The FAI’s splint for the rise of Christmas games

New survey shows that using the PS5 and Xbox X can cause spikes in internet traffic on Christmas Day.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Christmas traffic

ISP Zen Internet has commissioned a survey of gamers before Christmas 2020. The survey warns that Internet traffic could turn into traffic jam.

The 2020s saw the release of the next generation game consoles like the PS5 and Xbox X. So depending on their behavior, it could mean gamers are using a lot more bandwidth. Thanks Santa!

The new PlayStation and Xbox consoles are raising the bar for gamers around the world, with huge expectations for the new graphics and new game releases that come with them. However, many might be frustrated with connectivity issues that spoil their vacation spirit.

Richard Tang, president and founder of Zen Internet.

Christmas loading …

Normally there is a reduction in internet traffic on Christmas Day. But with more people staying home and zooming in for Christmas, this year could be different.

The government has introduced “relaxation” of foreclosure rules so that people can visit loved ones on Christmas. However, they still discourage people from traveling.

An AA survey found that only 28% of their members “felt more motivated than usual to drive to see relatives at Christmas.” He also found that 40% of their members cancel their travel plans.

So, depending on how seriously people take the risk of transmitting COVID, more people than ever may be staying at home. This potentially means that many people are using video calling services to connect with loved ones. And a lot of teens are spending Christmas online or playing instead of helping Grandma with the cabbages!

The potential increase in the number of people playing on Christmas Day is at the center of the Zen Internet survey. More bandwidth will be required by gamers, due to the releases of big games and consoles, like Cyberpunk 2077.

The survey says

The survey found that 17% of gamers are not convinced their internet connection will work with next-gen consoles. Zen Internet estimates that players who download updates or add-ons may have to wait an average of 45 minutes. A tiny fraction of respondents (6%) admit to having waited 3 hours to download games in the past.

However, strangely, the Zen Internet study does not say how they arrived at these predictions. It should therefore probably be taken with a grain of salt.

Despite the survey’s questionable claims, broadband infrastructure in the UK has felt the pressure this year. The combination of blocks, working from home and big game launches resulted in record traffic. It is therefore not absurd to expect an impact on speeds at Christmas.

Zen Internet’s survey found that more than half (38%) yell at their routers when playing at slow speeds. The study even found that 13% of gamers argue with a partner when slow speeds affect their game. So maybe get some earplugs for Christmas Day!

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