Deploy360 10 October 2013

Microsoft: The Best Xbox One Gaming Experience Will Be Over IPv6

By Dan YorkDirector, Internet Technology

Xbox One and IPv6Do you want the best gaming experience using the upcoming Xbox One console from Microsoft?  If so, you should ask your network operator if you can get IPv6!  Or, if you are a network operator, you should look at rolling out IPv6 to your customers!

Yesterday at NANOG 59 in Phoenix, Arizona, Microsoft’s Chris Palmer explained that the Xbox One gaming console uses IPv6 for the peer-to-peer (p2p) communication between gamers.   His slides are now available from the NANOG site and they walk through the IPv6 support and the rationale for the continued use of the Teredo transition technology so that Xbox One will work over IPv4.  (The video is also included below.)

A key point on Palmer’s second slide is this:

Network operators that want to provide the best possible user experience for Xbox One users:

  • Provide IPv6 Connectivity
  • Allow transition technologies such as Teredo to function
  • Allow for IPsec transport mode to function

So… if you are a network operator and you want your gaming customers using the Xbox One to have the best possible gaming experience, make IPv6 available to your customers! (Find out how to get started with IPv6)

I learned of this talk through a post via Wes George in the Google+ IPv6 community and there has been some discussion there.  There has also been a good bit of discussion in the IPv6-ops mailing list (to which you can subscribe if you are interested) with concerns being raised about the continued usage of Teredo and the challenges of using that particular transition technology.  Christopher Palmer answered some of the questions and also pointed to a more detailed technical document about the Xbox One and IPv6 available in Word form from Microsoft’s web site. Dan Wing also pointed out that there are other similar P2P usage of IPv6 such as Apple’s Back To My Mac (documented in RFC 6281) and Microsoft’s Direct Access.

Even with the concerns this is definitely a great step forward in getting more consumer electronics not only IPv6-enabled but actively using IPv6 in their operations.  Kudos to Christopher Palmer and the rest of the Microsoft team for making this happen!

The video of Christopher Palmer’s presentation is also available for viewing:

Now… can we get the rest of the gaming consoles to please work over IPv6?   And will this move encourage more network operators to get serious about rolling out IPv6 to their customers?

UPDATE: This post seems to have attracted some attention and there are some interesting discussion threads over on Hacker News and also over on Reddit.

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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