UPDATE 2: PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Receive Christmas Outages

By December 25, 2014
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UPDATE 2 12/26, 12:00pm PST: After yesterday’s outages on every major online gaming platform, two of which were the direct cause of a cyber criminal attack, two of those networks are back to normal.

As of this morning, the official support pages for both Xbox Live and the Nintendo Network report that the services are fully active on their consoles. Still, though, PlayStation Support still lists the PlayStation Network as “offline.”

We’ll continue to monitor the PSN and will update this article when its back up and running.

 

UPDATE 1 12/25, 5:00pm PST: As of this evening, both Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live are experiencing outages that have been reportedly caused by cyber criminals.

While the original version of this story focused solely on the outages being experienced on Sony’s PSN, which may have been a sign of foreign retaliation for Sony’s digital release of The Interview, a well-known cyber criminal organization that has targeted both game services in the attack is now taking responsibility for the outages on social media. This likely means that the cyber criminals who launched the digital attack on Sony last month are not the culprits in the attacks on both Sony’s and Microsoft’s game services, since the aforementioned organization is claiming responsibility for taking both networks down. GeekNation willfully chooses not to mention the name of the organization, since the acting senior editor feels that their goals and justifications should not be dignified with a mention of their chosen name.

At the time of this writing, both the official support pages for the PlayStation Network and for Xbox Live are reporting that the PSN is offline, and that Xbox Live Core Services are “limited.” Both support sites have statements on their respective front pages that try to assure old and new customers that they’re dealing with the problems, and will hopefully have the login issues resolved shortly. This news is certainly unfortunate to every person who received a new Xbox One or PlayStation 4 today, but the network technicians at both Sony and Microsoft are likely working very hard to make sure that their respective networks will be up again shortly.

While the Nintendo Network is reporting difficulties in accessing the eShop online store for both the Nintendo 3DS handheld and the Wii U console, the cyber criminals have not taken responsibility for downing Nintendo’s services. In the past, Nintendo has had difficulty in keeping their network services functioning after a large influx of new users, and its likely that this is the case for their outage instead of a cyber attack.

If you find yourself having difficulties with the online services of your new consoles, please be in contact with the various support systems in place, and keep an eye on the @AskPlayStation, @XboxSupport, and @NintendoAmerica Twitter pages for the most up-to-date support for your new hardware.

Just as an aside, let me assure you: the issues will pass, and you’ll be able to enjoy your new game system soon. I promise. This happens far too often, it seems, but on the plus side the network technicians are getting pretty good at responding to these attacks by now.

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Original Story: With the cyber criminals who attacked Sony promising a “Christmas gift” for them last week if they went ahead and released The Interview, that release has come to pass and there has now been another cyber attack, this time targeting Sony’s PlayStation Network.

According to Deadline and Sony’s @AskPlayStation Twitter account, the PSN was experiencing substantial outages yesterday evening that saw persistence through early this morning. While by 4:00am EST the Twitter account was saying that network monitors had received “reduced reports” of suspected outages, third-party websites like DownDetector.com still had users expressing frustration about an inability to access the basic core services of the PSN. Since it seems likely that a lot of people will be opening up brand new PlayStation 4 consoles this morning, Sony has assured customers that it will be “closely monitoring” the situation regarding its network infrastructure.

When compared with other internet gaming services like the PC-based Steam and Origin, Microsoft’s Xbox Live, or the Nintendo Network, the PlayStation Network has often been singled out by cyber criminals for attack. A rather substantial attack in 2011 put the PSN and the Sony Online Entertainment Network out of commission for months, while Sony would go on to provide a full year of identity theft protection service to all PSN account holders during the affected period.

While this outage appears to be on a far smaller scale than the one experienced in 2011, its hard not to wonder whether or not this is retaliation from the cyber criminals, responding to Sony’s recent online distribution of their controversial film The Interview. For more on this as it develops, keep an eye on GeekNation. If you’re experiencing issues related to your PSN account, be sure to get in touch with PlayStation Support.

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.