UPDATE 2 7:00pm PST: The PSN status website is now reporting that services have been restored to the PS4, ending the stretch of connectivity problems. Still, they advise people to expect “intermittency” as their network engineers work to “fully restore” the PSN’s functionality. We’ll follow this up with a look at the status tomorrow.
UPDATE 1 5:05pm PST: The official PlayStation Support page dealing with the PSN’s current status currently says that the service is active on both the PS3 and PS Vita, but is still offline for the PlayStation 4. More on this as it develops.
Original Story: We’ve been tracking the ongoing story of the current outage being experienced by Sony’s PlayStation Network (or PSN), the online service that powers multiplayer gaming and media streaming on their PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 4 game consoles. Since December 24th, the PSN has had ongoing connectivity issues that, as of 3:00pm PST on December 27th, have yet to be resolved. While some users have apparently reported limited ability to at least log into the service, it seems that a large percentage of users are still unable to use it at all.
In a post on the official PlayStation Blog, PlayStation representative Catherine Jensen has tied to assure customers, old and new, that their network engineers are working diligently to solve the connectivity problem. The statement reads, in part,
The video game industry has been experiencing high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay. Multiple networks, including PSN, have been affected over the last 48 hours. PSN engineers are working hard to restore full network access and online gameplay as quickly as possible. From time to time there may be disruptions in service due to surges in traffic, but our engineers will be working to restore service as quickly as possible.
Apparently unrelated to the recent wave of cyber-crime directed at Sony Pictures over their controversial film The Interview, the attack on the PlayStation Network follows a similar takedown of Microsoft’s Xbox Live network willfully pursued by a group of well-known cyber criminals to specifically affect the targeted services over the Christmas holiday. While the Nintendo Network serving the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS consoles also experienced a brief outage, it was cleared up entirely by the end of the day on the 25th, and was unrelated to the cyber attack directed at Sony and Microsoft. In Nintendo’s case, their outage was likely due to a large influx of new customers, which has caused outages on their network in the past.
According to a recent interview with Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime in the Seattle Times, video game hardware and software sales over the Christmas holiday can account for as much as 60% of that publisher’s annual revenue. While that number is likely much lower for a company like Sony or Microsoft, it still helps to highlight the massive influx of new customers gained by the video game industry during the holiday season, only putting the amount of affected customers in perspective. The motives of the cyber criminals are rather uncomplicated, as we recently explored in an editorial on the matter.
There’s still no official word from Sony on when they can expect the PSN’s services to be restored, and the PlayStation Support page highlighting the PSN’s current status provided no new information at the time of this writing. We will continue to monitor this story and inform you once its back up and running.
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