Valve, Sony and Other Brands Helping Preserve Bandwidth

By Ben Hamill - April 03 2020
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Valve, Sony and Other Brands Helping Preserve Bandwidth

The internet is a lifeline that the majority of people cannot do without – and now more than ever before. What with the majority of countries being either in a state of nation-wide lockdown or big scale voluntary quarantine in an attempt to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, millions of people are relying on connectivity to work and live. And having realised the need to preserve internet bandwidth in a time of crisis, Valve announced on Monday that Steam will no longer be automatically updating its players’ content libraries. In order to preserve internet bandwidth, only games played in the last three days will be automatically updated.

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Unlike before, Steam will according to Valve, be spreading out updates over a number of days. Updates will run on pre-scheduled timetables. Users will however still be at liberty to initiate manual updates, where necessary.

Steam Is Mindful Of Usage

Being aware of the fact that many users to not have access to unlimited internet bandwidth, Steam has for some time now allowed users to schedule their own updates based on internet availability. Users have also been able to optimise personal bandwidth use by managing their connections in terms of download speed and timing.

Valve isn’t alone in its bandwidth preserving venture. Games giants Sony and Microsoft have both recently announced bandwidth adjustments in order to ensure that there remains enough bandwidth to go around at a time when millions of people all over the world are staying at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and to protect global medical care and hospitalisation systems from total collapse.

Big Game Giants Follow Suit

Sony last week announced that it would, beginning March 24, slow down PlayStation downloads across Europe. It then extended the slow downs to include the United States, on March 27. Microsoft followed suit shortly after and on March 28 announced that it is currently working on re-scheduling game updates so as to occur mainly during off-peak bandwidth usage hours, which should relieve a lot of the load during peak- and typical business hours.

Various other bandwidth-reliant service providers have since joined the party. Amazon, Netflix, Disney TV, Apple and YouTube have all announced having launched projects aimed at lowering the load on network traffic.

People need to remain connected now more than ever before. But this applies not only to work, but also to staying mentally chipper during times of isolation. This is very evident when considering that Steam has smashed its own concurrent-user record more than just a couple of times this month. All work and no play is a no-good concept right now. And becoming dull is the least of humanity’s worries.

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