Sony unveils new hardware while PlayStation Network fiasco continues

Posted: April 27, 2011 by CptToffer in General
Tags: , , , , ,

In the last 24 hours Sony has unveiled its latest hardware: Playstation Tablets. This article at IGN shows two designs that Sony have planned for this fall. They will be released globally on a date to be confirmed, and have been named as the S1 and S2. Pricing details have not been announced, but you will be able to download PS1 titles, (most people would either own them, or have them on the PS3 by now I would have thought?) as well as performing other tablet related activities. The main difference between the two from what I can see so far will likely be the pricing and the size and design of the screens, as you can see from the picture below.

That's great Sony, but I couldn't care less while the PSN is shafted

Well Sony that’s great. I mean your prior handhelds have sold so well when compared to Apple and Nintendo. Last time I checked the PSP range was dying a slow but inevitable death, PSP Go production had been discontinued in Japan to allow them to focus on the NGP, whose chances I’m not overly optimistic about anyway. The only thing dafter than releasing details of another handheld gaming unit would be unveiling the details for it, when your online service to the Playstation 3 users is totally screwed, and their confidential information is being leaked to whomever is responsible. Oh wait…

If anyone’s been on their Playstation 3 recently they will notice a complete lack of PlayStation Network. For those who have not been keeping up with the news it appears that something is very wrong with the PSN. Sony remain tight lipped about what is actually going on, originally stating a 48 hour maintenance period that has now clearly expired like last week’s milk. With questions being asked by gamers around the globe, Sony has continued to tell them very little apart from they are working on the problem. I can imagine everyone’s response was something along the lines of “no shit” and they continued to wait.

Sony have released various cryptic messages stating “external intrusion” is to blame. They also announced they have essentially turned off the PSN in order to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure the smooth operation of its services. They did not give a timetable or even an estimate as to when gamers can expect some sort of update. This was on April 20th.

This evening (April 26th) Sony has announced that it is a real possibility that the persons responsible have gained access to the confidential details of users on the PSN. This includes names, dates of birth, addresses, login details, and possibly credit card details. Clearly the metaphorical faeces has hit the air circulation device. The thing that makes me laugh the most is the statement right after the revelation that your private details are no longer private:

“We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this incident, and we regret any inconvenience”

Inconvenience? Inconvenience? Are they kidding? This isn’t an inconvenience, it’s a bloody disaster. Not only has the situation become worse, but the users of the service are still totally in the dark. As a PS3 owner I’ve purchased the console with the promise of a free online service. I’m currently not getting that service. I can only imagine what Playstation Plus users are going through. At least the service I’m getting is free, those poor bastards are paying extra. Will they be compensated? If so how? That’s one of many questions Sony should be answering right now. I appreciate they are likely trying to fix the problem, but I doubt the people down in Public Relations are lending them a hand. We should be a lot better informed. They have addressed the credit card and confidential information concerns, but is it a case of too little to late, after advising us six days into the situation?

Want to play Portal 2 multiplayer on your PS3? A snowballs chance in hell right now

Other questions that need answering range from, what actually caused the outage, to some sort of rough estimate regarding the time scales for the return of the service and just how it’s all going to work. The outage couldn’t have come at a worse time with gamers eagerly anticipating the SOCOM 4 and Infamous 2 betas, and the recent releases of Mortal Kombat and Portal 2 leaving Playstation 3 users frustrated at being able to take their games online for the much hyped multiplayer components of these titles.

Overall Sony really should sort the situation out as soon as possible. They risk a lot of long term damage if not, and if people’s credit card details have already been compromised then I can’t begin to comment on what ramifications that would have in the long term. If this is going to be a long term problem, then Public Relations needs to pull its finger out of its ass and start releasing some real details. As for my thoughts on the party responsible for these actions, wasn’t Skynet  supposed to become self aware last week? Maybe it started its attack on humanity on a much smaller scale?

Advertisements
Comments
  1. RSxcore says:

    Yeah, firstly they haven’t just turned off the PSN, they are rebuilding it.

    I agree with your article mostly that Sony’s communication to their community has been poor.
    I’m not too fussed that the event of the hacking has happened, as there is nothing more Sony could have done here, hacking happens all the time and it could just have easily happened to Microsoft or anyone else. They did the right thing by turning off the PSN straight away though i’d imagine.
    Although their communication has been poor in the time taken to reveal the big statement about possible identity theft, we must also understand that we don’t actually know that they have known for the past week about this. Everyone seems to have just suddenly assumed this. Sony have not said this at all and they may well have just discovered this. Yes it sounds a bit crazy considering it’s been a week or so now, but from what the PS blog posts suggest, Sony may have actually only just discovered this, and even maybe underestimated the attack somewhat at first, and the extent of the attack, lending to this late revelation.
    So it’s basically being blamed on Sony, even though there is no shred of evidence to suggest what everyone assumes – that they’ve known this all week. So although I pretty much agree with what you’re saying, as Sony could have been a lot more open with us at the end of the day to warn us of any potential threat, it is jumping on the bandwagon a bit here, considering we don’t know enough to condemn Sony right now.

    Anyways it sucks for me, and I will be keeping a close eye on my bank account.

    Regarding the tablets, yes it is a fail on the time they decided to unveil these, but regardless of the fact they play PS1 games, i don’t think you should be comparing them to portable gaming devices, but to tablets instead (e.g. iPad)

  2. JC says:

    In one word…bias.

    I think it is a little hard to instantly point the finger at Sony. Many many systems are hackable and regardless of this Anonymous issue Sony are always going to be under threat and they have been exposed. What most gamers don’t realise while they cry about not having PSN for a few days is that it is in Sony’s interest to sort this out ASAP.

    So has this outage really affected us? I mean really affected us? Are we now being invaded by a stronger enemy? No. Are we dealing with natural disasters? No. Have we had so much unexplained sunshine that it would make more sense to be outside then inside playing on our PS3’s? YES.

    Also Sony will be compensating those who have either lost PSN+ service or had their bank accounts used illegally. MANY other gaming sites are reporting this. Including IGN or did we just “accidentally” miss that article fellas and instead focused on the one that let’s you bash Sony? i wont accept the argument that im inconvenienced when its a free service so that argument is out completely.

    I also dont get the handheld argument? Apple and Nintendo bring out just as many variations…to date…

    Apple

    Ipad
    Ipad2
    Ipod touch x 4 generations
    Iphone x 4 generations

    total = 10

    Nintendo

    DS
    DS lite
    DSi
    3DS

    total = 4

    Sony

    PSP
    PSP lite
    PSP GO
    Xperia

    total = 4

    So it’s equal between Nintendo unless you add the game boy variants…of which there were several.

    If anything, Sony should be commended after the earthquakes to be decisive enough to release new products and cut their losses on the PSP GO which i will admit was a ridiculous concept.

    As for the NGP, unless you have concrete news about this product you should reserve judgement. Because from what we have seen it looks promising and the reported specs out do any Nintendo system and can output better than the Wii.

    Otherwise as the above poster states…this becomes a Sony hating bandwagon site…which would be an awful shame.

    • CptToffer says:

      Against my better judgment Im going to post this comment and point out various faults in Cleverley’s argument.

      Firstly Im not bias. Glad we got that outta the way. Phew. I was worried thier.

      “I think it is a little hard to instantly point the finger at Sony. Many many systems are hackable and regardless of this Anonymous issue Sony are always going to be under threat and they have been exposed. What most gamers don’t realise while they cry about not having PSN for a few days is that it is in Sony’s interest to sort this out ASAP.”

      Once again as I’ve said to Matt, I’ve given an overview of what’s happened, then really talked about the Public Relation side of things. I’ve not discussed the security concerns or the responsible party, because frankly I don’t know enough about it, so I can’t. I wouldn’t report with fact unless I had it. The public relations side of things, I can point the finger at Sony at as they are responsible for keeping people informed.

      “So has this outage really affected us? I mean really affected us? Are we now being invaded by a stronger enemy? No. Are we dealing with natural disasters? No. Have we had so much unexplained sunshine that it would make more sense to be outside then inside playing on our PS3′s? YES.”

      These sentences are pointless.

      “Also Sony will be compensating those who have either lost PSN+ service or had their bank accounts used illegally. MANY other gaming sites are reporting this. Including IGN or did we just “accidentally” miss that article fellas and instead focused on the one that let’s you bash Sony? i wont accept the argument that im inconvenienced when its a free service so that argument is out completely.”

      First of all IGN reported this story around 3 hours after this article was posted. So well done for suggesting I can predict the future but I can’t. If other sites were talking about it, it was speculation at best. This is proved by the following statement from Sony:

      “I want my money back (subscription fee, content) since the PSN/Qriocity was not available.

      While we are still assessing the impact of this incident, we recognize that this may have had financial impact on our loyal customers. We are currently reviewing options and will update you when the service is restored.”

      That does not say that people will be refunded. Anyone who assumes they will be refunded is wrong. Stating that I would just “miss an article” in order to bash Sony is offensive as I own a PS3, can’t use any of the services, including my LoveFilm account. Or did you forget that fact when you pulled you’re fanboy t-shirt on and started typing?

      As for the Free Service argument. As I’ve already stated not everyone gets it free, some people pay extra and aren’t getting that extra or the original content. Seeing as you buy the console, and part of that deal when you buy the console is access to the PlayStation Network then you have technically paid for something they are not providing. The same can be said for the Wii or Xbox360 online service if it were to fail.

      In regards to the handheld side of matters I have no idea what argument you speak of. There’s no argument in there, nor did you need to list the various forms of portable gaming platforms. It’s rather strange. I’ve not talked about the Japan disaster’s at all, another odd inclusion in the grand scheme of things. As for the NGP I’ve put that Im not confident about it’s chances. I could list these here, but as it’s an opinion I don’t have to back it up with fact unless I really want to. I love how you attack Nintendo straight after that comment, proving that this whole post is nothing more then a fanboy rant, who’s failed to grasp the actual content of the original blog post. Please consider what you have written in future before commenting on the original article. I doubt very much that Sony is going to be bothered by my blog or any comments I choose to put on it, which generally focus on a need for gamers to be better informed, which they should.

  3. CptToffer says:

    Thanks for the comments dude. In relation to the turning off I was refering to this statement from Sony:

    “An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. In order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward, we turned off PlayStation Network & Qriocity services on the evening of Wednesday, April 20th”

    It clearly states thier that they turned it off in order to conduct an investigation. So they have turned it off. What they did after that was begin to rebuild it after deciding to do what appears to be a complete overhaul of the security measurements.

    As for the ‘jumping on the band wagon’ while my post has viewed Sony in a mostly negative light, the focus is more on the Public Relations side of the affair. I’ve not suggested they have known all week, and not assumed anything. The ‘band wagon’ you speak of is no-where near me. Sony’s two prioritys should be fixing the problem and keeping the public apprised. It’s obvious that this task can be carried out by two seperate bodies within Sony so it’s hardly a difficult job to juggle.

    Even if Sony had no idea up untill last night (and Im not suggesting they did) then If I were them I’d still be giving people credit card warnings from the word go, simply due to the nature of what’s happened. The PSN is borked, and the one thing they must known is that it’s not just a random crash, but something big that’s happening.

    As for the tablets. They play PS1 games, but Im sure they will play other games aswell. God knows why they are releasing these alongside the NGP, especially with the Ipad and Ipad 2 being out. If these sell I’ll be shocked. Although Ipad’s are tablets, the indie / casual / whatever you want to call it, wave of games now on portable formats, allows us to look at tablets as more then tablets, but as gaming devices also.

  4. Adam Freeman says:

    You have to love the internet for bringing people who don’t actually read your articles to comment on them 🙂

    Couldn’t agree more with you Toff, this is a PR Nightmare for Sony. PS3 is a flagship part of Sony’s business operations, it’s what the majority of their consumers and competitors are aware of and they’ve handled this terribly.

    They should have put a face on this from the beginning, someone should have stood up and took the flack for the company over it by picking up a webcam and apologising directly to the fans and making the promise that they will get it sorted it ASAP. Hiding behind the carefully crossed t’s and dotted i’s is a mistake for them. I don’t doubt that they’re not working night and day on the issue and giving everything they have but the fans, the gamers aren’t seeing that and I think thats a shame.

    I would suspect that Sony were aware that the Credit Card info had been included in the hack but wanted to prove it first. I can’t verify that obviously but there’s no way the team that built the system can’t look at the ruins of it and been able to say “yup, thats probably gone”.

    I still want to believe that this is not a malicious attack and has been done purely to expose the flaws in the system rather than exploit but only time will tell.

    Good Luck Sony.

    • CptToffer says:

      Thanks Adam. Really appreciate you coming on over here from GL and leaving some feedback. I totally agree Sony should of put a face on it from the start. It would of helped with the overall impression the community is getting.

      As for the other two posters they are friends of mine and massive Sony fanboys so it’s to be expected lol!

  5. JC says:

    I love the little snide remark Adam (thumbs up) I hope this made you feel important.

    Chris, you often forget I own a 360 and a gaming pc so its a little offensive to be claiming im a fanboy.

    all i did was point out that the article is really just a response to other articles of a news story…im not saying i expect new info from you or this site but as your only source comes from other gaming articles then why not read the articles that got the first scoop? otherwise its just hearsay surely?

    Back on topic. Sony have been exposed, they are not publicly owned therefore any information they provide is because of their PR department. It’s a hard pill to swallow but they don’t actually ‘owe’ their customers anything unless under legal warranty.

    I see this argument as two fold.

    One argument is for the loss of PSN.
    One argument is for the loss of personal information.

    The first argument is simple, if the PSN goes down then you are losing a free service and are not harmed in any way. consider if sony removed it altogether…then what? what would you be entitled to? if you pay for PSN+ then you should be compensated. i think we all agree here.

    The second argument is more complex and only the perpetrators know exactly what information has been taken. I agree this shouldnt be taken lightly but what else do you think Sony should be doing? Making a webcam stream apologising to the gamers??? how does that solve anything? it just means that gamers say “sorry isnt good enough!”

    in all honesty chris, i just dont see what the article was hoping to achieve apart from standing behind the IGN article and shouting “yeah what he said!”

    • CptToffer says:

      John:

      Its equally offensive to be claiming I’m baised. You cast the first stone my friend…

      This article is my thoughts and feelings on the matter. If that mirrors what other sites are saying then then that’s down to them. It is my own opinion on here and isn’t intended to stand behind anyone or support anyone else. It is how I feel on the matter. Of course it’s a response to other news articles on the story. That’s what a blog is. It’s a take on a situation at hand. I don’t know what you expect it to be? Is it because I’m asking questions that everyone else is also asking rather then just saying Sony are doing everything they can? Because I don’t think they are.

      In regards to the “topic” once again, and I’m getting a little tired of repeating this is, that the focus of the article was the lack of communication from their PR department. We can argue if they “owe” their customers anything until the cows come home. It really depends on an individuals take on the situation. I for one feel that if you by a PS3 you are promised access to the PSN. The argument is exactly the same if I bought a copy of Black Ops, but couldn’t play online because of a fault on the developers end. I’ve paid for that product. It’s a part of the deal. Just because the single player is working doesn’t mean the developers don’t owe me anything because part of thier product is working. The same can be said for the PSN. That deals with the “first argument”

      To answer the “second argument” I can say without a doubt that Sony could be doing more. As I’ve already stated the people from the PR department are not the ones trying to fix the problems. Some more regular updates, rather then a blog post with little detail every 3 days would be a start. Although gamers are a fickle bunch at best, if Sony just laid thier cards on the table and said “Look this is what we’ve got, this is how it happened and this is what you can do” then everyone would probably shut up and wait.

      To answer the last part of your post I’ll try not to take offense to that. The article is my thoughts on the matter. Sometimes I source information from IGN when I write, other times I don’t need to, or other times I’ll get it from elsewhere. This is a blog. It’s my thoughts and opinions on various things going on in the gaming world. If that mirrors the thoughts of a couple of million other people, then that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

  6. RSxcore says:

    ‘As for the other two posters they are friends of mine and massive Sony fanboys so it’s to be expected lol!’

    Wow are you really gonna make people undermine perfectly legit responses from me and John by labelling us “fanboys”? That’s unfair man, and the low comment i’d expect from a fanboy himself.

    You’ve responded to my article, but i think you just skimmed over it.
    I didn’t say they didn’t turn off the PSN, infact I said they did! I was just simply adding to your article by stating they are rebuilding, as you worded it to suggest they had just turned it off to investigate.

    You say you’ve ‘…not suggested they have known all week, and not assumed anything’

    Yet this quote from your article suggests otherwise:
    ‘They have addressed the credit card and confidential information concerns, but is it a case of too little to late, after advising us six days into the situation?’

    Why should they be instantly giving credit card theft warnings from the word go if they did not suspect that? Yes I agree it seems reasonable to maybe warn of this, but if they didn’t feel this was a concern at the start of the investigation then why send the community into panic?

    I agree the PR side of this sucks, but i’m not focusing on what everyone seems to be, about the credit card information theft, as we don’t know enough about it. I’m just against the fact that Sony’s PR hasn’t given us more updates in this time, even if there wasn’t much to tell us.

    You may say the bandwagon is nowhere near you, but I saw you lock it away in your garage last night before uploading this article!

    Regarding the tablets, you’re comparing Sony’s tablets to portable gaming devices such as the 3DS. But you have never even mentioned an iPad in comparison until now, it’s purely because Sony is now releasing a tablet that this comparison has come in.
    Yeah sure, tablets are gaming devices of course, but I look at them more closely related to laptops and mobile phones than portable gaming devices like the 3DS that have more thorough games, specifically made for them, like consoles. Tablets and mobiles generally tend to focus on more simple, and as you say, ‘indie’ games, away from the hardcore gamer. The tablet is just utilizing what the Xperia Play has (the PS Pocket), which allows direct ports of PS1 games to be played. The tablets’ OS will be a form of Android, so I imagine we will see games from Android marketplace as well on there.

    • CptToffer says:

      Ugh… Ok hang on.

      I dont consider the fanboy comment to be low. Not really. You’re both passionate about Sony products to the point where you’d swear by a bad Sony product then a decent Nintendo one, and we both know that’s right. I’m not a fanboy. I can admit that I am a lover of Nintendo but in the last 6 years I’ve been lucky enough to have all three major consoles so If anyone I’m in a better position to comment on all three. If you’re offended by the suggestion then I apologise in full. It wasn’t my intention to offend.

      In regards to the turning off the PSN, that appears to be a mis-read on my error. I don’t skim read things. I’ve just read it wrong. It happens.

      In regards to this line:
      “‘They have addressed the credit card and confidential information concerns, but is it a case of too little to late, after advising us six days into the situation?”

      I have not assumed anything. If you see the question mark at the end this a question, a rhetorical statement. It asks reader what they think. If I was assuming something it would read something like:

      “‘They have addressed the credit card and confidential information concerns, but it’s a case of too little to late, after advising us six days into the situation.”

      You’ve answered you’re own question by stating that it’s reasonable to maybe warn of this. They could of done this, they could of given a general warning, anything really. There’s nothing wrong with being overly cautious when people’s personal details are at stake. If they did’nt know then fine, but even still it’s better to be safe then sorry as they say.

      You agree about the PR side of things so that’s fine and the bandwagon comment is redundent.

      As for the tablet comments I did mention Apple and Nintendo in the article. I didn’t go into great detail because I didn’t choose to. In my opinion the lines between portable gaming devices and tablets are being blurred. On the Ipad for example you’ve got games such as Peggle and Plants Vs Zombies which although casual in nature are full on titles that have been released on multiple formats.

      Hope that covers anything!

      • RSxcore says:

        We both know that’s right? No. I buy, and like Sony products because i think they’re good. If there was a shit product i would say it is shit. I just honestly don’t really think bad of many Sony products. Saying i’m a fanboy is a cheap attempt at undermining my comments to other readers, i’ve seen it all before. And even if I was a fanboy, it doesn’t even matter, you didn’t need to say it, because everything i’ve said makes sense.
        The fact you own all consoles means nothing at all dude. If I went out and bought an xbox tomorrow to say I own one, and hardly ever used it, does that make me not a fanboy then?
        If i’m a Sony fanboy then so be it, but you’re every bit a Nintendo fanboy as i am a Sony one, and that, we both know!
        I’m not incredibly offended or anything, i’m just responding to what you’re saying to me.

        Regarding the statement “‘They have addressed the credit card and confidential information concerns, but is it a case of too little to late, after advising us six days into the situation?”, I just read it different, but it doesn’t really matter as it’s petty to go into how we interprete sentences.

        It seems Sony has issued some new shit today addressing what I was expecting:
        ‘There’s a difference in timing between when we identified there was an intrusion and when we learned of consumers’ data being compromised. We learned there was an intrusion 19th April and subsequently shut the services down. We then brought in outside experts to help us learn how the intrusion occurred and to conduct an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident. It was necessary to conduct several days of forensic analysis, and it took our experts until yesterday to understand the scope of the breach. We then shared that information with our consumers and announced it publicly yesterday evening.’

        They have an FAQ up too, so at least their PR is starting to be a bit more pro-active now anyways!
        😉

        I guess that could be a future article for you, ‘What the fuck IS a Tablet anyway?’

      • CptToffer says:

        Right well, this is all getting a little old and Im back at work tomorrow so I can’t keep battling back and forth, but suffice to say we could argue about this till the cows come home. Im no more a Nintendo fanboy then you are a Sony one if that makes you happy. Were both passionate about gaming and the various avenues that takes us down. The article was my insight into the Sony fiasco (and that’s what it is) if you don’t agree with that fine, but what irritated me in the first place was you accusing me of jumping on the bandwagon. Which I wasn’t. My space. My opinion. If that happens to agree with the majority then so be it. Sometime’s it will. Other times it will go against whatever everyone else thinks.

        It’s all redundent anyway. Sony should have the fucking thing fixed soon and then we can plan for the Uncharted 3 MP Beta! That’s what Im waiting for!

  7. Rob says:

    No offence guys, but I honestly fell asleep whilst reading all of these replies.

    On the plus side, and a side-note to the article itself, I have made it a habit to read the articles on your blog Toffer – and think they’re pretty good. Keep up the good work! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s