PS4 game downloads are being SLOWED by Sony to reduce network strain during coronavirus crisis

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SONY is throttling downloads of PlayStation 4 games in Europe to stop self-isolating gamers from overloading the internet.

The change will affect the speed at which players can download games, meaning titles bought on the PlayStation store will take longer to reach your console.

PS5 games are going to take a lot longer to download during the coronavirus pandemic

It makes Sony the latest tech titan to respond to an EU call to stave off internet gridlock as millions work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Facebook and Instagram, as well as video giants Disney, Netflix and YouTube, have taken similar sweeping actions over the past week.

EU industry chief Thierry Breton has urged streaming platforms to free up bandwidth for healthcare and distance learning for thousands of children sent home by closing schools.

While European telecoms operators say their networks have been able to cope with the data traffic rise so far, there are fears of congestion as more and more people work at home.

“Sony is working with internet service providers in Europe to manage download traffic to help preserve access for the entire internet community,” Sony wrote in a blog post on Monday.

“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.”

The Tokyo firm assured fans that online gameplay would not be impacted by the handicapped download speeds.

It did not specify how long the measures would be in place.

Facebook and Instagram’s downgraded video quality is indefinite, while both Netflix and YouTube said they would cut their picture quality for 30 days.

Disney said it would lower its overall bandwidth utilisation by at least 25 per cent in all of the European countries launching its new streaming service Disney+ this week.

Internet service providers in the UK have insisted they are “ready” to handle extra broadband demand from people at home during the pandemic.

Last week, Andrew Glover, chair of the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA), which represents the industry, said: “ISPs are ready to handle any potential extra bandwidth and consistently assess the demands that are being put on their networks.”

However, one analyst warned last week that it’s possible surging demand for home broadband is already affecting people’s web speeds.

“The more people that connect to a network at the same time will inevitably put a strain on it and thus reduce the speed,” Paolo Pescatore, of PP Foresight, told HOAR.

“This is akin to a motorway; increasing the number of lanes means more cars. However, the more cars on the road will lead everyone to slow down.”

“Telcos clearly need to brace themselves for an explosion of traffic over their networks,” he added. “More needs to be done to stabilise the network.”

In other news, the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles could be delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

This genius PS4 trick will speed up your sluggish console in minutes.

Here are some of the best Xbox One, PS4 and PC games to play while living under lockdown.

What do you think of Sony’s decision? Let us know in the comments!

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