1UP: Bandwidth Caps Will Change Online Gaming - Narrowband

1UP writes: "One day, games will depart the physical world, existing only as data on a storage device, downloaded like everything else. It's inevitable. And with the ever-growing popularity of digital distribution services like Valve's Steam, Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade, and Sony's PlayStation Network, that future seems to be near. Freed from the constraints of shelf space and the enormous cost of physical distribution, game developers will have a chance to explore ideas that never could've turned a profit at $60 on a Best Buy shelf. We've already seen it happen with last year's (partially) Steam-distributed hit Portal and the currently in-vogue Xbox Live Arcade puzzler Braid.

Recently, however, that future's hit a speed bump. Broadband Internet providers, the folks you pay every month for unfettered access to the online world, are reconsidering the way they do business. In order to save us all from the movie-pirating bandwidth hogs -- who, broadband-service providers contend, are gumming up everyone else's good time -- many companies are testing or implementing limits on their broadband services. Time Warner's currently experimenting with 5-to-40GB caps in Beaumont, TX, charging customers a buck for every gig they download over the limit. Canadian cable operator Rogers has already implemented a system with a hierarchy of caps -- the lowest of which dead-ends at 2GB -- that charges customers between $1.25 and $5 per GB for excess downloads. Comcast is looking into a more generous, yet precedent-setting, 250GB cap. All signs point toward a shift away from the heyday of all-you-can-download to an Internet that charges by the YouTube video."

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Ozzyb5281d ago

This story needs to get approved, so we can talk about how much BULL this is. If this happens wave "bye-bye" to online gaming for the most part.

sa_nick5280d ago

It wont ruin online gaming at all, just digital distribution.

This "pay by the GB" system is all that we have in Australia and we dont have any problems playing online games.

My friend signed up with Telstra (Aussie phone company with a huhg monopoly) and in 1 month downloaded 9GB, they tried charging him $1700 for it because he was on a 200MB/month plan.

I pay $70 a month for 40GB of downloads, and that's pretty reasonable down here.

JoySticksFTW5280d ago

And THIS is yet another reason why physical media isn't going bye-bye just yet.

Digital Distribution is the future?

Good luck downloading a Hi-def uncompressed version of your favorite movie, along with the newest next-gen games, and some music. And oh yeah, actually playing online games like CoD, Warhawk, Halo, or KZ - let alone ultra timesinks like LOTRo, WoW, FFXI, and Age of Conan.

You do that, and most likely you're gonna get hit with a FAT the over-limit bill

Hububla5280d ago

I get alot of my PC games off of steam now.. and they are only getting bigger!! i mean i downloaded medieval total war over a year and a half ago and it was 11 gigs!! and empire total war comes out in February its prolly gunna be at least 15-20 gigs... man...

rroded5281d ago

yep tho this is every internet providers wet dream what a cash cow.

kwicksandz5280d ago

In Australia we already have bandwith caps. you basically download your stuff during your plans offpeak allowance or from your ISP so it doesnt count toward your cap. gamers dont go over caps, torrents do.

Reibooi5281d ago

Yeah this is definitely worth a read and something to think about and perhaps fear from the future. If alot of internet company's implement caps then we can say good bye to the average use of the internet as we now know it.

pixelsword5281d ago

...and I will get rid of cable for good.

silvacrest5280d ago

if all broadband providers did this there would be at least one that would see the potential in providing unlimited downloads

that would be the only one i would go for tbh even if it was more expensive. i have had internet with caps before so....never again

ice_prophecy5281d ago

Welcome to Australia's Internet. Lots of Caps.

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