Xbox Series X launch triggers record-breaking network traffic

Xbox Series X launch triggers record-breaking network traffic for internet providers as locked-down gamers download new Assassin’s Creed and Call Of Duty titles

  • Virgin and TalkTalk say there was a significant spike in data use on Tuesday
  • This coincided with the release of the new Xbox Series X gaming console
  • It is likely this was as a result of gamers downloading games for their console 

The launch of the new Xbox Series X triggered a record-breaking spike in internet traffic as internet gamers rushed to download Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty. 

Virgin Media said the release of the new console was its busiest day on record, while TalkTalk reported its highest ever network peak in the evening.

Microsoft released its next-generation console on Tuesday, with large downloadable games such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and a pre-load of the new Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War thought to have contributed to the surge.

The second lockdown and a Windows patch are also believed to have had an effect on the sizeable spike in internet traffic across British networks on Tuesday.

Microsoft released its next-generation console on Tuesday, with large downloadable games such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and a pre-load of the new Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War thought to have contributed to the surge

Virgin Media said network traffic was 30 per cent higher than the firm’s October average, with 108 petabytes of data used – an average of 20.4GB per customer.

That beats the firm’s last record, set on June 11, which coincided with the season four launch of Call Of Duty: Warzone.

Meanwhile, TalkTalk said at 9.20pm on Tuesday it recorded a network traffic spike of 6.85 terabits – the equivalent to delivering 571 hours of HD video per second.

Openreach also reported an influx, though it was not enough to beat previous busy days on August 5 and July 9.

‘Tuesday saw the anticipated release of the new Xbox Series X, which we’ve been told needed a large patch during the installation stage, while at the same time iPhone users saw a forced iOS software update,’ an Openreach spokeswoman said.

‘We expect to see another surge in traffic next Friday with the release of the PS5.

‘We’ve had no major outages during this whole period and we’re always monitoring our network to identify any areas where we might need to add extra capacity.’

Jeanie York, chief technology and information officer at Virgin Media, said: ‘Keeping the country connected remains a top priority for Virgin Media.

Virgin Media said network traffic was 30 per cent higher than the firm’s October average, with 108 petabytes of data used – an average of 20.4GB per customer

‘We’ve seen previous network traffic records smashed this year as a result of Covid-19 with our customers spending more time at home working, streaming, gaming, scrolling and virtually staying in touch with friends and family.

‘We remain focused on supporting our customers with fast, robust connectivity at a time when these connections have never been more important to our lives.’ 

Gary Steen, Managing Director of Technology, Change and Security at TalkTalk, said our appetite for data shows no sign of slowing down.

‘With the new PS5 due to launch next week we fully expect another large network spike as our gaming customers get to grips with their new consoles,’ he said. 

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