Slow broadband speeds choke European Gaikai launch

Slow broadband speeds choke European Gaikai launch
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

September 3rd 2013 at 10:55AM

Roll out of cloud gaming services on PS4 delayed in region due to poor connections

Low broadband speeds across Europe are hampering the launch of Sony’s cloud-gaming service Gaikai.

Speaking to Edge, SCEE CEO Jim Ryan said the current plan was to roll out the cloud service in North America in 2014. This will allow users to stream PS3 content on their PS4.

No date has been set for Europe however, and Ryan said issues with broadband in the region was the reason why Sony did not discuss Gaikai at Gamescom.

“Now, and I touched upon these issues of broadband in Europe during the presentation - Europe is of course on the roadmap for that service to be deployed at some point in the future, but for reasons outside of our control we don’t yet have a timeline for it,” said Ryan.

“So at a show which is now pretty global in its reach but primarily aimed at a European audience, we didn’t really want to start talking about the virtues of this great cloud-based service without knowing exactly when it’ll come to Europe.

“We’ve got a roadmap, there’s just a few bumps along the road that need to be ironed out.”

The UK  has been criticised in the past by a number of developers and technology professionals for its relatively slow broadband speeds compared to leaders such as South Korea.

Last year, research by IT company Akamai claimed the UK had the 16th slowest average download speed in Europe.

It was suggested the country was falling behind other leading nations, such as those in Asia. Former BT CTO Peter Cochrane said “Britain is being frozen out of the next industrial revolution”.

"In terms of broadband, the UK is at the back of the pack,” he said.

“We're beaten by almost every other European country and Asia leaves us for dust."

Some of the problems with UK broadband stem from the fact that BT has chosen to lay wires through the streets, with copper then used to carry broadband to a customer’s house, which can result in a slower connection speed

France and Russia meanwhile are ahead of the UK, with 12 million homes in Russia taking advantage of a direct fibre connection.