Sony's (SNE) re-start of the PlayStation Network has been having an on-again off-again relationship with being on. This isn't doing much to calm the worries of consumers still anxious about the security breach that brought it down in the first place. Nor is the fact that PSN is still down in Japan because the government wants details of Sony's plans to keep consumers safe.
At first, the company's stealthy re-launch of PSN seemed like a great idea. Last week, the company had been saying how the network wouldn't be back up until the end of May. Then Saturday PSN users found some network functions were back and Sony said everything would be back up by Sunday. It seemed like a brilliant "under promise, over deliver" maneuver.
Unfortunately, by Sunday users were atwitter with irritation over outages.
Sony's tweeted responses didn't offer much consolation. From its EU Blog writer: "Please bear with us as we continue working on #PSN restoration. We are experiencing extremely heavy traffic." And Steve Reynolds, Sony's PSN Store operations manager, wrote, "All -- I know PSN is down for maintenance. You're all too eager :) Bare with it."
Japanese consumers don't have to bare or bear anything because the network is still down there. A report from the Japanese newspaper Nikkei says the government won't let PSN to come back online until they get more information about the company's new security plans. PSN remains down despite two meetings earlier this month between regulators and Sony.
Despite user reports, Sony's own map of the PSN condition in the US alleged everything was running well:
There is some good news for both consumers and company though. For the former, there are now details about how they will be compensated for all the downtime. For the latter, despite anecdotal reports of PS3s being returned at an alarming rate, NPD Group said sales of the console actually increased by 13 percent during the April outage. Game sales showed even bigger improvement, increasing by 40 percent over the same time last year.