When the PSN went down last year it was torn to shreds by the mainstream media, lambasted by politicians and caused millions of gamers to frantically check their bank in case accounts had been compromised by the hackers responsible.
We’d all like to think that since then Sony has tightened up security so that it won’t happen again, but every time the PSN goes down for unscheduled maintenance it’s no wonder people get a little bit nervous.
In recent months, this does seem to be happening more and more frequently. You only have to look at Twitter and search for ‘PSN down’ to see Tweets on a daily basis from gamers not being able to access the service.
We too have encountered numerous connection issues over the past couple of months, which culminated in the widespread disruption of it going down for more than a few hours on two separate occasions for what has been described as “unscheduled maintenance.”
What’s really odd is that recently the PSN has been prompting users to change their passwords in order to log-on. Of course, this raises concerns about the security of our passwords and begs the questions: what is Sony actually doing to the PSN and why are we having to change our personal details? You only have to check out numerous PlayStation forums to see that users of the service have expressed concern about security, yet we’ve had no explanation from Sony to allay fears.
Though the maintenance could well be totally routine, the silence from Sony is frustrating. Not only have we had to endure an incredible amount of firmware updates over the years, but now we’re taking a gamble almost every time we turn on the PS3, keeping our fingers crossed that we can connect immediately.
The most annoying part of all of this is the lack of explanation; we’re just told that Sony is working on a solution. Compare the downtime of the PSN to Xbox Live and it’s quite ridiculous. Apart from regular problems accessing EA’s servers, we don’t recall any moment when that service has been down for unscheduled work. Type ‘Xbox Live Down’ into Twitter’s search and you’ll find nothing relevant.
Why have these connections problems not been ironed out when we’re so far in the PS3’s life cycle? What is wrong with Sony’s network infrastructure? We can only presume, until we hear otherwise, that it’s still working on rebuilding the PSN since the hacking last year and is still ironing out all the kinks.
One thing’s for sure, we don’t want to see a repeat of these problems when the PS4 arrives and we’re still very curious to know exactly why we’re currently faced with sporadic connectivity issues. We've got a feeling we'll never really know.