The Stack: Hidden Impact On Data Centres – Online Video Gaming

Online video gaming is big business. There are more than 20 million gamers in the UK alone. But what is the impact of all that downloading and online gameplay?

According to Limelight Network’s ‘State of Online Gaming 2018’ report, UK gamers are downloading and playing more than ever. The average gamer plays for more than 7 hours a week.

Logo for The data centre websiteWe talk to data centre news portal The Stack and explain what the implications of this are for bandwidth and storage.

The three most popular online gaming platforms have millions of global members. PlayStation network has 70 million subscribers. It’s big rival Xbox Live has around 60 million. While 18.5 million players simultaneously used the Steam digital network in January.

How Much Data Does Video Gaming Use?

That’s a lot of global gamers. And while the volume of data online play uses varies significantly, modern ‘shoot ‘em ups’ or massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) can eat up as much as 200 MB per hour to play.

Our article actually finds that it’s not so much the gameplay that adds to data demands. With the move to digital downloads rather than physical media such as CD-ROMS, it’s accessing the game in the first place that eats up the storage space.

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Some new titles need at least 70 GB, and that’s before any of the patches or software updates are considered.

Unsurprisingly, Statista predicts global online gaming traffic will hit 3,000 PB per month by 2020. Cloud storage and processing will undoubtedly need to expand to keep up with this growth.

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In reality, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network are huge grids of servers throughout the world. We highlight the importance of having the necessary infrastructure in place, including a reliable uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system, to ensure gamers have a seamless experience.

The article also touches on the rising phenomenon of cloud gaming, basically a streaming service for video games. It gives gamers access to all the latest titles through a virtual PC and lets them play on the highest specification machine possible.

Cloud gaming removes the requirement for players to own the hardware, they just need a stable broadband connection to play.

Find out more about the impact of online video gaming at The Stack