A Look Back At The PSN Downtime: Is All Forgiven?

by on June 20, 2011

It’s fair to say that May was one of the worst months in Sony’s illustrious history. Two months ago today, PlayStation Network was taken down by Sony, and it became clear soon after that the network had been compromised by an outside attack.

The events that followed in the following days and weeks were very embarrassing and potentially damaging for the company, but now the dust has settled, has all been forgiven?

It is now almost three weeks since PSN returned to full operation, with the store and welcome back package going live. Gamers were given two free PS3 games as an apology for the downtime, as well as a 30-60 day PlayStation Plus subscription, depending on previous subscriptions. This also gave gamers another free title, Burnout Paradise, which many seem to be enjoying a great deal.

I asked the Twitterverse if all had been forgiven, and asked those who do not own a PS3 if they were put off from buying one. The response was positive toward Sony with many supporting the company. Twitter user @HarryBallantyne said “I forgive Sony, it wasn’t their fault.” A sentiment echoed by others. Of all the responses received, one was negative, with @AstroMonkey1980 saying “If I could transfer my PS3 friends list to Xbox I would be saying ‘sayonara baby’ to Sony.”

Another thing which has made it easier to forgive Sony is the fact that many other companies are suffering similar attacks, most Notably SEGA, who has recently admitted that 1,290,775 SEGA Pass users had their encrypted passwords stolen, as well as some personal details such as date of birth and email address. Codemasters have also been attacked, on more than one occasion recently. While this current “epidemic” is a dark cloud over the industry at the moment, anger seems to have turned into genuine concern, with many worrying about the impact this will have on the companies that make and publish the games we love.

Then we have the small matter of E3. Sony put in arguably the best showing of an otherwise mediocre event, where the developers stole the limelight from the manufacturers. Sony gave the official name to the NGP, the PlayStation Vita. The next generation of handheld gaming is a powerful one, thanks to what looks like a powerhouse machine from Sony. With strong developer support and some top titles lined up for Vita, combined with the aggressive price point of $249, the Vita is shaping up to me a must have console.

So, is all forgiven? Personally, I would say yes. I began being angry with Sony, not because it was breached, but because of the way it handled the situation. I feel that PS3 owners could be have been given more information, and Sony should have given it quicker. Now, however, I am just glad we have back a service which allows me to play games online with my friends, for free.

What I do hope, is that Sony, and others, are going to be working hard to keep the information we trust them with safe, and I’ll be looking forward to getting my hands on the PlayStation Vita when it launches in the UK.

How do you feel about PSN now? Are you put off from buying the console in the wake of recent events? Or are you just happy that you get to play some truly fantastic games online with your friends? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Shands
    June 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    am with the one guy even though i dont own a sony I am not inclined to buy one now after this attack.  I am more than happy with a xbox


  • Kayoss
    June 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Well it seems that if a hacker decided to hack a company, theres very little that the company can do to prevent it (however they can minimize the damages). Sony became the poster child for security flaws, but even after what happened to Sony, many companies including the government got hacked by the hackers. Sega claimed that they beefed up security in light of what happened to Sony, but yet they still got hacked. This to show you that Sony being hacked is not their fault and they did compensate by giving us 1million dollars insurance for identity fraud, I have yet to see any other companies including banks give its customers that kind of compensation. If companies were smart, they start encrypting everything including names, email addresses, etc… I’ve never blamed Sony for what happened, same with sega, or any other sites that got hacked. I do blame the hackers tho.


  • June 20, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    all forgiven?
    you’ve got to be kidding me!

    Offer me Wip3out HD that was previously released for free twice.
    Offer years old games for free to make up for their loss?
    offer trash and old movies? seriously Final Fantasy? you must be kidding me!


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    June 21, 2011 at 10:03 am

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  • Wongli1989
    June 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I am an Asian gamer and have been an ardent fan of your website. Thanks to you guys I decided to buy games like Heavy Rain, Portal 2 and LA Noire and I must say they are amazing games ! The following is a very long read but I hope you’ll take the time to do so. And perhaps you guys could channel some of this feedback to SONY, game developers if possible? That would be really appreciated.

    The following is a chain of emails sent between myself and a SONY Asia representative:

    1) Me to Sony

    All Asian PS3 users, as of today, would have been without the services of the Playstation Network(PSN) for more than 1 month. This is because the PSN suffered a world wide hacking attack and they took down their servers for safety reasons. While the controversy on how SONY reacted to the issue(slow response to attacks, less than truthful released statements on the situation etc) rages on, I will not go into it. This issue for me, however, is how the restoration of services has been going on. It has been stated on SONY webpages all over the world that “The restoration of the services across the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Middle East are beginning, and consumers will be able to enjoy some of the online functionality provided by both the PlayStation®Network and Qriocity™ services. Phased restoration in Japan and other Asian countries and regions will be announced in due course. The company expects to have the services fully restored by the end of May 2011.” [I]source: http://asia.playstation.com/sg/en/news/pressDetail/226776[/I]. It is really confusing, and frustrating, to see that Japan(SONY’s parent country) and Asia on the whole has been put behind the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East on the priority list. While the Japanese government has delayed restoration services in their country for their own security reasons, what about the rest of the Asian countries? While the argument that the Americas and Europe probably have the biggest community of gamers, is SONY also implying that Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East have more PS3 owners than Asia on a whole? The only plausible reason, to me, is that the Americas and Europe have the Class Action suit at their disposal and thus SONY as a company have more incentive(or fear) to restore services to those regions first.

    However this leads me to my next issue. While basic online gaming services have been restored to the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East since 15th May(correct me if I’m wrong), Asian countries have been left out in the cold. Restoration of services in other areas of the PSN like the PS Store are still in the works, and SONY has indicated that 24th May is a possible date for these minor services to be back online for the abovementioned regions (source:http://www.godisageek.com/2011/05/playstation-store-coming-online-24/) while the basic gaming services have not even been restored to the Asia region! Word is on the street that, and I quote “SONY is possibly racist or something” “They dont value us ASIAN customers” “Since we make no noise they won’t do anything for us unlike the Americans”. I hope is not the case, but it sure seems like it. I’m waiting for a reply eagerly. 
    2) Sony to Me

    Dear Mr. Wong,
    Thank you for your e-mail and interest in PS products.
    We aplogize for the inconvenience caused.  However, please note that the delay with the restoration is due to other issues which are specific only to Japan and Asia region. We are in discussion with authorities concerned, as well as making necessary preparation and working with authorities in order to resume the service as soon as possible. We will announce more details for when the service will restore when ready.
    Phased restoration in Japan and other Asian countries and regions will be announced in due course. The company expects to have the services fully restored by the end of May 2011.  We apologize for the inconvenience.
    For future updates, please refer to this link at http://asia.playstation.com/sg/en/news/p/psn_restore.

    3) Me to Sony
    Thank you for your reply. May I know what are the “other issues” which are specific only to “Japan and Asia region”? Other than the Japanese government’s inquiry into the new safety measures introduced by your company, I have heard of no such other request by any other Asian government or whatsoever. 

    If the Japanese government’s inquiry is the so called issue you are talking about, why should it matter to the other Asian countries?

    4) Sony to Me
    Please be informed that the Playstation Network will begin phased restoration on 28th May 2011.  Please be reminded to update your console to the latest firmware version and to reset your Playstation Network password immediately.
    The following services will be available for the first phase of restoration: .Sign-in to PlayStation Network and change of password.Online game functions on PS3 and PSP.Account Management.Ad Hoc Party for PSP.PlayStation Home .Functions in “Friends” category including Friend List, Chat Functions, Trophy, etc.
    The “Welcome Back” package will be offered after PlayStation Network is fully restored.  The date of full restoration of PlayStation Network services will be announced when it is confirmed.
    The following services will be available when PlayStation®Network services are fully restored. (Not available on 28th May 2011) .PlayStation®Store and all transaction functions.In-game purchase of items.Download list and Voucher code redemption function

    5) Me to Sony
    I’m am glad to hear that the restoration services for the Asian region is finally going to start. However, I would still like to have some of my questions answered.

    Firstly, why did the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Middle East have their PSN service restored a good 2 weeks before the Asian region?

    Secondly, why is the Asian region not getting ANY of the new security services (eg Identity Theft protection etc) which are being offered to the rest?

    Thirdly, the disruption of PSN service was less than a month for the other regions and their welcome back package included a 30day PSN+ trial. Shouldn’t the PSN+ trial be longer for the Asian region as we have been affected by the downtime for 2 weeks longer than compared to the rest?

    Fourthly, the standard of Welcome Back games are appalling. Why is this so? Quoting SCEE’s response to certain American and European gamers that the games offered to them weren’t good enough, it was said that the games offered were reviewed highly(85-90 or above) by the more famous review sites like IGN and Metacritic and thus chosen. Just take a look at the reviews and ratings of the games offered to the Asian region and you’ll see that many of the games are sub-standard(using the above benchmark)

    6) Sony to Me
    Please understand that different regions would have different situations based on the environment and policy.  Thus, this affects the release of any products or services.Please be advised the selection of game available in the Welcome back package are affected by the licensing issue and can vary from region to region. We would like to apologize for any discomfort, but request our customer’s utmost understanding that the offering are effected of the game developer’s licensing concern.However, we would like thank you for your feedback and support on the matter. Please be assured that the feedback was noted accordingly by the relevant department.CONCLUSION.I decided not to reply after that because it seemed pointless. My point is, that Sony seems to not care about us Asian gamers at all? Just to add to my point, game developers appear to follow the same trend. The recent LA Noire Rockstar pass was available at a 50% discount for you US and European gamers, while it cost Singapore Dollars $20.99 (the exchange rate between the SGD to USD stands at roughly 1.2 currently). The discount was nicely left out for us Asian gamers.If you’re actually reading this paragraph means you’ve made through this ardous post and I thank you for it ! Do email me at wongli1989@gmail.com for anything at all ! Would love to link up with you guys if given the opportunity.


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