PS4 vs XBO downloads

Can confirm. Have both systems and buy digital games on both, Xbox One downloads are super fast, PS4 downloads take forever. If you set up your PS4 to download in the background and put it into rest mode they do go faster, but they are still way slower than they should be and much slower than Xbox One, even if I’m playing an online multiplayer game on the Xbox while downloading the new game.

PS4 also has that weird thing when it downloads game updates where it seems to be calculating some kind of patch delta (“Preparing to Download” status), which you would think would be a good thing because the service download speeds are so slow, but whatever they do to “prepare for download” can literally take hours sometimes. I’ve had similar size Destiny updates/DLC pulling to both systems at the same time and the Xbox One will download the patch and have it installed in like 5 minutes and the PS4 will still be “Preparing to Download” like an hour later, and then when the download finally starts it’ll be another 30-45 minutes.

Supposedly PS4 downloads speed up dramatically if you use a local proxy. Not tried it myself though.

I have tried this and it works pretty well. I pulled down some free software and while it’s running my PC’s IP can be set up as a proxy, very easy to do. The only potential drawback is it is theorized it could cause problems while playing multiplayer, but I don’t even pay for PS+ membership, so I leave it up at all times so even software updates are fast. Not Steam levels of fast, but a massive upgrade over not having a proxy setup.

To quote myself from the FXII thread -

So the proxy absolutely worked in my case, big difference. I used a docker based solution but there are easier ways probably, that was just convenient for me. See the link to reddit and a bunch more info if you want to do it yourself.

thanks for the link. i will definitely do it. i have a 150mbps connection that it seems to be barely using 20mbps of.

Yes, Sony’s network is pretty much garbage in this regard.

Ya, I’ve seen this too… It’s absurd.
Sometimes, you can get it to go faster if you stop and restart it. No idea what the hell it is doing, or why this speeds it up, but it does.

After reading those instructions, I may notice the slow download speeds, but it’s clear I don’t want quicker downloads enough. Not nearly enough.

Is using a proxy actually making a noticeable difference to foreground downloads for anyone with the current firmware? That’s exactly the kind of networking mystery that I’d enjoy troubleshooting, but my experiments so far have failed to reproduce slow foreground / rest mode downloads. Background downloads are indeed slow as fuck, and for a reason where a local proxy would help.

When was the last firmware? I downloaded FFXII a few weeks ago and ran the download entirely in the foreground. The proxy took me from 4 hours to 20 minutes.

Looks like the most recent updates were:

  • 4.73 on August 02
  • 4.72 on July 12th
  • 4.71 on June 22nd

So you would not have been on quite the latest, but pretty close. It’s certainly recent enough that I’m happy to believe Sony didn’t just silently fix the issue. (The reports I could find of a proxy helping were from last year or early this year, which suggested the opposite). So it should be worth my time to dig into this a bit more. Thanks!

After filling the PS4 hard drive with a ton of F2P schlock, I’m pretty sure I understand what’s going on. It doesn’t matter if the download is in the foreground or not. All that matters is what programs are running in general.

  • If there’s an online game (or badly written single player game) running, the speeds will get cut by a factor of 100.
  • If there’s any app (e.g. Netflix, Youtube, etc) or other kind of game running, the download speeds will be cut by a factor of 5.

Doesn’t matter if they’re active, or even if the machine is in rest mode. If there’s something else than the download running, the PS4 will artificially slow down the download.

It’s really stupid that background apps / games would have any effect. And it’s made worse by the PS4 making it hard to figure out what’s running, and apps possibly being running on power-up due to having been suspended when going to rest mode.

For all the tedious details:

Neat analysis. Sony really fudged this one up good.

That’s all kinds of crazy. I was definitely in the ‘no, a proxy shouldn’t help your download speeds’ camp but decided to try it anyway and yeah, all kinds of crazy.

That definitely matches my experience, although I didn’t have it quite so nicely quantified. Nice work and very nice write up.

@jsnell Saw you made Hacker News:

Random comment from the thread -

Totally unrelated but: Dang it must be awesome to have a service that people dissect at this level. This analysis is more in depth and knowledgable than anything I’ve ever seen while employed at large companies, where people are literally paid to spend time on the product.

I didn’t pick up that our own jsnell wrote it! Excellent work!

So it seems one of the “solutions” to make sure any app or game running is manually closed and not just suspended to get decent speeds?

Is “our” jsnell the same one that writes for Macworld?

Right; suspending apps/games does nothing. The only thing that matters for this particular bottleneck is whether they’re open in at least some form,

No, it’s someone else.

That’s exactly what I pointed out in the very first reply in this thread two weeks ago.