Surge in Xbox Live and iTunes traffic identified

Sandvine identified a surge in Xbox Live and iTunes traffic on North American broadband networks following the release of new Xbox games and iTunes 7.

Through the use of its broadband network solution, Sandvine observed an 80% increase in the number of Xbox Live users across a sampling of North American-based broadband service providers' networks during the first week following the release of six new Xbox games.

On November 7, 2006, Microsoft released six new games for Xbox, including the highly anticipated release of Gears of War, which sold 1-million copies in the first two weeks.

This spike in Xbox Live traffic following the launch of a highly anticipated game is reminiscent of Halo II's release in 2004, marking the first boom in online gaming and resulting in the sustainable popularity of Xbox Live.

On September 12th, Apple released iTunes 7, enabling users to download full feature-length films onto their iPods. Based on data available to Sandvine at that time, North American broadband service providers saw an approximate 140% peak increase attributed to iTunes bandwidth usage in the wake of this release.