OK. I’ll Say It. I’m Glad the Playstation Network Broke

16 May

Much to the amusement of Xbox owners, us PS3 loyalists have been subject to a rather strange situation recently. The Playstation Network decided to break. I’m told this was because of some nasty men who stole lots of information and therefore meant that we couldn’t use any of the online services.

The reason I’m mentioning this is because I want to point out a couple of things. Firstly, who cared? There have been a lot of people who have been ranting and raving about what a disgrace it is that this has happened in the first place. Well, as they say, s*** happens. It could have happened to Microsoft, it could have happened to the British government. But it didn’t. It happened to Sony. But we could just as easily be laughing at all Xbox owners right now. And you know what, I’m glad we’re not, because it would actually have affected them…

I have always campaigned that the Xbox is a social console and that the Playstation is a solitary being. Everyone I know who owns an Xbox plays online. Most likely because they pay for their online use and so probably feel obliged to use it. Over on the Playstation’s side of the fence, our online usage comes as standard. A nice thing, but it does mean that a lot of people aren’t really that bothered about playing online. The last time I played online was when Uncharted 2 came out. Other than not being able to use the store and iPlayer, the downtime really didn’t affect me. In fact, I’m rather glad it did go down…

A terrible thing to say? Hear me out. For most PS3 owners, it gave them an excuse to play their single player games that they had been distracted from due to Call of Duty and… are there any other multi-player games that people online? Guess there aren’t… On top of that, we get a welcome back package! Free games people! Free games! In exchange for what? Not being able to play Call of Duty for a month? I’m cool with that…




4 Responses to “OK. I’ll Say It. I’m Glad the Playstation Network Broke”

  1. David Barker May 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    There are a number of problems with the breach and subsequent downtime of the PSN beyond just playing online multiplayer games:

    The publishers and content providers (not just games but Netflix, etc) will have lost enormous amounts of revenue by having a low cost, direct distribution method offline for a month. I’ve already read that a couple of developers who only publish onto Xbox Live, PSN and Steam have estimated the losses at several millions of pounds from PSN being offline – This will have a longer term effect on the development of future titles for the PSN if the stability and security hasn’t been addressed to their satisfaction. Combine this with the increase in people who have traded in PS3’s (migrating to other services such as Xbox Live or just taking the cash) and the bad publicity they have had world over (many people won’t trust Sony with their details for a long time as it was multiple online services not just PSN that got hacked) which will slow the take-up of people buying PS3’s for a while and this could be, I’m not saying it is likely, the “perfect storm” that will see the end of the Playstation series.

    One of the main problems with the attack was that it took Sony 2 days to inform the police of a massive data breach and nearly a week to inform their users – This has lost them a lot of trust and possibly highlights issues with internal communications at Sony that may have exasperated the breach.

    Yes this could have happened to another system such as Xbox Live but it didn’t and that was for a reason – The PSN, and in turn almost all of Sony’s online presence, was much easier to hack. Passwords were insecure, encryption wasn’t properly implemented, old versions of operating systems were left unpatched and the systems were generally poorly protected considering the data they hold. As the age old adage goes “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” and this was a free system that there was no on-going revenue for Sony from so they cut corners not putting in the investment they should have.

  2. simonlee827 May 16, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Needless to say the whole situation was a bad one Mr Barker and ideally it would never have happened. I imagine there will be an extensive amount of people who change consoles because of what happened, though I don’t know anyone who has myself (though I do know people where this has, for them, cemented their choice NOT to have a PS3).

    As I’m sure you can guess, my comment that I was glad was merely due to my personal experience and gain thanks to the situation!

  3. Ben Burdett May 16, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Sorry Simon but I’m with David on this one, while I agree it’s nice to think that some people have decided to put down CoD for a few weeks and turn their attention to some single player game that had been collecting dust on their shelves (and if comments I’ve read on the web are to be believed quite a few have done just that), that doesn’t justify the clusterfuck of a situation the whole thing was.

    I’m a 360 owner, mainly for 2 reasons; firstly, when I went to upgrade my PS2 a PS3 was still ridiculously expensive and secondly, I had learnt my lesson from PSN on the PS2, OK so online console gaming was still new but I had had to sit back and watch my Xbox owning friends have great fun on Xbox Live while I struggled to get a match set up on my lowly PS2 and if I DID get one set up I then ran the risk of getting booted at any given moment. So yes, I pay a yearly subscription to Xbox for the permission to play online, but you know what? It’s worth it. And I don’t even use it THAT much, when BLOPS came out I played that. A lot. But once I grew tired of it I put that down and went back to pretty much just playing single player games again, yet I still don’t begrudge the money I’ve paid, because I know that if I want to boot up COD or Red Dead Redemption or Dead Rising 2 or Portal 2 (oh sweet, sweet Portal 2) Xbox Live will work. However, you mentioned you’re not a big online gamer, so that wall of text was probably a waste of both of our times. I apologise.

    As David said this thing has cost a lot of companies a lot of money, software sales on the high street probably won’t have been affected too much, apparently Brink sales on the weekend were 69% Xbox/23% PS3 but Bethesda make their money regardless of which format is sold. The people who have been hurt are the ones who are solely online and have had close to a month of zero business from Playstation users.

    It also highlights Sony’s complete lack of consideration for the customers storing insecure personal information, passwords and credit card details (sorry, were they secure? Did Sony ever answer that question head on?). And let’s not forget PSN isn’t completely free, there are plenty of people who fork out for PSN+ (if I owned a PS3 I’d be one of these people are from what I’ve read they get some pretty decent perks) so aside from the fact that people who had their information breached had already bought into Sony by buying the console there are some who are paying for an online service which had sub-par security.

    When 360s were being crippled around the world thanks to the RROD (a problem I faced) a lot of PS3 users were out for Microsoft’s blood, but they dealer with it great by increasing the warranty and replacing all affected consoles. Sony’s welcome back appears great on paper, but as far as I understand it when you buy something on PSN+ at the discounted prices (as everyone will be able to over the next 30 days) that content only works when you are a PSN+ user, so as I understand it once your 30 days are up any content people buy during the trial won’t be playable unless they start stumping the cash for PSN+ on a monthly basis, right?

    Still, your free games should work indefinitely, and I’d love me some Wipeout HD 😦

    • Stephen Mantell May 31, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

      I am going to have to agree with David and Ben on this one. I would list all the reasons I agree, but it has all been said above, so I will try instead to add from an upset PS users point of view. I consider myself a bit more neutral as I own and activally use my PS3, but I cannot help but feel a little sour over the whole event.

      Personally, I was not deeply effected by the outage, but this comes from most of my multiplayer gaming being done on the 360, (a decision based from friends who play online and quality of service). My little brother however I could only class as a Call Of Duty addict, was left cold with very little to do. I understand that its great that people can focus on some Great single player experiences, but games are developed now with a big focus on multiplayer, I give you the example of Portal 2, release the week of the event. One of the selling features of this game was not only a dedicated co-op online story, but ties in to the PC version, with a free copy for a PC. Users until recently have been left not able to use this free copy or play online, which was a big selling feature of the PS3 version of the game and would have left me feeling rather sour had my decision been swayed by this. If you buy a console, should you really be happy with not having a choice when you play games?

      Everyone has outages, and it could and has happened to other services, but it didn’t and other comments have expressed some of the reason for that. Sony have called their system unhackable and have found themselves the wrong side of the hacking community (hacks to SOE and SOny Ericsson occured shortly after), and to some extent they did provoke that. I am no way suggesting that they have brought it upon themselves, but why call out a fight when you are not sure you can win?

      As for the rewards, this is also a hard pill to swallow for me. Most of the games on the list I already own (some twice over), and I am left with essentially no choice, free games are nice, but the gesture falls flat if little benefit it gained. I think the free trial of PS+ should be scrapped, its only real purpose it to try and further push subscriptions, I can understand that there is only so much punishment a firm should take when they are attacked, but trying to profit from this is just wrong.

      But David hits the main issue on the head. It took over a week for me to get an e-mail explaining that my details have been taken. I have no problems with companies that I use having my details, but I should have been made aware personally much faster and not through social networking.

      Alas, Infamous 2 is now only a couple of weeks away, roll on the single player joy 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: