Sony’s PlayStation Network has been shut down and as such, PS3 players do not have access to the network to play games online with others. That is a huge feature with more than 70 million users which pay $50 per year for PSN Plus to participate in online gaming. It does seem strange that the network is completely down with no estimated date for recovery or availability.
All of this does seem rather odd as Sony has provided very little information as to what has happened and why the voluntarily shut down of their entire network. In most large scale businesses such as the PlayStation Network, there are processes and procedures in place as to what should be done in the event of predefined issues with the network. Hardware problems are typical of those kind of plans that are in place. I would have to believe that they also have plans as to what to do in the event that the security is breached. We are assuming their security was breached based on the “external intrusion” statement from Sony.
With problems starting on April 20th, they decided to shut everything down the next day which resulted in all online games ceasing at that point and continuing to today. Most businesses in the online world have contingency plans in place so that they know exactly what to do or should be done in the event of problems. It is difficult to believe that Sony did not have those in place given the limited information being provided.
Even the recent events that Amazon had with their Cloud Computing were resolved in a matter of a few days and it was not a complete shutdown of the entire system. The actual nature of the problem was identified and the information provided to the public very quickly by Amazon. For Sony, we are not seeing much of any information being provided so as to give customers the confidence that things would be resolved in a timely manner.
Estimates of things being corrected in a few days is starting to wear thin. On April 21st, they alerted users to the problems on their blog saying that it would be a few days before things would be back up and running. Here we are 3 days later and it does appear that this is going to be at least a few more days. There are no updates on when everyone can expect to see things returned to normal and is an indication that they have no idea when they are going to resolve all the problems.
When all of this outage to the PS3 networking being down will end is currently an unknown and there is no encouraging information coming from Sony. How much this will impact Sony’s business will be determined by how fast everything is repaired and brought back online. In the mean time, the XBox folks are really working this to take customers away from Sony.