Sony Playstation Network Suffers Blackout, Again

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The Sony Playstation Network (PSN) went down on Super Bowl Sunday, the latest occasion that users have been left exasperated.

The outage left legions of PlayStation Network users unable to play games or watch movies, and patience is wearing thin. Although hackers claimed responsibility, Sony would only say that its “engineers are investigating.” The network has 56 million users, thousands of whom vented their frustrations online following the latest blackout, claiming that connections were unreliable and insecure.

PlayStation Network: Long-suffering users

The PlayStation Network has suffered from long-term problems, the worst of which came in April 2011, when the service was down for a month and users’ sensitive information was compromised, writes Jose Pagliery of CNN Money. The problems have only worsened of late, and this Sunday’s outage may prove to be the final straw for some users. Kaden Fallon Jones, from Oklahoma, criticized Sony for its reliability problems: “I’m a lifelong fan but you’re letting me down,” she tweeted.

A group of hackers known as the “Lizard Squad” brought down the PlayStation Network and other networks in August 2014. They struck again on December 8, and yet again over the holiday period, leaving millions of users unable to enjoy their Christmas gifts.

A hacker linked to the Anonymous group claimed responsibility for this Sunday’s 6 hour outage, but other members of the group have cast doubt on his claims. Issues with the PlayStation Network are thought to be separate from the Sony Pictures hack undertaken by North Korea in response to Seth Rogen comedy The Interview.

Rivals to profit from problems?

Users such as Tracey Chancellor, from Virginia, have criticized the expense of a service which has proved unreliable at best. She looks forward to playing on her PlayStation 4 as a way of relaxing after a day at work, and expects the service to function properly given the fact that she has spent over $150 on making her favorite game, Destiny, compatible with the PlayStation Network.

“Sony made so much money off of the PS4. They could use some of that money to fix the problem with their network,” she said.

Chancellor is considering trading in her PlayStation 4 for an Xbox, with her main motivation being the greater reliability of Xbox servers. The move would end her 10-year relationship with Sony gaming products. The worry for Sony is that there may be many other users who will switch allegiances due to the ongoing problems.

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