Sony today announced it was making a change to its PlayStation downloads in the US, mirroring a similar change in Europe earlier this week. Namely, it’s going to slow down or delay gameplay downloads in an attempt to help manage traffic during this time of social isolation.
Since we’re all spending more time inside, working from home, and perhaps playing video games more than average (all day Doom Eternal binges in my house), we’re putting a strain on our internet. So multiple companies are taking measures to preserve it, and Sony says its contribution will only be noticeable in the download speeds: “Players may experience somewhat slower or delayed game downloads but will still enjoy robust gameplay.”
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said in a statement: “We believe it is important to do our part to address internet stability concerns as an unprecedented number of people are practicing social distancing and are becoming more reliant on internet access… We appreciate the support and understanding from our community, and their doing their part, as we take these measures in an effort to preserve access for everyone.”
Sony would join the likes of Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and Facebook in doing something to help maintain steady internet flow — in the case of all the other sites, it’s lowering the quality of their video so as not to take up too much streaming bandwidth. Online gaming doesn’t require the same amount of data, so it shouldn’t be throttled like downloads will be. We’ve no word yet on whether Microsoft and Nintendo will do the same for its downloads.
So basically if you’re downloading a game or any updates, it might take even longer than it ordinarily does — which, if you’ve ever spent an afternoon waiting to play a game on your PS4, sounds kind of torturous. But everyone’s making sacrifices to help maintain the integrity of the internet.