Now that Steam, PSN, and Xbox Live are widespread and feature-rich, it’s easy for some of us to assume that we’re already living in the all-digital future. With super-fast fiber-optic internet connections and huge hard drives, many gamers haven’t touched physical media in years. Sadly, not everyone is so lucky. Within the United States, many of us are stuck with shockingly slow internet connections. Some of us are even burdened with oppressive bandwidth caps, so the idea of downloading tens of gigs of video games is unthinkable. With the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One, games are growing to an enormous size, and it’s clear that the average download speed simply can’t keep up.
The all-digital future
When I ordered my PS4, I knew I wanted to go all-digital. It’s been about a month since launch, and so far I’ve successfully dodged physical media completely. It’s been a very pleasant experience for me, but I can’t recommend it to everyone. I have a super-fast Verizon FiOS connection, so downloading massive files is no sweat. Steam regularly hits 80Mbps down, and PSN has been pushing a solid 28Mbps here on the East Coast of the United States. My connection is well above average, so it’s important to remember how outlandish PS4 downloads are to most gamers.
NBA 2K14 on the PS4 is a whopping 41.8GB — that’s huge! It can’t even fit on a single-layer Blu-ray disc. Based on data accumulated by Akamai, the average downlink bandwidth in the first half of 2013, in the US, is 8.33Mbps. At that rate, it would take the average internet denizen nearly 11 and a half hours to download the entire game. While NBA 2K14 is the largest game currently available, it’s not the only massive download on PSN. The Sony-developed Killzone: Shadow Fall weighs in at 38.5GB, and Mark Cerny’s Knack is a shocking 35.6GB. On the average internet connection, Killzone would take over 10 and a half hours, and Knack would take almost 10.
PS4 download sizes
Let’s take a broader look at the size of PS4 game downloads.
|Games||PS4 Download Size|
|Killzone: Shadow Fall||38.50GB|
|Call of Duty: Ghosts||31.30GB|
|DC Universe Online||22.70GB|
|Injustice: Gods Among Us||22.00GB|
|Just Dance 2014||22.00GB|
|Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag||21.20GB|
|Need for Speed: Rivals||15.90GB|
|Madden NFL 25||13.10GB|
|LEGO Marvel Super Heroes||6.40GB|
|Angry Birds: Star Wars||1.50GB|
With an average size of 14.07GB, it would take over 15 hours to download four games at 8.33Mbps. That’s definitely unwieldy — and on the next page, we’ll compare the PS4 to the PS3, and begin to analyze whether download speeds can keep up with the size of games.
Next page: PS4 vs. PS3 digital game download size
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