Update - March 27, 11am EST:
As of Friday, March 27, PlayStation has expanded its plans to manage downloads to include the United States. Stateside users may see a drop in download speeds in the coming weeks.
PlayStation is joining a growing number of tech services who are trying to help preserve internet stability in Europe.
Jim Ryan, President & CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, took to the PlayStation Blog (opens in new tab) to announce that Sony is "working with internet service providers in Europe to manage download traffic to help preserve access for the entire internet community."
This follows Netflix, YouTube (opens in new tab), and Disney+ who are also looking to limit their strain (opens in new tab) on the internet in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Ryan addressed how PlayStation's move will affect players in the short term, writing "Players may experience somewhat slower or delayed game downloads but will still enjoy robust gameplay."
Essentially, while your game updates and purchases off the store might take a little longer to come down the pipes, it seems like online gameplay shouldn't be affected by Sony's move (the increased demand on most multiplayer servers withstanding, of course).
Ryan explained why Sony are taking this step, although you probably don't need reminding of the real world circumstances that have led to it. He notes, "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."
It's not a surprising move, but it is a responsible one, considering the extra demand currently being placed on these services. And if you decide you'd rather spare your PlayStation for a while, then why not try the game that lets you help scientists develop coronavirus medication (opens in new tab)?
And if you'd understandably rather think about something else right now, here's our latest episode of Challenge Radar (opens in new tab).