Xbox Series X launch breaks broadband data use record in UK
Microsoft is celebrating the most successful Xbox launch ever, as the release of the console cause a massive strain on UK broadband.
The Xbox Series X and S have sold more in their first 24 hours than any other Xbox console in history, with Xbox boss Phil Spencer promising that more will be delivered to retail ‘as quickly as possible’.
That’s not necessarily much of an achievement though as the Xbox 360 was 15 years ago now and the Xbox One was extremely unpopular at launch, and unavailable in many countries until some months later.
What is impressive though is what an effect the Xbox Series X/S launch had on data usage in the UK, with traffic hitting a record-breaking 18 terabits per second on the day of the launch.
That’s equivalent to around 1,510 hours of high-definition video every second and breaks the previous record of 17.5Tbps, which was achieved because of both a major football match and game downloads.
According to a BBC report Tuesday, November 10 – the day of the Xbox Series X/S launch – saw UK internet provides struggle with the biggest demand they’ve ever seen.
The likes of BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, and Vodafone confirmed that that was primarily due to gamers downloading large files, as the launch of the Xbox Series X/S was also accompanied by a number of major updates.
Some of these, such as for Call Of Duty, were just a coincidence (Call Of Duty has a marketing deal with Sony, not Microsoft) but they seem to have created a sort of perfect storm of massive downloads.
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla launch, which is a 60GB download and/or a 8GB day one update
- Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone update of up to 65GB
- Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War pre-loads (the game launches on Friday) of up to 130GB
- Destiny 2 update of up to 65GB and a new in-game live event
- Weekly security updates and other patches for Xbox consoles
Although not mentioned by the BBC, Game Pass is also likely to have been a major factor as it gives instant access to over 100 games – all of which need to be downloaded to the console.
There’s also the Smart Delivery system, where buying a copy of a game on one generation of console also grants you access to it on any other, which also likely led to a lot of lengthy downloads.
There’s likely to be a similar level of demand on Thursday, November 19 when the PlayStation 5 launches in the UK (it’s out today in the rest of the world but not Europe).
The PlayStation 5 doesn’t have a direct equivalent to Game Pass or Smart Delivery though so it’ll be interesting to see whether it does break the record or not – although that may depend on if there’s any other updates from unrelated games like Call Of Duty.
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