PlayStation's 'slower or delayed game downloads' extended to US, Sony says

The slowdown applies to the US and Europe as of Friday, but multiplayer games should run normally.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
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Sean Keane
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Doom Eternal

If you're downloading Doom Eternal or any other game on PS4, it might take a bit longer than it usually would.

id Software/Bethesda

Your PS4 might be getting a lot more use during the coronavirus outbreak, and now Sony has warned that downloads may slow down as it works with carriers to keep the internet running smoothly. The policy only applied to Europe initially, where streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus had already throttled downloads, but the games company has extended it to the US.

"Players may experience somewhat slower or delayed game downloads but will still enjoy robust gameplay," PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said the initial release Tuesday.

"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," the company noted in an update.

Ryan's comment implies that multiplayer gaming won't be impacted, but it'll take a bit longer for games, additional content and general updates to download.

Last Thursday, Netflix agreed to reduce streaming bit rates across Europe for 30 days later Thursday, to reduce its traffic on European networks by around 25%. Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV Plus and YouTube did the same, as did Disney Plus when it launched in the region on Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, YouTube expanded its throttling policy to include the US for 30 days.

The new strain of coronavirus, which can develop into a respiratory illness known as COVID-19, was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December and has spread worldwide in the months since. As of Friday morning, it had infected more than 542,000 people and caused over 24,000 deaths globally.  

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