UK broadband comparison website Broadband Genie has today released research revealing game downloads and patches discourage many (55%) gamers from a purchase due to long download times, with 22% saying anything over 10GB is too much.
Many recent triple-A games have been as large as 46GB to download, whilst expansions and patches can be anything from a few MB to more than 15GB.
The average broadband speed in countries such as the UK, US and Germany is around 13Mb, while many other countries around the world fall far below that. On a 13Mb connection a 40GB game will take around 7 hours to download assuming the connection runs at full speed the entire time, but in reality the actual download time could be much longer due to other activity on the connection and network congestion.
Rob Hilborn, head of strategy at Broadband Genie, says: “Games have exploded in size in the past few years, yet broadband speeds across the world are struggling to keep pace. With exclusive digital deals and more games coming with day-one patches and regular updates, gamers have to suck up the long wait times or be excluded altogether.
“This is only going to get worse for those on slow connections as games continue to bloat and become increasingly reliant on fast broadband. Some gamers will be excluded from access to good deals, expansions and online multiplayer. But unfortunately there’s no easy fix for consumers as the onus is on governments and providers to speed up the rollout of fast broadband.”
The survey also revealed PlayStation gamers are more likely to take advantage of its digital store (54%) than Xbox users (41%). However the majority (72%) still think physical copies provide the best value, but digital has the advantage of offering faster access to games and a wider range of titles.
Rob continues: “ The digital stores on the current generation of console are much more user friendly than their predecessors, so it’s no surprise to see users taking advantage of them. Only the other day we heard Fallout 4 sold more digitally than through retail on day one, which is amazing.
“Unfortunately, unlike Steam on the PC, the Playstation Network and Xbox Store have fewer big sale events and charge full price on new releases for the convenience of being able to download them, which means in most cases you’re still better off buying a boxed copy if you want the best value.”