Merry Christmas, and Happy Gaming!

As I type this, Christmas is just two weeks away, and one of the most anticipated games in years, Cyberpunk 2077, has just been released earlier this week.

This seems like a good time to remind our subscribers that this season of giving, specifically giving video games, may result in some concerns with your family’s internet performance.

People who purchase this game for PC, for instance, have to download the massive game files (over 60GB, plus a Day One patch which is also many GB in size), but even console players can’t just drop the disc in their machine and play, as the required Day One patch for Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles is typically 25-30 GB.

To put this into perspective, this table shows the best-case scenario for download times of a 25 GB file (or 214,748,364,800 bits) at each of our plans’ speeds. By “best case”, I mean under perfect circumstances:

  1. a flawless connection between the device and the router (because every data packet which must be re-sent adds extra time)
  2. literally no other traffic through the router whatsoever, so the download can utilize 100% of the capacity of your internet connection
  3. servers on the publisher’s side which have the capacity to serve all packets at maximum speed, without any bottlenecks anywhere along the path from their servers to our datacenter, which could inadvertently limit the speed

(Any variance from perfection equals a longer download time.)

Download SpeedNumber of hours needed

As members of your household open their presents on Christmas morning and pop their new video games into their systems, pretty much all of these games will require updates in order to play. Some needed updates may be pretty small, but others could be very large, indeed.

Please be patient during this process, and do understand that it may be necessary, if your household wishes to utilize the internet normally on Christmas Day, to wait until everyone is done with the internet for the day or ready to go to bed before attempting to install the new games, and that, depending on the specific details, these games may not be ready to play for quite a while. (If you have the ability and time, you could theoretically set up the console and install the games and patches in the remaining time before Christmas Day, sticking to the middle of the night for downloads, which would allow for play as soon as the console is unwrapped.)

We also want to remind everyone that many gaming consoles, including Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Series X, and PlayStation 4 and 5 consoles, can (and do) use the internet connection to download data, even when the consoles are not in use and/or appear to be off. If the console’s primary user cannot tell the console to pause the downloads, it may be necessary to disconnect the power completely from the console to get it to stop monopolizing your internet connection.

Also, please note the units used in these calculations: Our service’s speed plans (as is the case with most Internet Service Providers) are expressed in megabits-per-second values, but it’s not unusual for systems to display in-progress file transfer speeds in terms of bytes (or kilobytes, megabytes, or gigabytes) per second, and as each byte is made up of 8 bits, this can be a little confusing. If the speed display you see uses a lowercase “b”, it probably means bits, and if it uses an uppercase “B”, it’s probably bytes. All figures in terms of bytes/time should be multiplied by 8 to convert the value to bits/time.