Poor internet connection putting gamers off buying new consoles, research finds

30 October 2020, 00:04

A gamer at EGX 2016
EGX 2016. Picture: PA

The findings are a blow to PlayStation and Xbox, which are both releasing new devices next month.

A slow internet connection is putting gamers off buying a new console, research suggests, ahead of the release of new PlayStation and Xbox devices next month.

A study by broadband provider Zen Internet found that a third of gamers say they spend around 40 hours a year waiting for weekly game updates because of slow internet.

As a result, 39% said their poor connectivity would likely affect their decision to upgrade to either the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, both of which will be released in November.

Gamers play on a PlayStation 4
39% said their poor connectivity would likely affect their decision to upgrade to either the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X (Joe Giddens/PA)

Modern gaming is increasingly reliant on an internet connection with most games and console systems sending out regular updates over the internet. This means poor internet connectivity can have a significant effect on the experience.

Both PlayStation and Xbox now make versions of their consoles which are “digital-only”, meaning the device has no disk drive and games must be downloaded instead.

According to Zen’s study, 94% of gamers said they have downloaded a software update for a game.

But many have found themselves frustrated by slow internet when trying to do so, with 38% admitting they have shouted at their router in anger. 21% admitted to storming out of the room and 18% said they had called their internet provider to complain.

Richard Tang, founder and chairman of Zen Internet, said network providers needed to keep up with the tech industry when it came to connectivity needs.

“This should be one of the most exciting times for gamers that we have seen in decades. But many face growing frustrations or even missing out due to poor internet performance,” he said.

“Providers must ensure they are delivering a service that meets an industry that is growing exponentially and is set to go to the next level with these new launches. Gamers should not settle for long download times, screen glitches or outages at crucial moments.

“Ensuring they are with a provider that can deliver ultrafast speeds and reliability is key to enjoying that next-generation gaming experience.”

By Press Association

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