Has there ever been a better time to be a gamer? Three brand new flagship consoles have launched, ‘next-gen’ titles are being released almost every other day and many of us have more free time on our hands as we battle through another lockdown.
If you need catching up on the online gaming wars, here’s everything you should know – from the best games and pesky updates to the broadband speeds you’ll need to ensure an uninterrupted gaming experience…
So, the scene is set for a busy few weeks and months ahead – especially with Black Friday just around the corner (November 27).
Take a look on social media and you’ll find many excited gamers taking time off work to get stuck into their favourite new adventures (66% of PlayStation fans according to one survey). There’s also been record broadband usage in the UK, something we’ve also seen on our networks. It sounds trivial but perhaps a bit of escapism is what many of us need right now.
But all this could come to a screeching halt because there’s one thing that often gets forgotten: broadband speeds. The foundation of gaming. Long downloads, lagging, getting booted offline…sound familiar? They say gamers spend the equivalent of three years in virtual worlds but how much time is spent waiting for games to download?
The UK is woefully behind when it comes to broadband and it’s just got worse as we’ve fallen 14 places to 47th on the global leaderboard for speed. The reason is we rely on outdated, Victorian FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) connection. These part-copper networks aren’t built to handle the growing demands we place on our internet.
That’s why we’re building new FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) infrastructure across the East of England which will turbocharge how we stream, learn and play. FTTP is also the best connection for gaming and is key to taking you to the next level. Here’s why…
1. Games are getting bigger
As games become more complex with 4K resolution, the file sizes get bigger. New titles are typically around 50Gb which can take an age to download on a slow connection. It’s only going to get worse with the new consoles offering more graphical power. Publishers know this which is why you can often pre-load a game 24hrs before it’s released.
But what if it’s a spur of the moment idea when you have some free time and you don’t want to sit around for hours? We offer speeds up to 1,000Mbps on our networks so you don’t have to wait.
2. The dreaded ‘updates’
‘I don’t download games, I only use discs so it’s not an issue for me’. Ok, so the game arrives in the post, you pop it in the console ready to go but…you’ve forgotten about the day one patch. What’s that? Whilst games are being approved and distributed, developers use this time to add last minute features and fix remaining bugs.
These are provided as a ‘day one patch’ which has to be downloaded. They’re typically 5Gbs+ in size. Not to mention new updates are typically released every few weeks to fix new bugs as they arise.
3. No more arguing at home
You might think you receive decent speeds at home but the problem is when everyone else wants to stream Disney+ or listen to music. This means if you’re playing online multiplayer, you’ll be letting your team down with your slow and unreliable connection.
4. Remote play opens up possibilities
Both the Xbox and PlayStation offer a ‘remote play’ feature which means you can stream your games to your laptop, tablet or phone to play them if someone else is using the TV.
The problem is this requires a stable and high-speed internet connection. FTTP speeds are the best way to achieve this.
5. Share your experiences
Photo mode is all the rage and it’s built into all the big games. It enables players to essentially take screenshots or short videos of them playing which can then be shared on social media.
You can also live stream in real time so others can watch you tackle the latest adventure. Upload speeds are often overlooked but they’re key for sharing your favourite moments. Our FTTP networks offer symmetrical upload and download speeds so you can quickly and easily show off your skills to friends and family.
- The Xbox Series X (Microsoft’s latest signature console)
- The Xbox Series S (the little brother/sister of the Series X– less powerful but cheaper)
- PS5 standard edition (Sony’s new flagship console)
- PS5 digital edition (the standard edition without the disc drive/4K Blu-ray player)
You can read a detailed breakdown of the different systems here but essentially the main consoles (Xbox Series X and PS5 standard edition) both offer 4K gaming at 60FPS (frames per second), a 4K Blu-ray player, more graphical power and faster loading times.
- Watch Dogs Legion (you’re a computer hacker in a near-future London)
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (assume a Viking hell-bent on conquering England)
- Spider-Man Miles Morales (swing around New York city as Miles Morales)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (a first-person online shooter)
Take a look at our postcode checker to see if you’re in our full-fibre rollout area.