What You’ll Learn

The new PlayStation 5 and Xbox X consoles coming out this holiday season are bandwidth hogs. Broadband providers need to educate their customers before Christmas mornings are ruined by slow connections!

Guest Speaker

Brian Lazenby and Zach Moore

Show Notes

Transcripts have been lightly edited for clarity and readability.

Andy Johns: What do broadband providers need to know about the new gaming systems coming out? That’s what we’ll be talking about on this episode of StoryConnect: The Podcast. My name is Andy Johns, your host with WordSouth. And I’m joined today by two other WordSoutherners, as we say. Brian Lazenby is on with us. Brian is a copywriter for WordSouth. Brian, thanks for being on here.

Brian Lazenby: Yeah, no problem. Thanks for having me.

Andy Johns: And our other guest today is Zach Moore. Zach is the Digital Media Manager at WordSouth and kind of our resident game expert or enthusiast. So, Zach, thanks for joining me.

Zach Moore: I’m happy to be here. “Expert” is a bit of a strong word, but I’ll take it.

Andy Johns: All right. So Zach has played something more recent than Nintendo 64, which is about where my game experience stops. So how about that for your qualifications there. You played something newer the Nintendo 64, right?

Zach Moore: Yeah, a little bit, yeah.

Andy Johns: Alright, great. Well, I appreciate you guys taking time to be on here. WordSouth has developed and released some content for you guys at wordsouth.com/gamers. If you go there, you’ll be able to log in and get some information. We’ve got a FAQ for your CSR folks, your member services folks, to be able to talk about the new game systems that are out. We’ve got a blog post. We’ve got a video and a couple of social media images just so you can help educate folks. But the folks that put that [information] together are Brian and Zach, and I wanted to bring them on to talk a little bit about it and deliver a little bit more information to podcast listeners about what the systems are.

Andy Johns: So, Brian, what are some of the basics? What is happening with the game systems that are coming out this fall? And what are some of the things that folks in the broadband provider space need to know about them?

Brian Lazenby: Well, the I guess the game systems that are coming out this fall are really going to rely heavily on cloud-based gaming, which will give users instant access to hundreds of games with 4K resolution with a subscription service that gives them access to an entire catalog of hundreds of games. The downside to this, though, is it really monopolizes your bandwidth.

Andy Johns: Got it. Now those systems that are coming out, Zach, it’s the PlayStation 5 and then the Xbox X. What kind of a seismic shift is this? Is this going to be “the” Christmas gift of the season? How high are anticipation levels for these new systems coming out?

Zach Moore: Well, it’s certainly what I’m asking for, for Christmas, but I suppose that’s just me.

Andy Johns: Make sure you’ve been good enough this year.

Zach Moore: I think I’ve been good. But I mean, the anticipation level, particularly in my social circles, are very, very high. The main thing that I’m hearing people talk about and the main thing that I’m excited about is 4K. The fact that these games are going to be available in a super, super high definition. And even if people, as Brian was saying, these consoles — and it seems like in the next generation their developers — are going to be trying to lean into, like, cloud-based sort of services. And even for people who are not ready to use that yet, these games and 4K are enormous files. So really, the you know, the thing that people need to be aware of is that people are no longer really going and buying game cartridges, game disks, or anything like that. They’re downloading digital files of these games. So, you know, that’s going to monopolize a whole lot of bandwidth while you’re downloading, even if you’re not playing online.

Andy Johns: Got it, so, Brian, let’s talk through the scenario in terms of what telcos or broadband providers can do to kind of educate their folks. Because we’re looking at — I don’t know if it’s going to ruin Christmas morning, but, you know, if somebody has been better than Zach, or good enough anyway to get one of these game systems under the tree on Christmas morning, and they plug it into a 5 or 10Mbps connection, they’re probably not going to be happy with the results, from what I understand.

Brian Lazenby: No, I think they’re going to be really disappointed. You know, like I was saying earlier, it really eats up your bandwidth. And I think they require, or they suggest, a minimum of 35Mbps, but that’s solely for gaming. If someone’s in another room wanting to stream a movie or do something else, that’s going to really cause problems.

Andy Johns: So what would you suggest then, Brian, for some of the things that the telcos can be doing right now to try to save Christmas?

Brian Lazenby: Well, I think just to make sure everyone understands that to get the optimum experience from these, they’re going to need a fast, fast connection and not just your bandwidth, but your router as well. As far as you know, you’re using this on a wireless system, then you might to need to upgrade your router as well.

Andy Johns: Got it. Some of the recommendations, I believe had even said to go ahead and try to hard wire it if there’s any way to do that. Just to get that little extra speed out of there. But, Zach, if folks are having trouble with just the concept of what cloud gaming is, you know, we’re familiar with with online gaming where folks can connect and play with other folks that’s been around for quite a while. But how would you describe cloud gaming to somebody who’s not familiar with it?

Zach Moore: Netflix for video games, essentially. Rather than putting a disc into a drive and playing a game that way, you are going directly — on your local system, there is no game. It all exists on the cloud. So your upload and download speeds have to be exponentially high for something like that to work. And really if you have much interference from anywhere else in your house, it’s going to be a problem. If I try to do any cloud-based gaming, it will certainly be hard wired.

Andy Johns: Plug in the port directly into the system.

Zach Moore: Exactly, yeah.

Andy Johns: Got it, yes, so gone are the days when the game cartridge wouldn’t work, and you take it out of the system, you blow on it a little bit and kind of slap it on your knee, put it back in there and see if it works. You’re saying that’s probably not going to work anymore with cloud gaming?

Zach Moore: Well, I still do that out of habit, but it doesn’t really help, so.

Andy Johns: Ok, fair enough. Fair enough. All right. Any thoughts from either of y’all as we wrap up here? Anything, Brian, that we didn’t cover or that we need to talk about in terms of what folks need to know? I know that Zach touched on it there, but sounds like the upload speeds are going to be important as well. I don’t know if we stressed that, but anything else to add, Brian, as we wrap up here?

Brian Lazenby: Um, I don’t think there’s anything else. Just understand, if you want to use the cloud-based games, it means you’re going to have to be sure that you’ve got a fast bandwidth and a better driver.

Andy Johns: It’ll hopefully a good opportunity for some broadband providers to get some upgrades and maybe some additional sales there. Zach, anything to add?

Zach Moore: I would just add that with every console generation release, there’s always a lot of hype around it. People who maybe have not necessarily played video games in a long time get excited about a new console generation so they start to pick it up as well. So it’s possible that there’s going to be a lot of conversation surrounding it. That might be something to capitalize on.

Andy Johns: Excellent, and those fiber networks with the upload speed are really going to make a big difference. Somebody is on satellite or anything like that, the upload speeds are terrible and that sort of thing. So really it’s an opportunity for those high speed fiber networks to shine, as long as you make sure that your customers, your members who are going to be getting into the new consoles, that they are aware that they may need to upgrade the speeds. So I appreciate you guys being on. Brian, thanks for joining us.

Brian Lazenby: Glad to be here.

Andy Johns: Zach, thanks for joining us as well, lending some of your expertise there. And I appreciate your time.

Zach Moore: Thanks for having me.

Andy Johns: And I appreciate you guys out there listening. We’ve got a couple more episodes coming up the rest of the year, but I hope you have enjoyed this one. Hope it helps you be prepared for this new revolution in gaming. And until we talk again, keep telling your story.