Steam was just taken down by developer-and-publisher Valve for its usual maintenance where most players in North America were unable to access the digital platform for several hours.
Such outages are normal for not only Steam but other popular online platforms as well such as PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. However, while the latter console marketplaces are often believed to suffer more outages in comparison to the former, the reality suggests the complete opposite.
According to a study conducted by ToolTester a couple of weeks back, Steam has actually suffered more outages than PlayStation Network and Xbox Live over the past year in the United States.
Steam went down 99 times over the past year which may as well be a hundred after including the most recent maintenance period. Xbox Live on the other hand went down 63 times with PlayStation Network following with 49 outages in total.
Based on data shared, the number of outages impacted online gaming by 38 percent for Steam where players were unable to play any games. The same impact was 65 percent for Xbox Live and 23 percent for PlayStation Network.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has clearly come a long way since the PlayStation 3 era where outages were more regular than normal. PlayStation Network, at least in the past year alone, has been highly stable for online gaming. Xbox Live however not only saw more outages than PlayStation Network but was also prone to interrupt online gaming.
Steam was the second-highest online platform on the list in terms of number of outages, trumped only by Discord, which may be something for Valve to consider in the near future. The impact on its online servers though point out that players will often be able to play online without any issues compared to Xbox Live at least.
It should be noted that outages are not only caused by maintenance needs. There are also cyber attacks such as denial-of-service attack which can take down online gaming servers in a particular region.