Gears made Live more popular

Says insightful research firm.

Some people who count Internets have reported that Xbox Live usage went up 80 per cent in the US after the release of Viva Piņata.

(And Gears of War, obviously - but let's be honest about who did what.)

Sandvine Incorporated says it observed the jump in usage across a sampling of American broadband service providers shortly after 7th November, which saw Gears, Piņata and four other 360 games ship to stores.

It's comparing the leap in popularity of the online gaming service to the one it noticed after the launch of Halo 2 in 2004.

"The effect Gears of War and other games are having on networks indicates to service providers that online gaming is not just a craze," says Sandvine president and CEO Dave Caputo, who has an excellent, moogle-esque name.

"Their networks must be equipped to protect this increasingly valuable traffic from the effects of a best-effort network," he gobbledegooked.

"Other multimedia applications like video downloads onto iPods are increasingly becoming popular, so service providers need to identify these trends early in order to proactively ensure there is adequate capacity to support the extra bandwidth usage," Caputo concluded.

Too right. For more on Gears of War, pick up a fistful of mud and look for the nearest person whose shoulders are less than six feet across.

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