for the extra usage under the usage guideline, it will be charged at £5 per 5GB (Gigabyte), this will be rounded up to the next 5GBs."
- so £100
Posted by ggremlin over 4 years ago
- so £100
£50! for 50GB,(whoops.)
Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
Difficult to justify £25bn or so for a national FTTP network just to allow some people to download games more quickly. Impossible to justify if funded by our taxes.

No problem though if you want to upgrade your own connection "on demand" at your own expense.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
Need is an often abused word.

Petulant teenager can setup the download before heading off to school or before bed. Problem solved.

However, we are in I want it now society, yet society is unwilling to pay the costs associated with I want it now.
Posted by NetGuy over 4 years ago
@ggremlin - it's too simplistic to put a cost for 'additional usage' because overnight (00:00-08:00) traffic isn't counted... and of course it depends on which version of 'Essentials' you can get... If you had Essentials Fibre, then at say 30 Mbps, 50 GB might download before 05:00 if started shortly after 00:00...

Anyway, if someone was likely to need to d/l 50 GB, switching from Essentials to Unlimited isn't that much more costly AFAIK and makes more sense than having to pay extra.
Posted by NetGuy over 4 years ago

Incidentally, users can set the upper spend limit to £0 so there should be no nasty shocks (or spending a fiver for going over the allowance 2 hours before the end of the month). It's something I'd recommend anyway, since the 5 GB paid for does NOT "carry over" - it's a "Use it or Lose it" type data bundle.
Posted by NetGuy over 4 years ago
Actually, just thinking about it, paying Three £15 (12 month contract) or £18 for a rolling monthly contract would get unlimited data and tethering, so could be used independent of the 'cheapest' broadband deals with data limits, and probably something for the teenager to pay for himself, without crippling the 'family' connection :)

(However I suspect most 'family' connections would not be chosen from the cheapest packages, so hopefully academic).
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
(QUESTION: Should I add that a fourth column?)

Nah, those two columns are fine. I suspect ISPs who are offering unlimited deals and continuing to show little visible congestion might become a little more fluid, as will traffic management schema.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
What this does make pertinent is that modem/router QoS control for the customer becomes important.
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
Can you imagine the support calls that would drive?

Plusnet's network based approach is the only sane one really.
Posted by ggremlin over 4 years ago
@NetGuy, you are quite correct that there are many options, & I only used plusnet as an example, since the numbers were easily available, and I expect most people downloading 50GB would have unlimited, - but some might not!
Posted by otester over 4 years ago

I don't remember saying I wanted the taxpayers to pay for it...
Posted by chrysalis over 4 years ago
New_Londoner like paying 50billion for a railway line only rich business man want?
Posted by michaels_perry over 4 years ago
This story highlights an increasing problem. Those with very fast download speed and no usage caps can get these huge files relatively simply. Those of us with super-slow BB cannot get such huge files due to dropouts and throttling.
Same phenomenon is seen with newer websites, they are getting huge and hence very slow to download. It seems as if the designers are assuming everyone has very fast BB and ignoring the great many who don't - and some will never get it as they are 'too remote' from the exchange!
Posted by gobbybobby over 4 years ago
Sounds like bad file compression to me, the play as you download feature of the PS4 is a nice touch, but people on slower than 5 megs are likely better off buying games at retail.

I expect this will be the last generation to use disk based games, it will all be digital by the PS5, and whatever they call the 3rd Xbox.

Oh and @ themanstan

The average age of a gamer in the UK is 35 years old. Its not just 'petulant teenagers' who will be wanting faster downloads.
Posted by Ross123w over 4 years ago
Michaels_perry living in remote areas comes with more than just slow BB. Lack of supermarkets, large transport links, employment opportunities, designer shopping centres, the list can go on but they all need some sort of investment. It's not a problem specific to BB but to living remotely in general. That's why we're calling it remote after all! I guess as the solutions become cheaper it will get better but living remotely will always mean being behind and always has been.
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