It seems that Internet services promoting this period of forced or voluntary quarantine as a perfect opportunity to catch up on videos and games may have been a tad premature. In Europe, the Internet is groaning under the sudden strain coming from significantly increased use both for work and especially for play. That has prompted many streaming services to throttle their quality to give way to more important uses and Sony’s PlayStation Network is no exception.
You have probably heard by now about how Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video, Apple, and even Facebook have all agreed to limit the quality that users in the region are able to access, some even going lower than 720p HD. This was after the European Commission specifically asked these services because of fears that critical Internet services for communication and work will be crippled by the sudden heavy use. Video streaming, however, isn’t the only heavy consumer of Internet bandwidth.
Sony is now telling PSN users that they may experience slower or delayed downloads, particularly in Europe. This, it says, is its part in trying to keep the region’s Internet stable and preserve everyone’s access, not just those that want to play the latest games or binge on videos.
It does, however, assure players that they will still enjoy “robust gameplay” without qualifying what it means. One can only infer that multiplayer and other networking features won’t be throttled in the same manner as game downloads. It’s also throttling only Europe for now but it could very well extend it to the whole world in due time.
The COVID-19 pandemic is stress-testing not only healthcare and emergency systems around the world, it is also stressing IT infrastructures. As network operators try to push next-gen technologies like 5G and Wi-Fi 6, the situation reveals unprepared most of these are for such a scenario.