There’s been something missing from all of our lives lately – something very important to many of us, the PlayStation Network. The weeks without Black Ops is beginning to feel like a lifetime, but there may be an end in sight. Bloomberg News is reporting that Sony will restart PSN on May 31, a full 6 weeks after the initial shutdown.
This isn’t the first time a return date has been promised. Last week, Sony gave gamers hope with a planned return date of Friday, May 5th, but Friday came and went, and Sony executive Patrick Seybold officially announced another delay on the Playstation blog later that day.
Much like a personal computer without internet, a Sony Playstation 3 is virtually useless to many multiplayer gaming enthusiasts without access to the PlayStation Network. The network is so massive and sophisticated that it consists of an estimated 130 servers and spans over 77 million registered users. The sheer numbers alone are astonishing.
As I’m sure all readers here know, the PlayStation Network is a multiplayer support system, that enables people of all ages to release their frustration on a great many other gamers. Be it wielding an RPK to kill some zombies in Black Ops or racing a Ferrari, the PlayStation Network has turned into a way of connecting people on opposite ends of the universe together, to spar in games of battle, chance and dress-up.
For the nostalgic crowd, the Network even offers a wide array of PlayStation and PSP titles on the cheap. Simply put, Sony’s Network has something for everyone.
As such, it comes as no surprise that Sony’s PlayStation Network has a special spot in the hearts and minds of many. To our great dismay, the PlayStation Network collapsed on April 20, 2011, thereby hindering our chances of engaging in multiplayer gameplay. The PlayStation Network’s temporary demise has even prevented PlayStation 3 owners from accessing their favorite video streaming networks. To say that services such as Hulu, Netlfix and Vudu feel the crunch of the network outage goes without saying. Hulu has even issued a $2 credit to its Hulu Plus subscribers in order to compensate for the delay.
How The Network Went Down?
Although the Network outage began on April 20, 2011, Sony provided the world with a statement on April 26, 2011. According to those reports, hackers have illegally and unscrupulously obtained user data. Sony claims the data includes the contact information of many of its users including their names, home addresses, email information, birthdays, as well as their PlayStation Network login information. In traditional American legalese, the Japanese multinational conglomerate issued precautionary instructions to its users on obtaining credit reports, fraud alerts and the like. Sony has admitted that approximately 10 million credit card numbers may have been obtained by the hackers.
Sony’s Game Plan
At this point, Sony has provided us with a heartfelt apology and a promise to strengthen its network’s infrastructure by performing a “phased restoration”. In typical hardcore reputation management, the company vowed to plug any security holes and stronghold its Network against future attacks.
According to the PlayStation Blog, Sony is offering a complimentary 30 days of membership, as well as a promise for free content downloads in the near future.
Reports have suggested that Hacker organization Anonymous is responsible for the outage. Nevertheless, the group itself has released statements indicating otherwise.
According to a recent Sony press release, Sony officials were unaware of the breadth of the attack on the Network, and therefore, were inaccurate in their projections as to when the service would be reinstated. We hope that this time they’ve got it figured out.
Time will tell whether the Sony PlayStation Network service will be restored by May 31st. As of yet, there is no telling exactly how many of the Network’s subscribers financial information was actually stolen, or what the long term fallout will be.
We anxiously await further developments from Sony. The future success of Call of Duty and other multiplayer games hinges on the network’s ability to return promptly and safely.