During this time of self-quarantine, people are relying on online gaming more than ever to pass the time. This has lead to high volume usage of the PlayStation Network in places like Europe, and the uptick in users has led to a response from Sony’s President and CEO, Jim Ryan. In a post from PlayStations official blog site, Ryan acknowledges the situation and outlines their plans to maintain online services:
“…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 practicing 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…”
Different online service providers have taken similar initiatives to protect quality in this time of high volume usage. Companies like Facebook and YouTube have pledged to reduce video quality to counteract network congestion. Sony’s move will affect game download speeds, but it’s unsure if any of their other services will be affected. The priority for PlayStation users is online gameplay so slowing high-usage elements like game downloads is probably the best way to go. Online gameplay is also a less intensive connection in general as most information is handled by the console at that point.
European internet service providers don’t usually cap data usage. Meaning data usage is essentially unlimited to all clients, which can lead to strain when the service is congested. US companies tend to impose data limits, but the international nature of the PlayStation Network makes a move like this necessary. With people relying on the internet more than ever, it’s important for these providers to maintain connection quality. Check back for updates on these network alterations.