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Sony: PlayStation game downloads in Europe will be "somewhat slower or delayed" amid coronavirus crisis

UPDATE: And now in the US, too.

UPDATE 27/3/20: Sony has now announced it will implement similar measures to limit the speed of game downloads in the US, following its decision earlier this week here in Europe.

"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," Sony said in an update to its original statement.

"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."

ORIGINAL STORY 24/3/20: PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has told gaming fans they may face "somewhat slower or delayed" PS4 game downloads in Europe as Sony works to manage internet usage while much of the continent is on lockdown.

But online multiplayer should remain "robust", Ryan reassured.

In a statement issued this afternoon, a day after sweeping new instructions from the UK government for people to stay home, Ryan said it was "important" to ensure internet access remained available to all.

Here is the statement in full:

"Playing video games enables players all over the world to connect with friends and family and enjoy much-needed entertainment during these uncertain times," Ryan said. "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 practising 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. We appreciate the support and understanding from our community, and their doing their part, as we take these measures in an effort to preserve access for everyone."

Video streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube have already announced plans to cut their streaming quality in Europe to use less data, but this is the first such move from a video game platform.

Last week, the EU warned of broadband strain as millions of people moved to working from home, causing a twin spike of demand for video conferencing during work hours and streaming video in the evenings instead of going out. While online gaming uses far less data than video streaming, some game downloads - looking at you, Call of Duty: Warzone - can run up to 100GB.

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