Friday, May 6, 2011

The clusterfuck that is PSN

It’s been a rough past couple weeks for Playstation 3 owners. First Playstation Network goes down mysteriously, with Sony eventually coming clean and admitting that they had fallen victims to a hacking group. A little while later, Sony would go on to admit that PSN account information had been “compromised”; meaning that everything from personal info (address, phone number, e-mail address, etc.) to possible credit card numbers had now fallen into the hands of the hackers.


That word was pretty much my knee-jerk reaction at this whole thing, which besides cancelling my debit card, I found myself pretty powerless in terms of this whole PSN outage. Not that I play video games online a lot, it’s just the other things I tend to use my PS3 for. More often than not, I use PSN for renting movies and streaming stuff from Netflix (which thank the technological gods still functions even with PSN out), but I’d be hard pressed to not admit that playing a game without PSN functioning just isn’t the same.

While Sony was slowly admitting what exactly happened (i.e., how much they fucked up in the first place with designing the whole PSN infrastructure), the conspiracy theorist in me started acting up a bit. Namely, what if the whole thing was a crock of shit? What if this was the means to an end with Sony starting to charge PS3 owners monthly fees for using PSN? Oh shit, now I’ve done it…strap yourselves in folks.

One of the things that attracted me to the PS3 over the Xbox 360 is the fact that its online functions are free. Playing multiplayer games and all the other things it does can be done without a monthly or yearly charge (and let’s be honest 360 owners, it’s a service that should be free in the first fucking place) are what really set me on purchasing it (as well as the built-in Blu-ray player, but I digress). However, it was only a few months ago that Sony introduced a feature called “Playstation Plus”, which charges a similar fee that Xbox Live does per year.

What Playstation Plus offers are early demos, occasionally free content (games, movie rentals, add-ons, etc.) and some other goodies, but it really isn’t anything special, and it’s completely optional to have…for the time being that is. And that right there is the problem for Sony: no one is a Playstation Plus subscriber. There aren’t that many subscribers, which has been admitted by Sony in surveys done among PS3 owners, which in the end, finds them not making as much of a profit as Microsoft makes with Xbox Live. So what’s the solution to not having nearly as many Playstation Plus subscribers as there are PS3 owners? Make it look like PSN got hacked, and then eventually tell PS3 owners that if they want true security from hack attempts, they have to subscribe to Playstation Plus?

Am I jumping to conclusions? Maybe and in all honesty, probably. However, this isn’t the first time something shady has happened with the PS3. A little over a year ago, there was a mysterious bug going around that was only affecting old PS3 consoles, wiping away the system’s HDD and profile information with it. During this time, Sony ended up selling more PS3 Slims than they had when that console model had first been released. It’s no secret that the PS3 hasn’t enjoyed the same kind of success that the Xbox 360 has had, but in essence, that crisis ended up selling more PS3’s than Sony had done before.

Coincidence? I don’t know, maybe I should put the video game conspiracy theories to rest, and just hope that PSN gets up and running again. I’m not holding my breath however (even though Sony keeps promising “soon”), and I’m hoping that Sony will give me and my fellow PS3 gamers some kind of severance for all the mishaps and security breaches. After all, I think that we deserve some free shit from the mega-conglomerate instead of consistently getting Sony’s dick put to us on a regular basis.

Still, no matter what, I’d take my PS3 over the 360 and Wii any day of the fucking week.

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