[UPDATE] Electronics giant says global network and security teams undertaking "important step" toward bringing services back online; Stringer issues mea culpa.
The PlayStation Network has been offline for more than two weeks, but Sony today indicated the online service's return is nearly nigh. In a post on the official PlayStation blog, Sony Computer Entertainment America senior director of corporate communications and social media Patrick Seybold said the company's global network and security teams today "began the final stages of internal testing of the new system, an important step towards restoring PlayStation Network and Qriocity services."
Seybold provided no new time frame for when PSN and Qriocity services, which first went down April 20, would be brought back online. Last weekend, Sony said some aspects of the services would be back later this week, with the PlayStation Store reopening its virtual doors sometime this month. Among the functionality expected back in the near term are online multiplayer, friends lists, and voice chat. Account management features will also be back, with Sony requiring that users update their passwords as soon as they log back in.
Passwords--along with names, addresses, and credit card numbers--were among the personal information stolen by hackers in an April attack on Sony's servers that prompted the company to take down PSN and rebuild its security in the first place. Sony Online Entertainment also lost customer information to a security breach, although the online game specialist has not provided a specific window for the return of its titles like Everquest and DC Universe Online.
The flap has caught the attention of Congress, with the US House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade now holding hearings on the threat of data theft to US consumers. While Sony opted to send a letter instead of a personal appearance before the legislators on the subcommittee, security experts were more willing to answer lawmakers' questions. One of them, Dr. Gene Spafford of Purdue University, was critical of the electronics giant, saying that the company knew the PSN's defenses were outdated for months prior to the attack.
[UPDATE] Late today, Sony Corporation CEO Howard Stringer issued an open letter of apology to those impacted by the PSN outage and personal data theft. According to Stringer, rectifying the situation is a primary concern for the entire company and not just its computer entertainment arm.
"I know this has been a frustrating time for all of you," Stringer began. "Let me assure you that the resources of this company have been focused on investigating the entire nature and impact of the cyberattack we've all experienced and on fixing it. We are absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible and rewarding you for your patience. We will settle for nothing less."
"As a company we--and I--apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack," he continued. "Under the leadership of Kazuo Hirai, we have teams working around the clock and around the world to restore your access to those services as quickly, and as safely, as possible."
Stringer also addressed Sony's delayed response in notifying the public of the PSN security breach, reiterating in brief the information outlined to the US House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade yesterday.
The Sony executive also emphasized that the company is working with law-enforcement officials to bring those responsible for the security breach to justice. In the process, Stringer paralleled the security concern to Japan's devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor crises from March, which has thus far claimed nearly 15,000 lives with more than 10,000 people still missing.
"In the last few months, Sony has faced a terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan," he said. "But now we are facing a very man-made event--a criminal attack on us--and on you--and we are working with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies around the world to apprehend those responsible."
Kameo: Elements of Power Perfect Dark Zero Project Gotham Racing 3 Gears of War Ninety-Nine Nights Viva Pinata Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged Blue Dragon Crackdown Forza Motorsport 2 Fuzion Frenzy 2 Halo 3 Mass Effect Project Gotham Racing 4 Project Sylpheed Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action Shadowrun Viva Pianata: Party Animals 2008 Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts Fable II Gears of War 2 Lips Lost Odyssey Ninja Gaiden II Scene It? Box Office Smash Too Human Viva Pianata: Trouble in Paradise Forza Motorsport 3 Halo 3: ODST Halo Wars Lips: Number One Hits Ninja Blade Alan Wake Crackdown 2 Fable III Halo: Reach Kinect Sports Kinectimals Kinect Adventures Kinect Joy Ride Lips: Party Classics Forza Motorsport 4 Gears of War 3 Haunt Kinect Star Wars Project Draco
@megakick you are seriously comparing that banjo and kazooie garbage to the Ratchet and Clank series. Undoubtly Nintendo has the best first party ip, but MS has a stranglehold on last place in that category. 2 out of the last 3 game of the year winners on this site have been Playstation exclusives and the other, Red Dead, was on PS3 and Xbox 360. MS has been rapidly selling off all their good first party developers, hell they got rid of bungie last year and that is going to have a negative effect on their most valuable IP. Who knows what garbage developer MS is going to hand the Halo franchise off too. Instead of investing in quality exclusives MS is wasting millions of dollars on retarded stuff like one month exclusivity on overprice Call of Doodie map packs. Undoubtly MS is great at working with 3rd party developers, but their first party catalog is thin and fading fast. Epic's Gears of War franchise is the only real system selling exclusive they have left with the departure of Bungie and Epic isn't a MS developer they just make one exclusive for MS. Sony list of IP dwarfs MS's and unlike MS's, the vast majority of Sony's franchise are active series developed by in house studios and have recieved numerous Game of the Year awards: Little Big Planet franchise Killzone franchise Gran Turismo franchise Uncharted franchise God of War franchise Resistance franchise Ratchet and Clank franchise Metal Gear Solid 4 Demons Souls Heavy Rain Modnation Racer
R&C is a good as a xclusive is as banjo & kazooie... and th PS3 really doesn't have anymore then XBOX 360. Nintendo has the best of franchise IP.
@blackace I said you can have your opinions about the games, but that doesn't make R&C a bad exclusive just because your one of the few who didnt like it. And, believe me, I agree MGS4 went a little overboard on the cutscenes. Who the hell wants 30 minute cutscenes followed by 10 minutes of gameplay followed by a 20 minute cutscene? But for the rare moments of gameplay, you have to admit it was a really cool, well balanced stealth game (just like the rest of the series). How can't you see how Heavy Rain is unique? It's all about how much every little or big thing can effect the story and how amazing the base story is. What other game can claim to have 24 endings, have the possibility for some of the main characters to get killed off in the middle of the game, and have the same 10 hour story stay fun for how ever many times you beat it? Just the amount of small and large differences and outcomes makes the game truly unique and fantastic. PS: I actually have enjoyed this debate, it's given me something to do, haha.
@Hippocampectomy I'm trying to figure out if you just didn't get it, or are just a terrible troll. Either way, here's a report for trying to incite an argument over nothing.
@lmaocarrots: Yes, Ratchet and Clank for a repetitive boring mess for me. I enjoyed the PS2 games, but for some reason, I couldn't get into the PS3 versions. What other sites gave Demon's Soul GotY? The game was good, but not GotY good to me. MGSIv was a movie. lol!! Why did they even add gameplay? As a movie it's a 9.5, as a game 8.5 at best. Heavy Rain was good too, but the controls were far from perfect. Heavy Rain isn't unique. It's an interactive movie that has been done to death on the SEGA CD. Only different is the actually story was done very well. It's the same as Dragon's Lair and many of the previous interactive movies we've seen in the past. Like I've said, opinions vary.
@blackace Sorry the last sentence was really screwed up. I meant to say "the gaming community considers it a multi-platform game.".
@blackace You're aloud to have your own opinion about the games, but all the ones I listed are considered among the best next-gen games and 75% of them are now considered to be some of the greatest games ever made. Demon's Souls won game of the year in multiple places (including Gamespot), MGS4 won game of the year in over 1/4 of the major reviewers, and GoW was widely loved by fans and non-fans of the series alike (and it got at least 1 GotY). If anything Uncharted 2 is the worst (still amazing) out of the list, it's not quite as unique as the others. And I personally believe Heavy Rain was the finest game made last year, it was brave enough to be unique, and it was smart enough to have one of the greatest stories ever in a video game. To call Ratchet and Clank a "mess" is an insult, it's one of the most fun series that kids and adults can play and have an equal amount of fun. PS: I wont deny that Halo and Gears are great series, but they are too afraid to step away from the norm, there are too many games just like them. And Mass Effect is not an exclusive, just because it was out for a month before it's PC release means nothing. Once it is on multiple consoles (or PC) the gaming commu release means nity considers it a multi platform game.
@lmaocarrots said: @blackace I am well aware of all the 360 exclusives, but most had qualities that would make them not warrant a mention. I own 80% of what you just listed and not any of them could ever compare to masterpieces like Heavy Rain, Uncharted 2, LittleBigPlanet 1+2, MGS4, Demon's Souls, Ratchet and Clank, and God of War 3. Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts was good, but it was a disgrace compared to the 2 N64 masterpieces. Deadrising was ruined by it's time system and awful save mechanism. I enjoyed Blue Dragon, but to most people it was just a poorly written Final Fantasy. Dead or Alive was fun, but the fighting genre is all too much alike. What I am saying, is Xbox 360 only has a bunch of good exclusives, while PS3 has exclusives that will be remembered for generations to come. You're acting like I dont like Xbox, when I honestly do, but hardly any exclusives on it are as memorable as PS3. ****************************************** Halo 3, Halo Reach, Gears 2 & 3, Lost Odyssey, Tales of Vesperia, Forza 2 & 3, Kameo, Dead or Alive, Mass Effect, etc are all just as good as those games. Only game in your list that stands out is Uncharted 2. Demon's Souls, MGS4, GoW 3 were all overrated to me. Heavy Rain was a good game, but not "AAA". Blue Dragon & Banjo & Kazooie were average games. Not saying those were exception, but they were still decent exclusives. Ratchet & Clank was a repetitive mess for me. I got bored of that game after an hour.
@shadowhunter0 said: @blackace I could name two games that is coming out this year that is only on the ps3 that are hell of allot better than any of those *************************************************************** That's your opinion. There are still games that came out the 1st year on the Xbox 360 that are better then a lot of the PS3 games. Opinions vary.
No matter what happens. I will wait for Sony because I believe that they will come back stronger, harder, faster and be back in business in spite of all this garbage these hackers have done to all of us. These hackers are nothing but Nergins = Nerds + Virgins who have created a lot of enemies. I hope they catch these nergins like the same way they caught BIN LADEN. I'm sure sony will compensate us and I will be looking forward to playing my games like Duke Nukem forever, MK, PORTAL 2 and more. Hopefully it will be back up by then.
@evaneself i hope at least the online services come back soon and i along with everyone else will be waiting patiently. i sense u hav a great dislike for pc games but then how are they any different from console games. I've thrown money into things such as school, games, insurance where i dont know my rights to. Perhaps u dont like having strings attached or feel obligated to be someones own pawn. your right steam is different from psn and that anything and everything can be attacked. So what has psn done for u to make u fall in love with it? call me dumb im jus curious.
Whatever the reason, this doesnt affect my outlook on Sony and its marvelous games its brought to me since its first console. I also do not understand the reason why for the attacks, maybe a world wide heist for money? A group thought hey easy money lets do it. Maybe to give Sony a bad name, kill its sales, bring it to second maybe even third best? Yea, they might get attacked again, but like others have said that doesnt matter, any other system out there even your pc, seeing how thats where hacking kind of started, is at risk of being attacked, your information stolen and time lost to play online or buy games and updates from PSN stores or Xbox markets. They just chose one of the bigger dogs out there to probably prove a point, but again who knows till they are caught. All in all, I await patiently for Sonys reboot so I can just play with the people I've met and just have fun.
@rascalalpha345 PSN is very different than steam, you can play games when you want, even if the PS would not exist, you do not understand this. Everything can be broken, in any network, whatever is done can be undone, there is nothing safe anywhere. Over many years you will have nothing in the collection's pc, what you pay now, you throw money because you do not know your rights. I've stopped to buy pc games when they made ??me addicted to a server, even in single player. That's assault on your freedom to play, that is what you pay for. You understand?
I think these hackers should stop this childish game. Take another victim then, why must it be Sony. It is not like Nintendo or Microsoft are that different if it comes to this. What do they want to achieve? Sony out of the Console market? Geez, guess it's playing more single player until this is over...
sigh* still down huh? Well, at least I got twilight princess till its back up! (buying it made me feel like a kid again)
If PSN can't reopen , Sony should make PSG ( PlayStation Global ) And we can transfer every information from out accounts to that ;)
Dude this is getting very very old.................................... not to mention theyll probably get attacked again............
We all know the PSN will be attacked as soon as it's back online. I think it's called "OpSony." But don't worry, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade is proposing new laws to keep us safe.
@blackace Okay, you have gaming experience and that's cool, still unrelated to the debate at hand. I am well aware of all the 360 exclusives, but most had qualities that would make them not warrant a mention. I own 80% of what you just listed and not any of them could ever compare to masterpieces like Heavy Rain, Uncharted 2, LittleBigPlanet 1+2, MGS4, Demon's Souls, Ratchet and Clank, and God of War 3. Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts was good, but it was a disgrace compared to the 2 N64 masterpieces. Deadrising was ruined by it's time system and awful save mechanism. I enjoyed Blue Dragon, but to most people it was just a poorly written Final Fantasy. Dead or Alive was fun, but the fighting genre is all too much alike. What I am saying, is Xbox 360 only has a bunch of good exclusives, while PS3 has exclusives that will be remembered for generations to come. You're acting like I dont like Xbox, when I honestly do, but hardly any exclusives on it are as memorable as PS3.
It would have been nice if L.A. Noire was released at the start of this whole PSN crash - we would have had a new blockbuster (single player only) to get into while we waited for this whole thing to end. The timing would have been perfect! I wonder if Rockstar knew in advance about the crash if it would have made them do that to help boost sales? Oh well... One week from now, the PSN might still be down so looks like Ill be getting Noire day-one. Which I was probably gonna do anyway.
I hope it's back on by the 17th so I can download the new DLC for New Vegas. It was nice to know we would get it at the same time as the pc and 360, so it will mos def suck if this makes us get it later again due to the problems with PSN.
if we just get discounts on certain items and not fully free downloadable goodies, u will get 1 mean whispering from me sony, ive been loyal to the ps since its birth, i want my loyalty back in the form of re enbursment... and i signed up for ps plus for a year.... errrr
@shaks101 I completely agree with you. Yet, isn't it kind of self-explanatory that we're the ones losing out on the entertainment? I mean, who else is using PSN but Sony's customers? I don't intend to be mean or nasty with this comment, I'm just saying that Sony is striving to put PSN back up for its customers.
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