If there’s one thing that PlayStation 4 owners almost universally complain about, it’s the download speeds that you get when grabbing games and patches through the PlayStation Network. It’s seemingly impossible to achieve full usage of your available bandwidth even at the best of times, but now Sony have stated that they’re going to make things even slower.
Now, in fairness, they are doing this for a good reason and in lockstep with other online services that consume a lot of bandwidth. With the Covid-19 coronavirus forcing more and more countries around the world into lockdown, there’s greater pressures on each home’s internet service, as people are streaming TV shows and films, teleconferencing into work, playing games, and so much more at all times of day.
European governments had already nudged video streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime to reduce their bandwidth usage, which they did towards the end of last week, and now Sony are following suit for game-related downloads.
However, while it might take longer to get your game installed to your console, actually playing should be relatively unaffected. Outside of Google Stadia and Geforce Now, online gaming is closer to regular internet browsing in bandwidth requirements than it is streaming something in 4K.
President and CEO of SIE Jim Ryan penned the statement that was posted to the PlayStation blogs:
Playing videogames enables players all over the world to connect with friends and family and enjoy much-needed entertainment during these uncertain times. Sony Interactive Entertainment is working with internet service providers in Europe to manage download traffic to help preserve access for the entire Internet community.
We believe it is important to do our part to address Internet stability concerns as an unprecedented number of people are practising social distancing and are becoming more reliant on Internet access.
Players may experience somewhat slower or delayed game downloads but will still enjoy robust gameplay. 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.
Source: EU PS Blog