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Odds on a Global Netflix Outage and PlayStation Network / Xbox Live Crash

JJ De La Torre

by JJ De La Torre in News

Updated Apr 23, 2020 · 12:51 PM PDT

Netflix TV logo
Can Netflix survive the increase of social distancing users during the Coronavirus outbreak? Photo by freestocks [Wiki Commons].
  • Since quarantining and social distancing practice have taken effect, home entertainment platforms are seeing a massive increase in users
  • Streaming services and gaming system networks have seen plenty of new accounts created since January
  • Will any of these platforms face an outage as people stay home and strain Internet bandwidths?

With much of the global population staying home during the coronavirus pandemic’s massive outbreak, entertainment options are limited.

It’s no surprise that folks have taken to the Internet for ways of passing the time. But this impact is more than just a few people scrolling through the news, it’s streaming services and gaming that’s testing bandwidths.

Since home media is currently the main option for the entire planet to pass the time, platforms such as Netflix, Xbox Live, and Playstation Network are seeing an increase of users. Will the increase overwhelm the capacity these services can accommodate?

Odds on a Netflix Outage in the Next 30 Days

Outcome Odds
Yes +2000
No -10000

All odds taken March 19

Netflix’s user count is high on any day of the year. Whether you have an account or borrow your roommate’s, it seems everyone has a login at this point. Add into the mix the current worldwide self-quarantine structure and you’ve got a whole lot more binging going on.

Data isn’t available to the public about just how much bandwidth is being used by Netflix subscribers in the midst of this health crisis. However, the impact is large enough for organizations including the European Union to call for Netflix to make some changes to prevent a crash.

The EU has asked for people and companies to “#SwitchToStandard”, asking people to lower the resolution of their streaming from high definition to standard.

YouTube video

Netflix is looking into ways to accommodate the impact of increased users, but say they already adjust the quality of streams in relation to available network capacity. Netflix also has a system of moving its library closer to users in some areas to shrink bandwidth consumption.

With Netflix stocks on the rise and new account registration up since January, COVID-19 seems to be impacting Netflix positively.

Since social distancing has been put in place, Netflix has proven a great way to connect during the virus outbreak. Some browser extensions like Chrome’s Netflix Party allows people to feel closer to loved ones even if they’re not in the same room.

Netflix is one of the biggest companies in the world at this point, though. No doubt they’re watching this situation carefully, delegating teams to ensure capacity success, and likely going to make it out of Coronavirus mania with more users sans crash.

Pick: No (-10000)

Odds on Which Gaming Service Will Be Next to Crash

Online Gaming Service Odds
XBox Live -130
Playstation Network Even

For those who prefer to game instead of just watch, now is a great time to increase those skills as well. With platforms such as XBox Live and Playstation Network, hardcore gamers can dial in and play with and against friends and fellow geeks via WiFi.

But these platforms have certain bandwidths as well. So far, XBox Live users experienced some connectivity issues in the midst of increased user-ship. Certainly nowhere as bad as Nintendo, but still.

Given that Playstation Network’s servers have proven to be more sturdy and capable during recent weeks, it’s easier to imagine they can keep the ship steadier than XBox moving forward. Perhaps neither will crash at all, but XBox Live seems to be the more fragile of the two.

Pick: XBox Live (-130)

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