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Gamers unprepared for top new consoles’ broadband needs

·         Majority unaware of potential long download times for next gen games

·         One in ten considering a broadband upgrade to power new consoles

Millions of UK households do not have the broadband speeds needed to cope with their expectations and the excitement around the launch of the latest games consoles, according to independent research commissioned by Virgin Media. An overwhelming majority of console users are significantly underestimating how long it will take to download games bought online for the powerful new consoles and admit they’ve not considered the impact this will have on their home broadband.

78% of those asked thought that games, which could be as big as 50GB, would be ready to play in under five hours, with just under half (42%) thinking the wait would be less than two hours – vastly underestimating what will take seven and a half hours on an average UK broadband connection.

The study shows that over one in five gamers (21%) are planning on buying the highly anticipated PlayStation 4 at launch or for Christmas. Virgin Media is Sony’s UK ISP partner for the PS4. The two companies have been working to ensure the best entertainment experience and exciting further developments from this partnership will be revealed in the coming weeks and months.

Joe Lathan, Virgin Media’s director of broadband and home phone, said: “Anyone considering buying a next generation games console, now or for Christmas, should also think carefully about whether they’ve got the broadband to make the most of it. Virgin Media customers are set to get a substantial head start, and could be many levels ahead while others are still waiting.”

It will take eight hours and forty eight minutes to download a 50GB game with what Ofcom says is the national average broadband speed of 14.7Mb. During this time any other online activity, such as watching BBC iPlayer or using an internet connected TV service like YouView, will make that wait much longer. However, those with Virgin Media speeds of 120Mb can expect to be far into a game by then, as it could be fully downloaded in just over an hour (65 mins). Virgin Media’s award-winning TV service also does not impact customers’ broadband speeds because of the unique cable technology powering the company’s services.

One in ten (9.7%) people say they will upgrade their broadband to better enjoy the latest games consoles. Virgin Media is already boosting customers’ broadband speeds for no extra cost in 2014 as well as introducing 152Mb, setting a new record as the country’s fastest widely available broadband. With such speeds, the same game would be ready in just 48 minutes.

Joe Lathan continued: "Before we know it, big game launches won’t be measured by queues outside stores at midnight, but by whether or not we see a surge in downloads across our network!”

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

Research carried out by OnePoll with 2,000 UK adult who use games consoles in November 2013.   

Home broadband speed Estimated download time for one 50GB game
0.5Mb 10.7 days
2Mb 2.7 days (65 hours)
10Mb 13 hours
14.7Mb (national average) 8 hr 48 mins
30Mb 4 hr 19 mins
60Mb 2 hr 9 mins
120Mb 65 mins
152Mb (available 2014 from Virgin Media) 51 mins
 

*Download speeds assuming 90% of bandwidth available to customers is used.

 

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