PlayStation Network Still Down; Service Returning This Week

Dave Zatz —  May 1, 2011 — 36 Comments

Since our last chat, Sony’s come clean. The PlayStation Network (PSN) outage, later classified as a response to an “external intrusion,” was a full on security breach — resulting in just about all our personal information taken:

We believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility.

With something like 70 million customers, the scale of the compromise is obviously quite large. Both governments and individuals alike have taken notice of what appears to be insufficient protection and a leisurely response by Sony. Reinforced by the two email messages I received from Sony about ten days after the breach, neither of which mentioned bringing law enforcement in to assist their investigation.

Well, it’s a new week… Sony’s finally reached out (to the FBI) for help and indicates that PSN will be be back online within a matter of days. Perhaps as early as tomorrow.

Some PlayStation Network and Qriocity Services to be Available This Week. The initial phase of the rollout will include, but is not limited to, the following: Restoration of Online game-play across the PlayStation®3 (PS3) and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) systems.

Once PSN is up, Sony will provide members with free access to PlayStation Plus, including unspecified content downloads, for 30 days in what they’re calling the “Welcome Back” appreciation program. Ironic, no?

  • Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Specific details of this content will be announced in each region soon.
  • All existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service. Current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service.

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36 responses to PlayStation Network Still Down; Service Returning This Week

  1. Finally , Can’t wait ..

  2. its about time, and i have heard from the press conference that credit card info was not taken but they still say as a security measure to monitor cards just incase.

  3. YAY!!!!!!!!! psn rules

  4. Does anyone actually still use PSN in 2011?

    I figured no one would even notice the outage since no one actually uses PSN anymore.

  5. Like a stick in the anthill?

  6. Too bad there were no ants in that particular anthill. I figured it might be 20 minutes of fun until your server crashed.

    I lived for a short bit in a house in a forest in one of the mountain ranges above LA, and the ants came in rivers for a few weeks during the summer. After we realized there was no stopping the ants, I noticed that they didn’t like crossing water, and was able to route their traffic into fun patterns by creating tiny lakes and rivers on the kitchen counters…

  7. “Does anyone actually still use PSN in 2011?”

    While it isn’t my primary entertainment source, Vudu (HDX, 5.1 audio and a stellar UI) on PSN provides the best streaming experience, far and away, IMO.

  8. Combine the PS3′s stellar Blu-ray playback (still considered to be among the best) and combine it with the PSN (Vudu, Netflix, Hulu Plus and NHL) and an argument could easily be made that the PSN helps to make the PS3 the single best device to own for anyone with a dedicated media room/theater.

  9. “Combine the PS3′s stellar Blu-ray playback (still considered to be among the best) and combine it with the PSN (Vudu, Netflix, Hulu Plus and NHL) and an argument could easily be made that the PSN helps to make the PS3 the single best device to own for anyone with a dedicated media room/theater.”

    Dave had hundreds of instant-fire comments on the topic last weekend, and I was just trolling the expected foreign hordes.

    I’m not a gamer, so I have no experience with the PS3, but you do make it sound tasty.

    (I’m a late adopter, so I still haven’t made it to the Blu-Ray party. If HBO ever stopped being so goddamn compelling, I’d drop the premium cable channels and get a 3 or 6 Blu-Ray plan from Netflix instead. Then it’d be nice to have a combo Blu-Ray/streamer box.)

  10. jcm, yeah Chucky was just intending to taunt our anticipated pre-teen drivebys based on what we saw last weekend with 10,000 hits an hour. However, unlike Eastern Sunday, mainstream media and bloggers alike managed to cover Sony’s press conference from late last night and the stage wasn’t mine alone.

    The PS3 offers compelling content on top of that Blu-ray playback which is I made it one of my recommendations for Boxes of Year (2010 Edition). Although, for the non-gamers who can get by with non-Vudu VOD, there are better values to be hand for connected Blu-ray players. In fact, given the drought of current, mainstream, HD Netflix streaming I’m thinking a need a Blu-ray player for at least one of the TVs (as I unloaded my most recent PS3 a few weeks back).

  11. Dave and Chucky…Actually I have been using an Xbox of late as my primary entertainment source. The recent addition of Hulu Plus, on top of Netflix, ESPN3 and Zune music is a winner. I am not a gamer but I bought an original PS3 a few years ago when I was building a home theater strictly for Blu-ray playback. I picked up a slim a few months ago for another room to take advantage of the Blu-ray playback and streaming services. I have used dedicated Blu-ray players (Samsungs) and TVs (again Samsungs) for their streming capabilities and while not terrible, IMO they pale when compared to the PS3. And by the way, I still am not a gamer…outside of a little TW golf on the PS3 and some Mario Cart on the Wii. As countless others have noted, I am still waiting for one Super device; Blu-ray playback, on board storage, support for local streaming, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, ESPN3, Amazon VoD, MLB, NBA….

  12. Related, I had an email come in from one of our regulars last week suggesting I do a post polling folks on which components add up to a preferred solution given we’ve yet to see that one perfect box.

    Speaking of Xbox, I picked up the newer Slim version for $200 a couple of weeks ago. The power brick is still huge, but not as huge, and the optical drive still too loud, but there’s a lot of a value to be had. And I’m occasionally a gamer — nearly done with Portal 2 single player. Causally watched some Netflix Starz content this afternoon, the second half of Salt. Given the distance I was sitting from the TV and the fact that my glasses were in the car, the lower quality wasn’t much of a factor – it’d have been fuzzy anyway. Although some fast action pans were a bit painful. I’m still mostly watching Hulu Plus only in the gym from my phone, Daily Show and Colbert Report. I did try watching something the other night on my connected Vizio set which locked up and then I moved on. Wondering what the best connected Blu-ray player is. Other than the PS3 which is too bulky for what I’m thinking. Hm.

  13. Early input…Xbox (Netflix, Hulu Plus, ESPN3 and Zune for music & movie rentals); AppleTV (purchase of TV seasons and streaming of local content) and because I’m invested in the iTunes ecosystem with an iPhone and iPad; and basic cable because there is still enough content I can’t get any other way…legally.

  14. “Wondering what the best connected Blu-ray player is. Other than the PS3 which is too bulky for what I’m thinking.”

    I like the Samsung BDP-C6500 — slim profile with quality Blu-ray playback and Vudu, Netflix and Pandora apps.

  15. “Early input…Xbox (Netflix, Hulu Plus, ESPN3 and Zune for music & movie rentals); AppleTV (purchase of TV seasons and streaming of local content) and because I’m invested in the iTunes ecosystem with an iPhone and iPad; and basic cable because there is still enough content I can’t get any other way…legally.”

    There is no one correct answer for every consumer, of course, and we’re still not anywhere near “one box to rule them all” unless TiVo pulls an highly unlikely rabbit out of their hat in their next hardware revision.

    I love my TiVo HD as a DVR, love it for the Netflix client (though I know I’m the only one), and love it for buy/purchase 1080 quality downloads from Amazon with their download locker on purchases. I also love the TiVo for the way it works with FIOS service, which makes a de facto legal solution with the wondrous Plex, which is tastier than really good pizza pie, which is saying something in my book

    Of course, Plex require my Mac Mini on input 2, which ends up serving a lot of other purposes as well. Conveniently, I can use the Mini for an AirPlay receiver through 3rd party software, though AirPlay isn’t quite up to useful quite yet. If I ever got more into AirPlay, I could imagine buying an AppleTV.

    Also, since Plex now has a media server going on Windows, I could imagine picking up a cheap Mac Mini form factor Windows box with a Blu-Ray drive for input 2 or 3, though OS X is a helluva lot more pleasant to work with, as well as having other household server uses.

    I’ve got plenty of HDMI inputs on my TV. No reason I need one box to rule them all. Spending on a bit on multiple boxes can be paradoxically long-term cheaper and of a far better user-experience than buying one box and being locked into their content purchase options…

  16. “Causally watched some Netflix Starz content this afternoon, the second half of Salt. Given the distance I was sitting from the TV and the fact that my glasses were in the car, the lower quality wasn’t much of a factor”

    You must have been two miles away from your TV and/or you must be legally blind without your glasses. The quality is really bad sans blindness or watching from a different county.

    Seriously, Netflix Starz is a crime against humanity. John Malone should be put on trial by an international tribunal at the Hague.

    (And it’s not only Netflix Starz. I recorded Rachel Getting Married six months ago on Starz premium cable, and just recently tried to watch it. It turns out that Starz put a giant Starz advertising banner obscuring the bottom third of the picture for the first 80% of the movie. (And they weren’t covering blank space. The movie is shot at 1.85 : 1.) That’s even worse than the cruel jokes on the viewer that IFC HD plays with their content. Since the movie doesn’t seem available in windowed premium cable any longer, or available for Amazon HD VOD, I’m thinking of re-encoding the mpg in Handbrake while cropping out the bottom third. But even then, I simply lose a lot of the picture that Demme shot. There is no winning with Starz.)

  17. “Seriously, Netflix Starz is a crime against humanity. John Malone should be put on trial by an international tribunal at the Hague.”

    Agreed. As I scroll through potential movies on Netflix, I disregard Starz movies, and if I should happen to miss the Starz logo on the cover art and I inadvertently select one, I immediately stop the movie and exit once the Starz introduction starts to play. Well encoded standard definition movies are barely acceptable in the age of flat screen televisions and the availability of HD content; Starz movies – often the worst possible SD encodes – are unacceptable. The one critique I would have of Netflix is they need to do a better job of bringing more high quality HD content to their service. The worst possible outcome of their success and streaming becoming mainstream would be for average SD (or worse yet, Starz encoded movies) encodes to become the norm…to become acceptable.

  18. Yeah, I almost universally pass on Starz content. However, I started watching this flick on my iPhone from the gym hamsterwheel because I couldn’t remember the series Chucky said were good on HBO(Go). The low res wasn’t as much of a problem on a 3.5″ screen and I wasn’t invested in the film. But instead of Zune HD VOD in the living room, thinking I do need a slim Blu-ray player and using Netflix the old school way.

  19. Glad you avoided influx of teen fanboys/girls :) Reading comments on those posts was horrible — reminded me of free-for-all melee that are Engadget comments.

    I have U-verse, 360 (original), PS3 (fat), Boxee Box, Vudu boxes, mini HTPC, and probably a few more devices I don’t really use. But since I got iPad 2 last week, I’m playing around with using it to playback content. I found a player that handles 720p MKVs (still a bit slow on 1080p) and caught up on season 1 of Haven. Now I’m going to attempt building a self-contained wireless HDMI streaming solution for it (hardest part is actually powering HDMI transmitter).

  20. i only use the ps3 for games lokie blackops

  21. As long as this topic ended up ranging far afield, I’ll add a could of pretty-off topic ideas.

    1) If you’ve got a Mac Mini HTPC, I can’t recommend BananaTV highly enough. For 7 bucks, it perfectly turns your Mini into an AppleTV iOS AirPlay receiver.

    2) Dave really needs to familiarize himself with Plex, and do a post on it. (Happy to provide pointers if needed.) With Plex client now on iOS, LG TV’s, Rokus, OS X, jailbroken AppleTV’s; and with Plex Server now on OS X and Windows, there is no avoiding it anymore. They’ve constructed a colossus. I know local media caching is out of fashion these days, but Plex makes it all seamlessly work, if you got some of it through de facto legal means.

    (I still use my homebrew OS X media management organization and playback sometimes, but Plex makes the whole so easy and comprehensive that I find myself slowing development on the homebrerew.)

  22. I’m not unfamiliar with Plex, but it’s been awhile since I’ve played with it and I’m surely no expert. BUT I did see the Roku client news, which is very cool. 5 years ago when I TiVoToGo-ed everything or even earlier when I hoarded media and powered my network via an HTPC, it would have been very useful. Now, I don’t really consume media in that fashion and I’ve got too many hobbies. I AM pining away for a FiOS live “cable” iPad app.

  23. mine is still down why man plz help i wanna play lmao

  24. why is my ps3 still down after the netwrok came bak

  25. “5 years ago when I TiVoToGo-ed everything or even earlier when I hoarded media and powered my network via an HTPC, it would have been very useful. Now, I don’t really consume media in that fashion and I’ve got too many hobbies.”

    I fully understand. I merely suggest in the spirit of an assignments editor that you give this hobby a short chance for the same reasons you pulled out the Logitech Revue.

    You’ve already got all the gear. TTG three movies from your TiVo. (Or, if you have other de facto legal video files around, like ripped movies from Blu-Ray disks you own, you can use a few of them instead.) Run the media server with whatever OS X or Windows non-laptop hardware you’ve got lying around with the few video files. (The media server has a nice standard OS X interface.) All this should take less effort than dragging out the Revue.

    Then try the lean-back client on your Roku. If you’ve got a jailbroken AppleTV or an Android device, try the clients. At this point, it’s all still free. And lastly, try the $5 iOS app client for iPad and iPhone, since it’s the most beautiful.

    Plex is everywhere. They’re even on Android. They’re a genuine phenomena. This is a story on your beat that’s much better than HBO GO on the Revue…

  26. Actually, yes the Roku support got my attention as a potential cheapy TiVo extender in conjunction with Plex. I do have an Apple TV that’s periodically jailbroken and an Android device, but the Roku is configured and live. Maybe I’ll mess around sometime in the next few days.

    However, we have no Windows or Mac desktop computers laying around. I do have a dedicated Linux PC… but it doesn’t have a harddrive and runs off a flash drive. Not sure it’s up to the task. But my wife’s laptop might be.

  27. “I’m not unfamiliar with Plex, but it’s been awhile since I’ve played with it”

    FWIW, Plex Nine is the dividing point. That’s where they first put in a media manager with a standard UI and 99% perfect metadata lookup.

  28. “However, we have no Windows or Mac desktop computers laying around.”

    Good god, man!

    The Mac Mini is cheap. And the Dell Zinios are even cheaper.

    You can hide ‘em away, and they’re very useful to have around. If you’ve got iOS devices and a MBA, I highly recommend you invest in a Mini…

  29. My wife’s laptop, that I specced out, is pretty stacked and would outperform most Mac Minis except perhaps the very latest generation. And, then, perhaps only in regards to the video card. I usually swipe it for tasks such as these.

  30. “My wife’s laptop, that I specced out, is pretty stacked and would outperform most Mac Minis except perhaps the very latest generation.”

    It’s the always on aspect of the Mini that I appreciate. My base equipped, two-year old Mini sits there, silent, and drawing 5 to 10 watts, doing the following:

    - Acts as a Time Machine server, so I don’t have to buy or bother with Time Capsules.

    - Provides AirPrint functionality for iOS devices, so I don’t have to buy or bother with specialized printers.

    - Acts as an audio stream receiver, so I don’t have to buy Airport Express mini-routers.

    - Provides Plex and iTunes media serving functions.

    And it can function as a lean-back HTPC to boot if you run a HDMI cable, though minor hobby tinkering is required, that works with Plex, AirPlay, and lots of other things.

    Given your investment in various Cupertino devices, it provides a nice hub that pays for itself pretty quickly. Even with a Linux server, I’d think a Mini tucked away somewhere would still make sense for you. They last for eons. I think of mine as a Time Machine server with lots and lots of extra benefits.

  31. You’re doing a good job convincing me. The HDMI out might be enough to push me over the edge. I have been thinking of unloading my Time Capsule given my new 802.11n FiOS (Actiontec) router. Ideally, I’d put it in the basement with the router. But for practical purposes I might need to keep it wireless and in the living room TV cabinet. Tho, that’d kill my AirPrint option too. Hm.

  32. Hm, maybe an iMac is similar but better. Stop making me spend money, as I’m percolating a bathroom remodel and new car.

  33. “Hm, maybe an iMac is similar but better. Stop making me spend money, as I’m percolating a bathroom remodel and new car.”

    Mini is cheaper. Takes up less room, so you can put it anywhere. Takes up less power so you can run it 24/7. Got more ports for hubbing. Hub + spoke. You’ve already got one thin client laptop as a spoke. (Assume your spouse is on Windows, but you can always get her an OS X thin client MBP with enough power to run Windows/Fusion emulation down the line, which will be another spoke.)

    Entry level price on an iMac with SSD is $2K. (Getting a client box w/out SSD seems crazy to me in 2011.)

    Save 2/3rds of the money and leave the iMacs to folks without bathroom remodelling jobs. The Mini is just an expensive router/hub/server/HTPC that pays for itself in no time at all.

  34. “But for practical purposes I might need to keep it wireless and in the living room TV cabinet. Tho, that’d kill my AirPrint option too. Hm.”

    No. If your printer is on the LAN and your Mini is on the LAN, AirPrint should work no matter where your Mini is…

    “I have been thinking of unloading my Time Capsule given my new 802.11n FiOS (Actiontec) router.”

    Assuming you plan to wire ethernet to cheap 5ghz access points, the Actiontec makes a good initial router.

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