NBN Makes It Impossible to Enjoy Console Gaming to the Fullest For Now

January 17, 2018
PS4 NBN Wireless

I am a casual gamer who owns a first generation Playstation 4. I am among the many households in VIC where the NBN’s fixed line connection does not apply despite our home is just a matter of blocks right outside the town blocks. The unavailability of fixed line means we are under the footprint of the NBN’s fixed wireless service and it’s not ideal for gaming.

When the Fixed Wireless rolled around and went live, 100GB $59.95 on a 25/5 monthly plans was an upgrade compared to our old ADSL line. The first few months were great. I was able to download system updates, game patches and indulge in some of the Downloadable Content (DLC) for games like Fallout 4, Destiny, Dragon Ball Xenoverse and NBA 2K.

But after a few months, this is where my problems start and it would be best if you turn away now as this is just a post about narrating how my current NBN service does not support how modern consoles work as of today. Am I not the privilege one right? While there are many problems you’ve read about how the NBN is a disservice to small businesses, local communities and often, households with service blackouts, I feel that gaming for leisure is somewhat affected.

This is how console gaming works today as the good old days of just popping up the CD and enjoying the game is long gone. Today’s games require patches in the form of bug fixes, optimization stability and extra content as a nod for buying the game. While there are DLCs to expand the game’s story of its overall replay value, they are optional.

Now to my problem; After a long week at work in the big city, I come back at home to check up with the folks and escape reality through titles such as Destiny and Elder Scrolls Online. I pop in the disc, try to log in to my PS4 account but it requires a system update right at the size of 5.5 GB. Without the system update, I won’t be able to connect online and play multiplayer nor access the PSN store. Ok, no problem, download it in the background. This is where it gets tricky as somehow, my internet access fluctuates in between. After a few hours, I’ve barely downloaded 10 per cent of the whole file size. I wish I could game all day long but I have to help the folks manage our shipped products.

Ok I’ll try this at night. But it does not get better as internet speed and download rate is worst during what we call as “peak time” where network congestion happens. So I’m stuck with a 25% downloaded game patch as the weekends just go by. Try again next week but it does not get better. On top of that, we have a data cap that I share with my folks and my sister – who also works in the big city. She is a media user based on streaming. My folks have their iPads for their downtime and managing our stocks, and the usage of our household contributes to the household network congestion.

A month ago, we upgraded to a 250GB plan with extra monthly charge but the speed is unreliable. So far, my patch remains in limbo and I’ve practically locked myself out of PSN and the how modern gaming is concerned. My NBA 2K roster is not updated nor my new titles like Assassin’s Creed Origins and Ni-Oh have outdated patch. To date, my Fallout 5 game (released in late 2015) has no DLC and it is way behind in terms of patch.

It seems that the NBN’s Fixed Wireless problems of congestion are not only exclusive to our area as other areas are affected too, and it is becoming a problem for many.

Rant over and game over for now.