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.