PSN and Xbox Live status warning goes viral, but is there more to the story?

PSN and Xbox Live fans have seen a server status alert go viral, but that’s not all PS4 and Xbox One fans need to know. With plenty of people self isolating due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic online services are likely to see a huge uptick in their user numbers. Online shopping portals like Ocado have registered “staggering” levels of traffic while entertainment services are likely to see a big rise in users.

Netflix, Disney Plus, PSN and Xbox Live could all see a major increase in online users as more and more people start working from home.

And amid an ever reliance on the internet in these uncertain times, a tweet about online gaming services has gone viral.

The post from actor Dave Vescio claimed gamers are being urged to play at “reasonable times” to avoid putting a strain on internet networks.

Vescio tweeted: “BREAKING NEWS: Video game players are urged to play at ‘reasonable times’ to avoid putting an extra strain on internet networks during the coronavirus outbreak.

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“Online gaming is ‘the biggest threat to internet bandwidth’ these next few weeks.”

The tweet from the actor went viral, with over 44,000 likes and more than 7,000 retweets.

But, as plenty of people who replied to the tweet pointed out, video games aren’t the biggest offender when it comes to hogging bandwidth.

Far from it, with TV and movie streaming services using on average much more bandwidth.

One of those who pointed this out was video game journalist Mike Futter who replied: “This is absurd. Here’s some actual data.”

Futter linked to an article from ABC.net.au which compared the average hourly bandwidth usage of video games to movie and TV streaming services.

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The biggest offenders in the gaming department (in terms of the titles listed) were Destiny 2 and Counter Strike Global Offensive.

These games used an average bandwidth of 300MB per hour and 250MB per hour respectively.

But this was not a patch on the stats for streaming services.

Bandwidth stats in the article said the standard definition version of Netflix used an average of 1GB per hour.

While the HD version of Netflix used 3GB and the 4K version used 7GB.

The bandwidth usage stats in the article came from Australian website whistleOut.

Summarising what these stats show, the ABC article said: “An average Internet user watching any of the popular tv/movie stream services will be using vastly more bandwidth than one playing any of the top online games.”

The news comes as Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube have all agreed to limit streaming quality in Europe following a European Commission request.

The request to the streaming giants was made in order to preserve bandwidth for those working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

The legislative arm of the EU had said: “The European Commission has suggested that streaming video might need to be scaled back to help networks manage their loads.

“One possibility, it suggests, is for companies like Netflix to offer streaming only in standard definition, not high definition.”

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