Playstation still down, time for users to migrate?

By Christian Ericssen
May 08, 2011
The Playstation Network is still down, not expected to be back up anytime soon.
The Playstation Network is still down, not expected to be back up anytime soon. -
As you have probably already heard, Sony has experienced many attacks on its Playstation Network, including the theft of over 77 million (recently reported as higher) credit card records. Many asked why they were hacked and we tried to give an answer.

Sony announced on 1 May that it would be restarting their supposedly rebuilt network soon but today made it clear it would not be relaunching the online gaming network over this weekend as promised, leaving many gamers and addicts wondering whether they should make the switch to rival Microsoft's Xbox Live service.

Sony's senior director of corporate communications said recently “when we held the press conference in Japan last week, based on what we knew, we expected to have the services online within a week,” continuing “We were unaware of the extent of the attack on Sony Online Entertainment servers, and we are taking this opportunity to conduct further testing of the incredibly complex system.”

Whether or not they were unaware of the problems they faced is up in the air, but with the gaping security holes in their setup at the end quite obvious, we're wondering whether Sony was just playing games with its gaming community and trying to stem the flow of users to a competing platform.

The whole saga has been a public relations catastrophe for the electronics giant, especially since the company has spent countless millions on promoting the Playstation Network and even started off the generation of consoles selling at a loss per unit sold.

CNET has reported that unnamed hackers plan to make public all of the information from Sony they have gathered. A relatively small file containing the names, addresses and credit card information from millions of users of the Playstation Network may just become available online by Bit Torrent.

Sony has not yet admitted to customers that their credit card numbers have been compromised, yet in an email told them [customers] to keep an eye out for scams. This warning was sent to customers weeks after Sony knew they had a problem.

Contrary to statements by a group known as “Anonymous”, Sony now blames the group for hacking into their servers and stealing the data of its over 77 million subscribers. Anonymous is reportedly considering an attack on Sony's servers should they go up again this weekend, citing the company's inability to really handle the data breach.

Sony Computer Entertainment claims an “Anonymous” group slogan was a signature found by hired private investigators and bases their accusations on the supposed fact the signatures were uploaded to hacked servers.

The group originally went after Sony after lawsuits were launched against the lone hacker George Hotz for releasing the 'root key' which allowed anyone to run custom software on the system, even though steps were made by Hotz to disallow piracy.

Sony has now declined providing users or press with a timeline on when select services should be up and running, which will probably result in pushing users away to competing services.

So when will gamers and enthusiasts be allowed to play their Internet multiplayer-oriented, over-priced ($70.00) games online with friends? Can't really say. It might be time to pack up and move to a more stable platform or invest in a higher-end PC and use your Playstation Sixaxis controller to play 'em.

You can view Sony's official blog here.