Sony has shut down their free online service, the PlayStation Network, indefinitely. In this case, thankfully, “indefinitely” doesn’t mean forever, it simply means indefinitely. While dealing with the recent outage, Sony discovered that the “external intrusion” that compromised the PSN could have compromised secure user information as well, so they shut it down and are currently “rebuilding” the service to ensure the PSN’s integrity.
Update: Sony has explained the outage in an unprecedented level of detail, described at the link: Basically, the personal, login, and possibly credit card information of PSN’s 69 million accountholders are at risk.
The outage came at a particularly inopportune time, as a certain mega-release prepared to capture all of our free time–and yes, if the service is not back up by tomorrow, the PSN will have officially been down for a week–but worse things have happened, and if Sony determines that user information was protected during the intrusion and remained safe, then the worst thing to come out of this fiasco is all of the fuel thrown onto fanboy fires.
Yes, the network that is generally viewed as inferior to Xbox Live went down a week ago and hasn’t yet resurfaced, but like I said, worse things have happened: Though the PSN is down, people can still access certain services through their PS3s just fine, such as Netflix, and they can still play all of their games offline, whereas, for instance, Microsoft suffered from a much more terrible ailment once upon a time that rendered the entirety of their console useless, rather than just the online service. As for the other console, well, that basically doesn’t have an online service to begin with. Or games.
So, the point? If you’re one of those people freaking out and damning Sony’s name to different types of hell, it could be a lot worse. Should you be thrilled you can’t play your favorite PlayStation games with your friend’s list? Course not, but you can still play most of your games and you can still access precious, precious Netflix, so hey, it could be a lot worse.
Sony didn’t get where it is today by being–as a wise old artificial soul once said about another artificial soul–the dumbest morons science could create, and they know they have a real PR disaster on their hands. If they didn’t genuinely care about their gamers on some level, they wouldn’t be in the business of trying to keep said gamers happy, so you’d better believe them when they say they’re working around the clock to slap a Band-Aid on this PSN boo boo and hire a handful of moms to kiss and make it better. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they offered something free to PSN users to compensate for the outage.
So, sit tight, play your PC version of Portal 2 that came with your PS3 version, and maybe Sony will offer everyone a free month or two of PlayStation Plus as an apology when the service goes live again.
(via The Wall Street Journal)