After limiting the bandwidth used by its PlayStation gaming service in Europe last week, Sony (SONY 2.58%) announced it will throttle speeds here in the U.S. as well to "preserve internet access for the entire community." The move is an attempt to keep the network stable as increasing numbers of people are required to shelter in place during the coronavirus pandemic, and are going online even more often for entertainment. 

Microsoft has throttled speeds for its Xbox service in Europe while Amazon, Netflix, and Alphabet-owned YouTube have all slowed down streaming video speed overseas to keep networks from becoming overwhelmed.

Man holding head while playing video game

Image source: Getty Images.

Tech responds to the pandemic

"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," Sony said in a blog post on its PlayStation website.

The company maintains that while download speeds will be impacted by the new policy, which may cause slower or even delayed downloads, gameplay will remain "robust." 

Many tech companies have taken unusual measures as the pandemic has intensified. AT&T, Verizon, and other wireless carriers have suspended customers' data caps during the crisis, and some are expanding the bandwidth they are offering customers.

Sony thanked gamers for their patience during "this unprecedented situation" and cautioned everyone to "stay home and stay safe."