Virgin Media is about to launch a new broadband tier that’s designed and marketed specifically for online gamers.
The new tier is called ‘Vivid 200 Gamer’, and offers exceptionally high download speeds of up to 200Mbps, and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. It’s available as an add-on to Virgin Media’s current top broadband package, and outranks every other tier in terms of upload speed.
Virgin Media says it designed the new tier in collaboration with a number of gaming organisations, including Gfinity, a leading eSports group in the UK. The connection is set to be totally unlimited, which means there won’t be an issue with download caps either – pwn away, folks.
“Vivid 200 Gamer takes our leading ultrafast broadband to boss-mode levels,” said Gregor McNeil, MD of Consumer at Virgin Media. “We understand the frustrations when it comes to lag, disconnects and bandwidth issues, so right fro the start we wanted to design a tier that builds on our superior connectivity to give gamers and streamers what they need.”
The new Vivid 200 Gamer package, which launches on September 1, costs an additional £5 per month on top of the existing Vivid 200 tariff – that normally offers download speeds of 200Mbps and upload speeds of 12Mbps.
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Virgin Media hopes that the boosted upload speeds will woo online gamers who want to livestream their gameplay on video services like YouTube or Twitch. It’s not a bad ploy, either; last year, Twitch users streamed an incredible 241 billion minutes of video, which amounts of around 459,000 years of footage. What’s more, recent Ofcom research has shown that 41% of internet users have played games online, and 23% play weekly – a figure that rises to 39% among 16-24 year olds.
Unfortunately, it’s not clear exactly how much of a boost in play performance Virgin Media’s new package will offer non-streaming gamers. After all, there’s no increase in download speeds which, at 200Mbps, are already high enough to support all gaming requirements. The real issues for gamers involves latency (delay in the transfer of data), which is largely out of a network provider’s control: high latency can be the result of distances between servers, routers, and a number of other external factors.
Still, if you want to livestream footage, having better upload speeds is no bad thing. You can pick up the new Vivid 200 Gamer add-on starting tomorrow.
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