Although the digital distribution of console games has come on leaps and bounds in recent times, there are some potentially terrifying figures being thrown around relating to the size of next gen downloads. Killzone: Shadow Fall, for example, is set to weigh in close to 50GB - which could potentially scare off players planning on downloading titles rather than heading to the store to pick them up on launch day.
The recent release of Grand Theft Auto V has shown that there are still some issues with the current systems when it comes to downloading larger titles, something that was also reflected with the huge download size of the excellend Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, but it's something that the industry is aware of, and the ability to play while downloading is something that should help to alleviate the pain of sitting around and waiting.
Speaking to Eurogamer last week, Sony's UK MD Fergal Gara gave a little insight into how Play as you Download works, saying "The Play as you Download functionality, for example, means you don't need the whole file before you go.This is a little bit counterbalanced by the fact the files themselves are getting bloody big. Killzone: Shadow Fall is an uber file - I think it's cracking on for 50GB. It looks it, too, when you see it."
The ability to prioritize which section of the game you chose to download first (in the case of Shadow Fall, you'll be able to opt for the campaign or multiplayer) should also go a long way to getting gamers playing as quickly as possible, but what does it mean for those who are still suffering from slow speeds or bandwidth caps?
To break the numbers down for you, a 50GB file will take approximately 24 hours on a 5Mbps line, 12 hours on a 10 Mbps connection and 2 and a half hours on a 50Mbps line - numbers which aren't exactly conducive to speedy play. Even if you're fortunate enough to be on a super fast fiber connection, there's still the concern of bandwidth caps. Those of you limited to around 100GB per month will be lucky to download a couple of games on top of your usual internet use, making even more of a case for switching to an unmetered service provider, although if throttling is an issue where you live, the time taken to download larger files could well exceed the numbers above.
Whatever your connection, though, it's going to be a hard sell for Sony and Microsoft to encourage people to download AAA titles this generation, at least initially, so perhaps it's time to reacquaint yourself with your local games emporium ahead of the PS4 and Xbox One launches!