• PlayStation download speeds have been slowed and delayed in Europe in order to reduce the strain on service providers in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Sony announced this week that those slowdowns are coming to the US as well.
  • YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, and others have reduced the quality of their video streams.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

One of the unforeseen consequences of a global pandemic in the 21st century is that everyone is suddenly going to be working at home, putting a strain on internet service providers that never planned for such a catastrophe. In order to help relieve some of that strain, many services, including YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon, have reduced the quality of their default video streams. Sony joined in as well earlier this week by slowing and delaying game downloads on PlayStation in Europe, and now the same measures are coming to the United States.

“Playing videogames enables players all over the world to connect with friends and family and enjoy much needed entertainment during these uncertain times,” SIE President and CEO Jim Ryan said in a blog post earlier this week. “Sony Interactive Entertainment is working with internet service providers in Europe to manage download traffic to help preserve access for the entire internet community.”

In an update to that blog post, Ryan announced that the US will see a similar slowdown going forward:

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.

Everyone is having to make sacrifices as the novel coronavirus continues to spread, and some are more significant than others. Not being able to download games at full speed, especially when you’re stuck at home for weeks on end with little else to do, is not ideal, but if it means that someone else can get their work done and stay employed, it’s not a difficult choice for most of us to make. But the choice has now been made for us.

That said, it will be intriguing to see the effect on upcoming game releases. For example, Final Fantasy VII Remake is scheduled to launch on April 10th, but providing there’s not a miraculous cure discovered within the next two weeks, a huge percentage of people that buy the game will do so digitally. If FF7 Remake is as large as this leak suggests, it’s going to take some people days to download the full game. Patience is a virtue.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.