Paid Downtime: Sony’s Online Woes

You’ve had a bad day at work. Things didn’t go according to plan and all you want to do is go home, sit back and play some video games. As you crash on the couch you turn on your PS4, throw in a copy of Destiny and want to release some rage in The Crucible. Only you can’t. Because PSN is down. Again. Welcome to the world of Playstation 4.

Sony has never been the best at online. Next to Microsoft they are a shocking ways behind. This is going back all the way to The Great Hack of 2011 where the service was down for weeks forcing Sony executives to bow and give away a bunch of free games. You’d think they’d have learned their lesson.

Over the past couple of months, PSN has been down longer than in a decade of Xbox Live. And this is no exaggeration. It seems like every week there’s either scheduled or unscheduled maintenance, almost always during peak European times. The most hilarious being on a Bank Holiday weekend. Yes, as people have said, “it’s always peak times somewhere”, but do they always have to be scheduled for 6pm here in the UK? After all, it is one of the biggest PS4 markets. But we have to ask. What is all this maintenance achieving?

It certainly didn’t stop the DDOS attacks as they became frequent and crippled the likes of Call of Duty and Destiny, and they didn’t seem to speed up the store or friends list which are glacial. So what did they do? Nobody knows because Sony isn’t particularly forward with this sort of information.

After the downtime earlier this week, a quick gander through social media and message boards showed us something, all the goodwill Sony accumulated is dissipating rapidly. During the console reveals Sony were saying everything right, and Microsoft the complete opposite. The power had shifted; Sony seemed to be once again on top. The PS3 launch arrogance was a distant memory and this was cemented when people bought PS4’s in their droves. Both consoles sold extremely well, but the PS4 was clearly the frontrunner. But the tide is shifting. People were starting to miss the solid as a rock Xbox Live and with Forza Horizon 2 earning critical accolades (and DriveClub having a shaky start to say the least); maybe it’s time to make the move. After all, the multiformat games may be 900p, but at least it’ll work online.

Earlier this week Sony released the news that Destiny had done wonders for PS4 sales and helped it achieve the highest selling console for September, its ninth month running in the States. Despite this, as a company overall Sony is struggling. So maybe all this money is being siphoned off to help the other ailing sides of Sony’s business? It’s the only explanation, after all, how can something so successful not be doing anything to fix what at its core is staggeringly broken.

Maybe the upcoming 2.00 update will fix all this, but then again, maybe not. In the list of what to expect, not one mention of anything stability related, and maybe you’d think if it was included, they’d want to advertise that fact. But don’t worry. You change the colours of the background! Yay!

We felt that this all needed to be said, as aside from a few “PSN is down” news stories, nobody appears to be critical of the online infrastructure. PSN is no longer free, that’s not something they can hide behind anymore. And you know what? We’d happily take less free games if it meant producing a more stable online network.

Hopefully as Microsoft build up more and more momentum Sony will take notice. They need too.

One Reply to “Paid Downtime: Sony’s Online Woes”

  1. I play every night with friends and I haven’t noticed the PSN being down over the last 2 months. I was on destiny exclusively for the last month and the only hiccup i got was being sent to the title screen and at that point i just launch back in the game an continued playing. Can you really claim the service as a whole is down if not all people were affected?

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