The PlayStation 4 and its need for more Bandwidth

Many of you likely took advantage of the Black Friday sales to purchase a new PlayStation 4 video game system. Great sale prices abounded for both PlayStation models – including the PS4 Pro – as well as Microsoft’s Xbox One line.

ps4-system-image
The PlayStation 4. Image copyright Sony.

However, with all that extra gaming horsepower comes an additional thirst for the household’s Internet bandwidth, so let’s take a closer look at what you need to consider before getting your game on. This issue goes beyond simply online gameplay performance.

PS4 Downloadable Game Sizes tend to be HUGE

The PlayStation 4 Slim comes with a 1 TB hard drive. The design of the PlayStation hardware also makes it easy to swap out new drives as necessary. The system also supports connecting thumb drives to the two USB ports. You’ll likely end up needing all that storage since the file sizes for some downloadable PS4 games are massive.

Bandwidth considerations also matter when downloading games. For example, Ubisoft’s excellent winter sports title, Steep, requires an over 16 GB download. Once the original download completes, nearly 17 GB of additional content gets transferred to your system. On a 30 Mbps Internet service this takes at least a few hours, so be sure to run our speed test beforehand to ensure your ISP is humming along.

Another point involves game updates. An update for Steep sized at 20 GB was automatically downloading after powering up the PS4 the other day, preventing a game session with all Steep’s important network features. Thankfully, the PlayStation 4 offers a low-power “Rest Mode” where downloads happen automatically; hopefully at night.

Even if you focus on buying disc-based video games, note that extra DLC for high-end games typically runs well into the gigabyte range. The extra convenience of games stored on your video game console continues to position downloads as the preferred format moving forward. In fact, nearly all popular disc-based games also offer a downloadable version.

What about Online Gaming Performance?

Sure, a robust Internet service matters for online gaming. Check out our recent reviews of Need for Speed Payback and Call of Duty: WWII for more information. We also recently covered how video game developers handle ISP issues when coding their games.

Suffering from low bandwidth or poor latency lowers your chance at playing well in an online video game. When performing an Internet speed test before a gaming session, make sure you pay close attention to the Ping result, as this relates to the latency encountered during an online game. Latency is important, as it affects the overall responsiveness and interaction with other players.

Ultimately, if your Internet provider isn’t holding up their end of the bargain, use our site to check out other ISPs serving your location. Don’t let poor online performance ruin your gaming fun!