In preparation for the 2010 launch of God of War III, Sony announced the God of War Collection – this is a single Blu-ray disc that includes remastered versions of the series’ first two instalments. Like many game releases, to help promote sales and spread the word, a game trailer is available for download through the Playstation Network. The trailer, roughly 2 minutes in length, is available in several resolutions. The 1080p version checks in around 144 megabytes.
Game trailers are no new development, and are by no means exclusive to Sony. Similarly, today’s consoles support not only the downloading of add-ons (a Rock Band album can easily be over 100 MB) and entire games, but have also introduced movie streaming through partnerships with Netflix. Additionally, the built-in web browsers often support popular video formats. These capabilities mean that a console owner might well use the gaming device to watch YouTube videos, or listen to Internet radio, or prevent a trip to the video rental store, or to replace an existing TV package.
When we think of the Wii, Xbox 360, or PS3, it’s natural to think in terms of “online gaming”; that is, the bidirectional flow of data corresponding to a game being played. In reality, though, the majority of bytes attributable to these gaming consoles are actually the result of these extra media capabilities. Also, while much of this media traffic is sensitive buffered video that is consumed on arrival, game or firmware updates are more akin to traditional bulk downloads.
Understanding the use-cases is an important part of understanding Internet subscriber behavior as a whole, and it is this understanding that leads to services packages more closely aligned with subscriber usage patterns.
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