With a lot of people staying home during the coronavirus outbreak, there’s been an increased demand for internet bandwidth as well. Some companies have been doing what they can to curb this increased usage; for instance, YouTube has announced that it will automatically downgrade some videos to standard definition to save on bandwidth. Sony announced something similar, announcing earlier this week that it would slow or delay some downloads in Europe.
That announcement was made on Tuesday, March 24th, and today, Sony said that it will begin doing the same thing in the US. It announced this through an update to original post on the PlayStation Blog:
UPDATE: Beginning today, we will take similar measures in the United States, and we will continue to take appropriate action to do our part to help ensure internet stability as this unprecedented situation continues to evolve. We are grateful for the role we play in helping deliver a sense of community and entertainment in these very trying times. Thank you again for your support, your patience, and for being part of the PlayStation community. Please stay home and stay safe.
While this new policy is in effect, Sony says that players may “experience somewhat slower or delayed game downloads but will still enjoy robust gameplay.” So, essentially, stable multiplayer connections will take precedence over fast game downloads.
Obviously, throttling game downloads isn’t exactly ideal, but if it means that it conserves bandwidth in this time of high usage, then it’s worth slowing them down a little bit. If nothing else, it’s probably better for Sony to manage game download speeds and timing than it is for the company to begin de-prioritizing multiplayer connections.
Since the pandemic is ongoing, this kind of download management isn’t likely to end soon. We’ll nevertheless keep an eye out for an update from Sony, and we’ll let you know when one comes around the bend.