Thierry Breton, the European Union’s Internal Market and Services Commissioner, has asked that tech companies and streaming services scale back the volume of their traffic to allow networks within the EU to remain stable amid the massive increase in demand in response to COVID-19. As more and more nations go into total lockdown or “shelter-in-place” voluntary orders, the number of people hammer internet and entertainment services has exploded as people go in search of something to do.
Gaming giants like Microsoft and Sony are taking this very seriously. Sony’s Jim Ryan announced that the company will be moderating PlayStation Network download speeds to comply with this new request within the EU. So while it may take longer to download games and moves amid the pandemic, at least people are staying safe at home and reducing the impact of infections.
“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,” Breton said. “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.”
On the Xbox side of things, Phil Spencer has laid out the plans the company has to deal with all of the excess traffic. Spencer also praised the position of Microsoft and gaming in general in helping people stay sane in these trying times. Microsoft has also said something similar, and their Xbox staff are “working diligently to ensure we can be there for our players.”
“I have previously stated that I believe gaming has a unique power to bring people together, to entertain, to inspire and connect us, and I believe that’s even more true under these unique circumstances,” said Phil Spencer in a message to the Xbox community. “Many are looking to gaming to remain connected with their friends while practicing social distancing, and we are seeing an unprecedented demand for gaming from our customers right now.”
To that end, the Xbox teams are “working diligently to ensure we can be there for our players,” focusing on “actively monitoring performance and usage trends to ensure we’re optimizing the service for our customers worldwide and accommodating for new growth and demand.”