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February 3, 2015

PlayStation Network Returns After Yet Another Outage

PlayStation NetworkSony's PlayStation Network (PSN) was once again offline this weekend, this time during Sunday's Super Bowl XLIX.

"We're aware that some users are experiencing issues signing into PSN," PlayStation tweeted on Sunday. "Engineers are investigating. We'll keep you posted."

The Ask PlayStation account posted an update on Monday, saying that PSN services "are in the process of being restored." A later reply ensured that the network was back online, and suggested users "power cycle" their devices and try again.

Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This, of course, is not the first time the PSN has left gamers in the lurch. As folks were digging into their newly unwrapped PlayStation 4 consoles on Christmas Day, they found themselves locked out of the network. Microsoft's Xbox Live was also targeted by hackers who go by the name Lizard Squad.

Sony extended its holiday and flash sales as a result of the PSN's December downtime. Deals included PS4 titles like Alien: Isolation for $36, Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition for $40, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare for $45.



December 28, 2014

Playstation Network Down for Third Day in a Row; Sony Suggests DDoS to Blame

PlayStation NetworkBad news for Playstation gamers looking to get a little time in with their consoles—old or new—this holiday season. As of around 5 p.m. today (PT), the Playstation Network remains down for basically the third day in a row, minus a few brief spurts of service here and there.

Though it's unclear just what, exactly, the specific reason for the downtime actually is, it's widely rumored that hackers hit both Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's Playstation Network with a DDoS attack starting Christmas Day. At least, that's what Twitter accounts belonging to members of the group Lizard Squad have claimed, but there's been no outright confirmation from Microsoft or Sony that this is the case.

Additionally, it's unclear just what's taking Sony so long to restore its service. Presumably, it was hit with the same style of attack that took out Xbox Live as well, though rival Microsoft has certainly rebounded quite a bit faster than Sony. A blog post from Sony, published today, doesn't shed much additional light on the mystery, though it does seem to imply that a DDoS attack was the culprit.

"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," reads a blog post from Catherine Jensen, a Sony Computer Entertainment America vice president.

"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."

And no, it's not you; it's them.

"If you received a PlayStation console over the holidays and have been unable to log onto the network, know that this problem is temporary and is not caused by your game console. We'll continue to keep you posted on Twitter at @AskPlayStation and we'll update this post once the problems subside," she added.

Though Lizard Squad has allegedly called off its DDoS, so the group announced Friday, that doesn't necessarily mean that they have—or, for that matter, that those with access to the resources used to DDoS major entities aren't carrying on and simply not saying anything.

It's also possible that the Lizard Squad twitter account originally taking credit for the attack doesn't necessarily represent those behind said attack. Et cetera. Insert your own Sherlock Holmes-like scenario here… while you're waiting for the Playstation Network to kick back online, that is.



December 25, 2014

Xbox Live and Playstation Network Down on Christmas Day

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4: Upcoming Consoles Compared Bah humbug.

Is anyone else getting tired of the not-so-infrequent issues affecting gaming services like Xbox Live, the Playstation Network, and Steam lately? We doubt the companies' infrastructures are to blame per se; given the coincidental timing of today's outage affecting Microsoft and Sony's services, we're willing to bet it's yet another DDoS attack of some sort.

According to Microsoft and Sony webpages as of noon (PT) today, both the Playstation Network and Xbox Live are down for the count. They've been down for a few hours, but neither company is specifying why. A report from Polygon notes that notorious hacker group Lizard Squad did threaten to take both services offline on Christmas Day. It's undoubtedly true that they, or some other unknown group, is responsible for your shortage of online gaming at the moment.

"We're aware that some users are having issues logging into PSN - engineers are investigating," tweeted the official Playstation account early this morning.

"We're aware users are having issues logging into XBL & are actively working to resolve. Please visit http://xbx.lv/XBLstus for updates ^JX," reads a tweet from Microsoft's Xbox Support account around five hours later.



February 6, 2012

Sony PlayStation Network Reborn as Sony Entertainment Network

Sony Entertainment Network

Sony on Tuesday plans to roll its PlayStation Network into the existing Sony Entertainment Network (SEN), the company announced.

As such, PSN accounts will now be renamed SEN accounts, but users' current account information and services will remain the same.

SEN, previously called Qriocity, represents Sony's online streaming services, which includes music, games, ebooks, and video.

Sony said it is making the change to unify its branding. "This helps us get closer to our goal of establishing a global comprehensive network platform of services across games, movies, music and more, all accessible from one convenient account," Sony said in a statement.

The PlayStation Network branding took a beating last year, when the network went down for several weeks after a massive hack.



June 2, 2011

Sony’s PlayStation Store Back Online

After more than a month of downtime, the PlayStation Store is back online, Sony announced Wednesday night.

Sony promised a "huge lineup" of new downloadable games, demos, add-on content, themes, avatars, and videos. The company also added new full game trials, free games and DLC, free avatars, and more discounts, according to a blog post.

"The PlayStation Store is back online and thank you everyone for your patience," Sony said.

One thing that's not yet online is Sony's welcome-back package. In an effort to retain users who were without service following a massive hack of Sony's PlayStation Network, the company last month said it would provide free games, movie rentals, and virtual items.



May 31, 2011

Sony: (Almost) All PlayStation Network Services Online by Week’s End

Sony said Monday that the company will restore almost all of its services, including the Playstation Store, by the end of the week in the Americas, Europe, and most of Asia.

The exception will be Sony's Qriocity music service, at least in the territories Sony has restored. Sony also left its plans for some of the regions - Japan, Hong, Kong, and South Korea - undefined, and said it would provide updates as they come available.

By the end of the week, the following services will be available in the Americas, as well as the so-called PAL regions, including Europe: full functionality on the PlayStation Store, in-game commerce, the ability to redeem vouchers and codes, full functionality on Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for PS3, PSP, VAIO and other PCs, and full functionality on Media Go.

Sony didn't give a date, but the end of the week - Saturday - would be June 2.



May 23, 2011

PlayStation Hack to Cost Sony $171M; Quake Costs Far Higher

Sony Japan office

Sony said Monday that the effects of the Japan earthquake and tax provisions will drag the company into a $3.18 billion loss for its 2011 fiscal year. Costs from the PlayStation Network hack are expected to total $171 million, the company said.

The direct impact on Sony's sales for the earthquake is expected to be about 22 billion yen, or $268.9 million, Sony said. The effect on operating income is expected to be much greater, however: 17 billion yen ($207.8 million) for fiscal 2011, and 150 billion yen ($1.83 billion) for fiscal 2012, which ends in March 2012.

Sony believes that it will report consolidated revenue of 7,181 billion yen $87.8 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, down 0.3 percent from its February estimates, before the impact of the March earthquake. Sony's statements Monday are still estimates; Sony will formally announce its earnings on May 26.



May 18, 2011

PlayStation Network Log-Ins Down After Reported Password Exploit

Sony PlayStation 3 Hack

By Chloe Albanesius

Sony's PlayStation woes continued Wednesday, with a reported password exploit prompting the company to temporarily disable PlayStation Network sign-ins.

"The server is currently down for maintenance," reads a notice on PlayStation.com when users click sign-in. "We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again later."

The glitch affects PlayStation.com, PlayStation forums, PlayStation Blog, Qriocity.com, Music Unlimited via the web client, and all PlayStation game title Web sites, according to a post on the European PlayStation forums.



April 27, 2011

Sony’s PlayStation Network Outage: What You Need to Know

By Mark Hachman

Last week, Sony's PlayStation Blog posted an ominous bit of news."We're aware certain functions of PlayStation Network are down," a Sony executive wrote. "We will report back here as soon as we can with more information."

But the real kicker was the second line: "Thank you for your patience."

That line is even more ironic on this, Day 7 of the PlayStation Network's outage. Although the offline functions of Sony's flagship game console work just fine—users can play single-player games, watch DVDs and Blu-ray discs, and access stored media—anything that requires connecting to the cloud remains offline for an indefinite period. Although we don't know much, here's what we do know about Sony's online outage.