As you're no doubt aware, Sony's PlayStation Network has been down for almost three weeks as of this writing. As a result, we've been unable to download a number of PSN games that we were planning to review, including Arcana Heart 3, Outland, and Puzzle Agent, to name but a few. Up until now, this has pretty much been the extent of the PSN outage's impact on our reviews team, but with the impending releases of games like Brink, DiRT 3, F.3.A.R., and Virtua Tennis 4, which all boast online features, that's going to change.
We only post reviews for versions of games that we've actually tested. That's why, occasionally, we're unable to post reviews for all versions of a multiplatform game on the same day. When the Xbox 360 version of Portal 2 was the only one we had access to prior to the multiplatform game's release, the Xbox 360 version was the only one we had a review for on day one, for example. If you wish to base your purchasing decision for one version of a game on a review of another, that's up to you. (It's true that reviews for the same game on different platforms often end up being very similar.) But we're not going to make that decision for you by posting reviews and scores for products that we haven't tested. With that and the continuing PSN outage in mind, we feel we have no choice but to postpone our reviews of PS3 games with online features until we've had an opportunity to test those online features. To do otherwise would be a disservice both to you and to the companies whose games we'd be making assumptions about.
Exactly when PSN will be back online is anybody's guess; today, we're told it will be restored by May 31, but on April 27 we were told it would be "within a week from yesterday," which was about a week ago at this point. When normal service is resumed, catching up on the PS3 reviews that we've been unable to get to will be a priority. In the meantime, we'll continue to play any PS3 games that we're sent alongside other versions, post screenshots and gameplay movies from them, and use this blog to alert you anytime we feel like they're significantly different in some way to the versions that we've been able to review.