PS5 beats Xbox to cause internet traffic jams.

The new PS5 almost broke the internet...sort of!

a playstation 5 controller next to a playstation 4 controller

Wednesday, 25 November, 2020

“Playstation has no limits”

It seems PlayStation’s slogan ‘play has no limits’ is true! The UK’s broadband network service Openreach has confirmed that the PS5 launch coincided with a surge in traffic. A similar spike occured during the recent Xbox X Series release.

The surge, across the national UK network, reached a total of 161PB (PetaBytes). To put that into context, one ‘Petabyte’ is equivalent to a million Gigabytes (GB).

The surge is estimated to be a result of the PS5 launch, which included various associated internet downloads and patches. Openreach also anticipated more traffic from online shopping due to the PS5 selling out in physical stores.

Record highs

Openreach supplies most broadband for most ISPs across the country. This means that their network sees the bigger picture in terms of the impact of big events. Big events that impact traffic figures include console releases or live streaming big sports events.

However, despite this impressive sounding surge PlayStation hasn’t beaten one of the biggest days for gaming this year. The highest peak related to gaming traffic (174PB) occurred on 10th November. This surge was because of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and S and a Call of Duty patch.

Due to so many of us at home under COVID-19 restrictions, internet usage has been incredibly high this year. Over the summer we even reached record highs of 193PB usage in one day!

So while it is an impressive figure for PlayStation, they still have room for improvement. And hopefully more incentive for bringing forward cloud gaming capabilities!

1 million GB!

The release of the much awaited new PlayStation 5 on 19 Nov saw a rise in traffic across our network with more than 161 Petabytes being used…The surge is just short of the 174 Petabytes consumed across our network with the release of the new Xbox Series X.

One Petabyte equals one million Gigabytes. That’s more than four times the amount of data in the entire written works of mankind from the beginning of recorded history, in all languages!

Openreach is seeing consistent spikes in online traffic this year, because of the Coronavirus pandemic. With millions more people working from home and spending time online. We plan all the time for potential spikes in usage. Especially when we might expect large numbers of people to go online and start using data simultaneously.

- Colin Lees, CTIO of Openreach.
Natalie Dunning author picture


Natalie Dunning is a freelance writer and Media Psychology researcher based in Manchester.