As you no doubt know by now, the PlayStation Network is out of commission. Worse yet, Sony's handling on the PR side of the outage has left us wanting.
The basic mentality is this: another day, another vague update on the PlayStation Blog.
As a PlayStation 3 gamer, this outage has affected my gaming routine in a serious way. The hours and hours I spend on PS3 and the PlayStation Network week after week has grinded to a halt, as it has for millions of gamers around the world. But what many PS3 gamers fail to realize is that we're owed answers. We're consumers, we purchased a console with the promise of access to a free online service, and it's not been there for a prolonged period of time.
So if there are five questions in particular every PlayStation Network user needs information on, it's these. We've reached out to Sony for answers, but so far, no word.
What's the status of your credit card information? How about other personal information?
These are the most obvious questions that will affect the greatest amount of people. Your credit card number, your address and other information is saved on your PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Network. Is this information secure? Has it been compromised? Should people be worried?
The fact that these questions haven't been answered five days into the outage raises serious concerns.
How will PlayStation Plus subscribers be compensated? How about those with subscriptions to games like Free Realms and DC Universe Online? What about those with subscriptions to NHL GameCenter and MLB.tv?
I wasn't only a day one adopter of PlayStation Plus, I was in on the fun in the first hour. It's a great service that I've defended time and time again, from Twitter to Podcast Beyond, and even in the many stories Greg and I have written about the service over the past year.
But unlike standard PSN access, PlayStation Plus isn't free. Obviously, an outage of, say, a week only warrants a minute amount of money returned to the consumer. Yet, there are fleeting deals, discounts and the like that PS+ users -- the most loyal Sony customers there are -- can't take advantage of. And that's a problem.
And then there are the games and services tied to PlayStation Network that can't be used without it. DCUO is a game you pay to play, and it's exclusively online. Free Realms has memberships that can cost quite a bit, and yet there's no way for you to play this MMO right now. The NHL playoffs are in full swing, and people downloaded the GameCenter program to tie their NHL.com accounts to it. MLB.tv is an expensive service that can't be utilized via the PS3, and baseball season is just beginning.
How will all of these people be reimbursed for lost time and accessibility of services they paid for? And when?
What caused the outage, anyway?
This is probably something that Sony can answer after everything has been fixed, but since so many millions of people rely on PlayStation Network for their gaming fix, players are no doubt owed an explanation of what the problem was.
Pulling the plug on the PSN doesn't bode well for how deep and severe the problem is. There are a lot of unsubstantiated rumors floating around the Internet about what happened and what forced Sony to take some drastic actions. But we want to hear information straight from Sony. What caused this outage, and how could something so severe happen to a service so important to their tens upon tens of millions of customers?
You want to play Portal 2 online? Too bad. You want to play Brink, can't do that either.
What's the timetable for getting the PlayStation Network up and running?
PS3 gamers are extremely anxious to get back onto the PlayStation Network. There are games to purchase, Trophies to sync, and titles to play online.
With that said, when is the PSN going to be fixed? When the outage first happened, we were told a day or two. That was three days ago. A date and time isn't necessary if there really isn't one. But just be honest and tell us so. If this is going to be a prolonged problem, we deserve to know. If Sony is right around the corner from solving it, however, we should be told so.
Will the PSN be put back up in fragments? Will there be workarounds to get game servers back up?
Engineering talk aside, there are probably problems with certain parts of the PlayStation Network but not the entire thing. With new games having just come out like SOCOM 4, Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat, there are a plethora of eager gamers waiting to get online and play. So even if the PlayStation Store remains down, and we're unable to download new games for awhile, will servers eventually come back online to accommodate online play?