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Networking PlayStation (Games) Wii XBox (Games) Entertainment Games

Console Download Speeds Tested 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the fun-transfer-protocol dept.
MTV's Multiplayer blog tested and compared the download speeds of games on the Wii, the Xbox 360, and the PS3. They tested a variety of scenarios, with the PS3 most often coming out on top. The Xbox 360 took first in one test, but in that situation it was using a wired connection while the other two were not. The Wii consistently came in on the slower side, taking last place in all but one test. The PS3 ranged from .44 to .79 MB/sec, the Xbox 360 from .26 to .86 MB/sec, and the Wii from .30 to .55 MB/sec. What have your experiences been with console download times?
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Console Download Speeds Tested

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  • by DavidR1991 (1047748) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:36AM (#26706083) Homepage

    Unless download speeds are tested locally somehow, how can this possibly be accurate? They're downloading the same game, sure, but being served by completely different content providers, and presumably, completely different servers

    I think the headline they're looking for is "PS3 managed to connect to faster content provider".

    • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:58AM (#26706247)
      As long as that's understood from the beginning, that's a perfectly legitimate test. They're testing the difference in download speed for the entire stack, not just the console itself. Since most people are going to look at the speed of the console downloading from the company's servers anyway, this is a completely valid measure.
      • by dhavleak (912889)
        Perhaps legitimate, but definitely pointless.. does anyone actually care about the download speed of games? Download speeds for movies is much more important -- and that's where testing the whole stack end to end would really mean something.
        • by Noirling (1468781)
          I certainly care about download speeds whenever I get shotgunned in the face in COD 4.
          • by dhavleak (912889)

            But TFA wasn't measuring that.

            TFA measured time to download games. Bandwidth and latency are the factors that will affect your COD4 lagging experience -- this will differ depending on who is host, what connection each person has, geographical locations of players in the party, etc. There is no connection between TFA and you getting a shotty in the face.

      • by brkello (642429)
        It isn't legitimate since the results only matter if you are in the exact same location that the tests are conducted. It is legitimate to them alone and irrelevant to everyone else reading their results.
    • Maybe you didn't "knowtice" that this article is from the great minds behind MTV.

      I think Jack Thompson has more scientific clout than the nobs at MTV.

  • Professional... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zombietangelo (1394031) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:36AM (#26706089)
    So three different consoles, all downloading from different servers, on different networks, with different network configurations... and they're not even downloading the same data. How, exactly, does this provide ANY sort of statistical value?
    • by palegray.net (1195047) <philip...paradis@@@palegray...net> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:39AM (#26706111) Homepage Journal
      Look, if it doesn't make sense to you, you obviously haven't had enough to drink. Have three more shots, wait fifteen minutes, and read the article again.
    • Re:Professional... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by philspear (1142299) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @04:25AM (#26706391)

      So three different consoles, all downloading from different servers, on different networks, with different network configurations... and they're not even downloading the same data.

      Except that it appears each of the three consoles were tested from the same network, and repeated on different networks (unless I'm on crack again.)

      The other differences are exactly what you would want to test. I don't care if the wii is actually blazing fast at downloading but nintendo's servers are extremely slow, to me that's summed up as "Dowloading is slow on the wii."

      Note that I'm not certain I have servers straight from networks, and if I am in fact getting the two mixed up, I have a "I told you I was no expert" I'll use. And the aforementioned crack problem doesn't help. But the article does seem interesting to me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      Statistical? None. It does not show whether the connection speed of the Wii is in any way inferior to the one of the PS3. But how does this matter?

      If your question is "what console should I pick if I don't want to wait long to play the downloadable games for this console", it gives you sensible information. Whether the question is sensible is another thing, though.

      The first thing you learn in statistics is that it's all in how you ask, and what question you ask. Even the most braindead statistics can be mad

      • by rjstanford (69735)

        Actually, for that to be useful, it should include the average size of the most common games as well. Since Wii games may well be smaller than PS3/360 games (lower res graphics, &c), this could also make a difference. Anyway, if it was measured in "seconds per game" I'd agree with you. By measuring it in seconds per meg, they failed to meet your criteria.

      • by Nursie (632944)

        If your question is "what console should I pick if I don't want to wait long to play the downloadable games for this console",

        Then given the sub 1MB/s of all of them, the answer is "none".

        Unfortunately.

    • I don't EVER want to hear of another story on slashdot that begins with "MTV dah dah dah dah dah".

      No! That's a bad slashdotter! Bad! We do that outside!

      Seriously I thought this was an intellectual community - nobody cares about mtv

      and it wasn't even tagged "troll" or "flamebait"? wtf?!
      • by Malevolyn (776946)

        Seriously I thought this was an intellectual community

        wat ur srs? lolol

        nobody cares about mtv

        lol! ur silly. Ok, that one's actually true.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      My experience has been very contrary to this report. I have both a 360 and PS3, and downloads on the PS3 (especially in the early days) have been EXCRUCIATINGLY slow compared to my 360. Downloading a system update (and the PS3 is CONSTANTLY getting these, even if you just use it to watch blu-rays) is a HUGE pain in the ass on the PS3. It takes forever to download such an update (and that doesn't count the long install time and the fact that I always have to go find my game controller, since the PS3 won't re
      • Heh. I've had the opposite experience here. The PS3 system updates are for the f*cking DRM on Bluray that they keep changing. Home is an MMOG (not RPG); It is NOT a simple game. Downloading the SAME GAME for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 resulted in very similar speeds actually. The PS3 felt faster, but you never know, maybe it was because I was playing on it while it downloaded.
        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Heh. I've had the opposite experience here. The PS3 system updates are for the f*cking DRM on Bluray that they keep changing. Home is an MMOG (not RPG); It is NOT a simple game. Downloading the SAME GAME for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 resulted in very similar speeds actually. The PS3 felt faster, but you never know, maybe it was because I was playing on it while it downloaded.

          Maybe it's just what is updated? It seems that everytime there's a system update for the PS3 (monthly, practically), you'll be sitting

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cluke (30394)

          The PS3 system updates are for the f*cking DRM on Bluray that they keep changing.

          Nonsense [wikipedia.org]. Regardless of whether it is slow or not, this claim is just not correct. The last PS3 update added a photo viewer application for example. Another added trophy support. Another added in-game XMB. In fact, if you look at the list of what changed in the firmware update, Blu-rays are only rarely mentioned, and that is for non-DRM matters.

          What I am getting at is - PS3 firmware updates are a GOOD thing.

          • by drsquare (530038)

            Sorry, having to sit there for half an hour downloading and installing updates because I want a ten minute game of Fifa is not acceptable. It's bad enough I've bought the most expensive console on the market, was bait-and-switched with PS2 backward compatibility, have the worse controller of all three systems, as well as a shitty library of games, now I have a series of obligatory, interminable updates.

            In conclusion: fuck Sony.

  • Sure they downloaded the megaman 9 demo for each system, but that's 3 different file types on 3 different servers isn't it? they should have done the test by using their browsers to download a common file off a common server like a Linux Distro for a large file test and a few high res pictures of Tux for the small file tests. only then would it be a truly fair test.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      everyone knows the most unbiased test is how fast it downloads porn! what else is worth downloading?

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      The Wii doesn't even have a Megaman 9 demo... AFAIK the 360 doesn't have a webbrowser so that comparison wouldn't work either.

    • Sure they downloaded the megaman 9 demo for each system, but that's 3 different file types on 3 different servers isn't it?

      I don't know much about networks, so if the following is wrong or just nonsense, ignore it.

      Seems like that would answer which console itself downloaded the fastest, but that would be of purely academic value if the file types and servers themselves had a bigger and different effect. If the PS3 can download from a given server faster than the 360, that's nice, but if downloading something from XBLA is itself much faster than PSN, that really has no effect and doesn't matter to people like me. The test unde

  • by ragethehotey (1304253) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:39AM (#26706113)
    He is comparing the download of a demo of an emulated game for all three systems, all of which are "wildly different in size", as he admits in the article.

    Mega Man 9 demo, PS3: 63 MB -Mega Man 9 demo, Xbox 360: 88.7 MB -Mega Man 9 game, Wii: 8.3 MB

    How many times did he test? Four times, on 3 different peoples connections.

    FAIL.
    • by philspear (1142299) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:59AM (#26706259)

      Mega Man 9 demo, PS3: 63 MB -Mega Man 9 demo, Xbox 360: 88.7 MB -Mega Man 9 game, Wii: 8.3 MB

      Of course, he does account for that. He was following their discovery chronologically rather than a more straightforward story. First they downloaded the game and timed it, got some odd results, looked further, and realized the difference in sizes.

      Such a discovery calls for some long division, which yielded the following results:

      -Mega Man 9 download speed on PS3: .44 MB per second (1st place)
      -Mega Man 9 download speed on Xbox 360: .26 MB per second (3rd place)
      -Mega Man 9 download speed on Wii: .31 MB per second (2nd place)

      It doesn't matter that the file sizes were different, that was accounted for.

      Furthermore, all three systems appear to have been tested on each connection, not a PS3 on one connection, a 360 at another house, etc.

      Lastly the blog calls for more results. The most valid criticism of the findings is not the methodology but the low numbers, and the author appears to acknowledge that and is trying to do something about that.

      But by all means, heap abuse on him for daring to try to compare consoles quantitatively.

    • by mog007 (677810)

      FYI, Mega Man 9 isn't being emulated on the Wii. It's a native Wiiware title, that was ported to the 360 and PS3 a few days after release on the Wiistore.

    • by Inda (580031)
      Small file sizes like this are pretty pointless. I would have liked to have seen 1gb demo downloads as seen on the 360.

      Even then, using one connection, as I'm sure my 360 does, is not a great test. I can only max out my 20mbit connection (18.5mbit in the real world) by using 20+ connections. I'm yet to find one of these so-called bandwidth test sites that scores me higher than 10mbit - we all know how shite these sites are...

      A fuller test is in order.
      • Agreed. They should find some other large (750MB+) demo (is Burnout Paradise on the Wiistore?) and do that.
        • Well, it would have to be a bit smaller, as the Wii only has 512MB storage (512 minus space for saves and previously downloaded games).

          The largest files would probably be WiiWare titles (other than Mega Man X), or N64 games.
    • Mega Man 9 demo, PS3: 63 MB -Mega Man 9 demo, Xbox 360: 88.7 MB -Mega Man 9 game, Wii: 8.3 MB

      whaaaaaaaat.

      Nevermind the question of why a recreation of an NES-style game takes 8MB on the Wii, when on the original console the ROM would have been at maximum 1MB -- why, on the other two consoles, is the program size again 8 times larger? For just the DEMO?

      • On the PS3 and XB360 they improved the graphics and made it HD. On the Wii they improved the graphics a little and made it compatible with the Wii hardware. It IS emulated. The emulator is wrapped in the game file itself, so is not separate.
      • by powerlord (28156)

        why, on the other two consoles, is the program size again 8 times larger? For just the DEMO?

        Probably because the libraries for the other two consoles were bigger, creating a bigger minimum size for any game compiled for that platform.

        Also, for quite a few games the "demo" is the full game minus an unlock key (of one or two hundred K), so the whole game is there, but you can't play it until you pay for the "full game" which causes the system to generate an unlock key, and then download it and apply it to you

    • by ivan256 (17499)

      Not only that, but he used slow-ass connections. Neither the servers, nor the systems are likely to be the bottleneck in his tests. .86MB/sec? I've seen 2.2MB/sec downloading from PSN or Live. I'm sure if I had a faster connection (currently 25mbit) the downloads could be even faster.

  • MTV?!? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Xistenz99 (1395377)
    Always get my tech news from them......right
  • I suppose this could have been a more useless article...if perhaps it was spread across multiple pages in classic C|net style.

    I don't own any of the current-gen consoles, so perhaps someone could clue us in: are there serious frustrations with downloading content on the Wii, or for that matter any of the other consoles? I could see how there might be, depending on the way the content is actually delivered.

    • I don't own any of the current-gen consoles, so perhaps someone could clue us in: are there serious frustrations with downloading content on the Wii, or for that matter any of the other consoles?

      With the 360 and I think the PS3, there is background downloading, so it's not much of an issue. The wii, which happens to be the slowest in most of the tests and also the slowest in my house, does not. Downloading something means you can't use the wii while you're waiting. You do get to watch mario run and pick up coins and hit coin boxes as a 3 stage status bar, but that's about it. Kind of annoying, and makes everything you download seem a lot slower. It is interesting that it's not all in my head.

      I suppose this could have been a more useless article...if perhaps it was spread across multiple pages in classic C|net style.

      Y

    • I have a Wii, as my sig suggests, and downloading games is fairly slow on it. The games are pretty small but they take forever to download, and I've downloaded a lot so I've gone through the process many times. I also hate how they don't provide a goddamn progress bar, instead using a weird metric wherein Mario, or occasionally Luigi, runs and collects coins, presumably indicating the speed of the download, and occasionally he hits one of three blocks on the screen. Said blocks probably indicate the 1/3, 2/
      • I sometimes wish that the Wii had a better, multitasking OS with more complex features, but really, when I want that I play on my PC, which can do complex features and graphics better than any console.

        One might say that the Wii can multitask better than PCs. Don't believe me? Load Super Smash Bros. Brawl and a PC game that isn't FPS or RTS, and then try starting a 4-player match on each. Chances are that you'll need four machines and four monitors for the PC title and only one machine and (larger) monitor on the console.

        • But can you hook up four keyboards and four mice to a PC? No. It isn't designed for that.

          FYI 4 player split screen isn't multitasking. It's still one task. It's like having 4 tabs in firefox: 4 tabs, 1 task.

          And I can play Armagetron Advanced on my PC with 4 people. We hook up two keyboards (which both input as the same one) and put two people on a keyboard. We could probably get 8 or more if we really wanted to. My monitor is plenty big.
          • by tepples (727027)

            But can you hook up four keyboards and four mice to a PC?

            Yes, through a pair of USB hubs, one plugged into each front-panel USB port.

            No. It isn't designed for that.

            You mean Windows isn't designed for that. Your multiple keyboards show up as one because DirectInput makes it difficult to tell which device a mouse movement or keypress came from. But keyboards and mice aren't the only input devices for PCs, as I sort of hinted with my "isn't FPS or RTS". Four gamepads work just fine on Windows. My point was that few major PC game publishers want to take advantage of gamepads.

            FYI 4 player split screen isn't multitasking. It's still one task.

            Which of the several d

        • Well, that isn't what I had in mind, but I was talking about more like running multiple programs at once, although I think you knew that. But that's basically why I have my Wii, for when friends are over and don't have enough laptops to play starcraft or something. On an unrelated note, I had really been wishing they would bring 8 player gameplay to Brawl, with 4 Gamecube and 4 Wii controllers. They have that in Bomberman Blast, another excellent WiiWare title, and it's pretty crazy fun.
  • I still haven't wrapped my mind around broadband-connected consoles. Today's consoles look so much like computers. When I was a kid, network gaming meant having your friends crowd around an NES.

    That said, I plan on getting one for my next gaming platform. I'm tired of messing with system requirements and installs on the PC. I also like the idea of using a wireless controller, so I can lounge when gaming, taking a break from the "hunched over keyboard and mouse" posture that dominates my work week.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When I was a kid, network gaming meant having your friends crowd around an NES.

      No, that was just ordinary multiplayer gaming. It still exists. In particular, the Wii excels at it.

      The Xbox and PS3 also support local multiplayer, although they (especially the Xbox) tend to emphasize online multiplayer a lot.

      Both are great, for different reasons.

    • I still haven't wrapped my mind around broadband-connected consoles.

      I'll sum it up for you:

      "we, the console maker, want to charge you not only for the games, but also monthly, and make your games expire.

      We're also not too hot on what happened to the original xbox, so we'll be introducing this online content concept as a trojan horse so we can remotely destroy (as in physically) the memory cells containing any firmware which gets compromised to make sure XBMC never rears its ugly head again.

      Please enjoy this token mockery of a multimedia system we've included, and yes you ca

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        I've gotten all the updates for my Wii. They don't delete any homebrew content. I think they disabled a couple things, like programs that allow you to run pirated Wii games, but they pretty much left all the homebrew completely intact.
        • Same with the PS3. I can even rip blurays in Linux on there! But the XBox 360, when i modded the fan to keep it from RRODing again, wouldn't let me play online. So I changed it back. Now I can play online at the risk of RRODing. Im thinkin maybe it check the voltage/amperage of the fan in use....
        • I've gotten all the updates for my Wii. They don't delete any homebrew content. I think they disabled a couple things, like programs that allow you to run space shifted Wii games, but they pretty much left all the homebrew completely intact.

          Sorry, fair use is fair use. They're remotely disabling stuff on YOUR hardware. In any other circumstance you'd call that vandalism.

  • Wii may be slower downloads, but when the game is an 8th to a 10th smaller in size then the other consoles, you don't need to be that fast, in all the downloads, wii finished downloading an easy 3-4x faster then the other consoles, and in reality, that is what counts, I don't care if it's downloading slowly if it's coming across quickly, in most of the cases, it was 25-30 seconds for a full game download.
    • by Xest (935314)

      Even that doesn't count because although they're the same games they have different features.

      The 360 has XBox live integration and achievements for example, so it's not as if the game in question is even the same across all platforms.

      It really is the most pointless test ever, we're talking about effectively different games, for different hardware platforms, from different servers.

      We may as well compare the whiteness of the consoles and claim the PS3 is a failure because it's black, the Xbox comes second pla

      • by tepples (727027)

        The 360 has XBox live integration and achievements for example, so it's not as if the game in question is even the same across all platforms.

        Then it's a drawback of the Xbox 360 platform that the "live integration and achievements" inflate the download size by an order of magnitude. Is this stuff statically linked into every EXE or something?

        • by Xest (935314)

          No the difference is that Nintendo is effectively just sending you ROMs for emulators. XBox live titles are complete new versions.

          Nintendo effectively just takes old ROMs and just puts them up on the marketplace, live arcade games are actually built as new applications using the existing assets, sometimes offering whole new game modes and new graphics whilst keeping the classic modes and graphics available as options. On games like Sonic the Hedgehog for example you can now save, some people may not care ab

          • by tepples (727027)

            No the difference is that Nintendo is effectively just sending you ROMs for emulators.

            The emulator is bundled with each ROM. Mega Man 9 isn't emulated anyway; it's a Wii-native game with NES graphics.

            live arcade games are actually built as new applications using the existing assets, sometimes offering whole new game modes and new graphics whilst keeping the classic modes and graphics available as options.

            You mean like Tetris Party or Dr. Mario Online Rx on WiiWare?

            Because some of the Nintendo titles are just ROMs I encounter issues where they just don't work right with HD screens also

            What you're seeing is 240p, which works on arcade monitors and most SDTVs but doesn't strictly conform to any TV-industry standard. Still, some of the Virtual Console emulators can line-double to 480p now.

            The other important point is that yeah, Doom on XBox live may well be 8 times bigger than it was on the PC but my net connection is over 150x as fast as my connection was back then

            You also didn't install Doom for PC by downloading it; it came on a disc.

            I'm just saying a negligible increase in download time is irrelevant compared to the benefits.

            Except for people who live in places where residential "bro

            • by Xest (935314)

              Rather than reply point by point, I'm interested to know more what you're getting at.

              Are you really saying you feel the Wii offers a superior DLC experience because although you pay the same amount and get much less for it (multiplayer modes, save game abilities, updated graphics, live integration, additional content, better product testing to ensure it works well with modern screens etc.) the content can be downloaded in say maybe 12minutes rather than 15minutes on even the slowest broadband connections? E

              • by tepples (727027)

                Are you really saying you feel the Wii offers a superior DLC experience

                No, just that it's not as inferior as some people make it out to be.

                I know you mentioned bandwidth caps too but I've yet to see an ISP wish such harsh caps

                Then you appear not to have read any Slashdot posts describing the Internet situation in the anglophone southern hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa).

                Perhaps I've misunderstood what you're getting at and your point is different

                Frankly, I'm starting to think Xbox Live > Wii Shop Channel because Xbox Live has XNA Creators Club and Community Games, while Wii has 23 Oct Updates and System Menu 3.4. But then for indie games, PC > all others anyway.

  • Usability (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I own both a Wii and an Xbox 360. To me the difference in download speeds doesn't matter very much, the important thing is the console's usability.

    If I download Mega Man 9 for the Wii, I have to sit there and watch a progress bar. (Okay, so the progress bar is disguised as Mario punching a bunch of bricks, which is cool, but I still have to wait.)

    If I download Mega Man 9 for the Xbox 360, I can go play a different Xbox game while MM9 is downloaded in the background. I get a nice little pop-up when the downl

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by wild_quinine (998562)

      I don't know how this works on the PS3.

      You can download in the background most of the time. It downloads slightly slower than the 360, according to TFA. It seems like that to me, but I do use wireless for the PS3 and wired for the 360, so I can be no judge.

      The download speed is not the issue on PS3. Whenever you download anything you have to install it, which takes about eight times as long as on the 360 and you can't do anything else whilst that's going on. That, combined with the necessity of installing some games before playing them (which

      • by powerlord (28156)

        I haven't found too many of the downloads too bad for the PS3 (the only exception was a couple of the Demos which were HUGE).

        One of the nice features they implemented "recently" (in the past few months) in the XMB updates for the PS3 is that once you've loaded up your download queue, you can go to the "shutdown" option (top of the user menu).

        It then asks you if it should wait and shut down after its finished downloading everything in your queue. In this case, downloading means installing also, so it will t

    • by tepples (727027)

      If I download Mega Man 9 for the Wii, I have to sit there and watch a progress bar.

      Or you pull out the DS Lite that you bought with the money you saved buying a Wii at launch price (250 USD) vs. buying an Xbox 360 at launch price (400 USD). At least Nintendo has a handheld; Microsoft hasn't really been pushing games on its handheld platforms (Pocket PC and Windows Mobile Smartphone) the way it has on its stationary platforms (Games for Windows and Xbox 360).

      If I download Mega Man 9 for the Xbox 360, I can go play a different Xbox game

      Unless the Xbox game isn't on the Xbox 360 backward compatibility list. Then you have to plug in an Xbox, just like Wii owners have t

  • Is this surprising that with the wii sold like hot cakes there are more people trying to access to Nintendo's download service at a given time than there are for the other two consoles ?

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.

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