In a situation that for gamers is quickly growing to “Who shot JFK?” proportions, the PlayStation Network (PSN) — Sony’s answer to Xbox Live — was effectively killed by an external source sometime last Thursday, forcing Sony to completely rebuild the entire system. That’s five long days without the PlayStation Store and PS3-exclusive MMOs, which may as well be five months as far as PS3 gamers are concerned.
The question on everybody’s minds: who toppled PSN? Who could have perpetrated such an all-encompassing crime, catching Sony completely off guard and dismantling such a high-profile network so effectively? How in the world could Sony even allow their network to be open to an attack of this magnitude?
PlayStation’s launch of Portal 2 (not a PS3 exclusive, but still a big deal) was meant to be a high-profile affair, after Valve’s Gabe Newell made a surprise appearance on stage at E3 last year to announce that a much-anticipated Valve title would be coming to the PS3 for the first time. Portal 2 is also playable on PC and Xbox 360, so at least gamers have other means of playing through the game on other services. But for PS3 gamers, it just plain sucks.
And that’s just one title. Any number of others, particularly MMOs like DC Universe Online or PS3 exclusives with a big multiplayer component, like Killzone 3, are completely offline until Sony can resolve things. Which has to really suck for game developers, who are losing out on revenues from the outage, but have zero control over the situation.
Can you imagine something like this happening to Xbox Live, which boasts considerably more users than PSN? I can’t.
At this time, Sony has no estimates, and says it could still be quite a while, though they’re working as fast at rebuilding the system as humanly possible. Any bets on how long it will be before PSN is back up and running? I’m gonna guess at least three or four more days. If it’s any longer than that, some Sony heads are going to roll.