PSN Outage Outrage:- Could Be Xbox Live's Saving Grace
r a warning to all users?
24 mil users data lost/compromisedby : GrathiusXR
©2011 Arthur KotsopoulosFirst off, we appreciate games as a whole whether it's the Uncharted or Killzone series or the monstrous powerhouse that is PC gaming. But one has to wonder if the current PSN outage could not have come at a better time for avid Xbox gamers. After keeping up to date with the developments of this ongoing saga I can't help but feel for those like me who are new owners of the PS3 (in my case a mere 2 months ago). For the last 2 weeks I haven't touched my PS3 due to the PSN outage. Personal information being compromised, credit card information having been potentially obtained, no official word from SONY until a week after the PSN had been down, no sure confirmed ETA (as of writing) on when it will even be back up and the mere fact that apart from the great single player exclusive PS3 games I own (and I've already played) I simply cannot use the thing for what I wanted- multiplayer with my PS3 mates. [Ed.: An interesting article about how Sony Online lost a bunch of accounts can be found here, while an article detailing US and AUS governments investigating the matter can be found here.] Which has brought me back to my 360.
Microsoft not always lucky either
That’s not to say that Microsoft’s Xbox Live is untarnished. It’s had its ups and downs back in December 2007-January 2008 when Xbox Live had intermittent downtime due to a larger than expected number of gamers joining the service over a very short period, but that was nowhere near the same caliber as what the PSN is seeing at the moment, or the fact personal details off the PSN have been obtained.
The good thing back in 2007/08 was that Microsoft kept us all up to date via various media outlets, forum postings etc cetera as to what was happening, and in certain circumstances, they reimbursed many gamers with free XBL games and in many other ways as well.
The sheer fact that SONY is reported to need to actually fully rebuild the infrastructure from scratch in order to accommodate a much better security system to be in place, makes me wonder if I should even bother to continue to game on the PSN in the future.
Neither system is completely immune to phishing scams and hacks from determined individuals and groups on a global level where credit card details can be stolen but to have to shut down the ‘entire‘ Playstation Network (PSN), it definitely is undeniably becoming something extremely serious for SONY. SO much so, that both Australia and the US are asking questions of SONY Corp, and expecting answer regarding the security of their citizens.
Plus, it couldn’t have come at a worse time, as SOCOM 4 had just been released in Australia the very day that PSN went down and I know a few people I work with were extremely excited to go home on that late Thursday night to jump straight online with their friends and get involved in some serious 3rd person shooter warfare, only to see that to their surprise, they were not able to login because PSN had been shut down, indefinitely.
And, to add insult to injury for SONY, EPIC had just given early access to the Gears of War 3 BETA to gamers who had won competition codes from various websites and early access a few days later to Bulletstorm EPIC edition buyers, giving all the more incentive to jump back over the fence and dust off the 360 and give it a good crack.
The last two weeks have pretty much sucked if you’re an avid PS3 gamer and prefer the SONY system over Microsoft’s Xbox 360, but one can’t help but think this is the 360’s ‘clincher deal’ for many would be new gamers, or those who simply spend a huge amount of their gaming time online, at least in the short term.
With the great response the Gears of War 3 BETA is having at the moment, and the fact SOCOM 4 has been rendered basically unplayable, as it’s mainly an online game, one has to wonder how many are dropping the old “but you have to pay for XBL whereas PSN is free” argument. The old adage, “You get what you pay for” – or in this case – don’t pay for, seems to jump to mind.
Those with a X360’s may be appreciating a service that, yes whilst you do pay to keep it running, you do get an very stable and up to date (so-far) secure service that allows you access to play with your friends and millions of fellow gamers around the world.
The fact that you do indeed pay for what you get and at the moment it looks like a pretty good deal to me.
The bad press for SONY might push those who are still uncertain which console to buy to Microsoft’s X360.
As we write this, it does seem that SONY may finally be close to completing their task of rebuilding their service, as certain services of the PSN will be back up and running as early as sometime this week (first week in May), but I do believe they need to look at what Microsoft have done with XBL service and ideally learn from their own mistakes before bringing it back up.
I definitely do not want to see this happening when Uncharted 3 is released or the next Call of Duty because then it will just frustrate me no-end, not to mention many millions of online gamers around the world.
That would be something that will certainly test the loyalty of SONY fans and the PS3 community, and many may well be looking at jumping ship.
How good is it right now to be a single player gamer who loves Uncharted 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4 for the main campaigns, and not the multiplayer?
The present situation with Sony is definitely worrying and the negative worldwide press is deserved: they have handled this very poorly.
However, I do not believe this will harm the PS3 long term. Gamers can be a forgiving lot, especially when there are good games coming…
In a way those of us with a PS3 can feel a lot like those flying on an airplane shortly after 9/11 (which I did).
The fact that something bad has happened means that more care and attention will be devoted to security. This means that the PSN network should be as safe as it possibly can be when it returns as Sony does not want this bad press and lawsuits again.
Those with an X360 may well be smirking at the moment, but no network is immune, none.
But this does definitely demonstrate shortcomings in the strong focus that online-only games like SOCOM: Confrontation, or those where the multiplayer is a huge focus over single player, have.
It also shows risks to online only streamed games and games only available in downloadable form. You can’t play if either your internet or the console network is down. You can’t buy anything downloadable either.
A little something to think about for those in the industry and gamers who want to see a fully digital age without hard copies or strong single player experiences. No system is safe from hackers.