70 million PlayStation 3 game players offline

April 25, 2011 6:51:33 PM PDT
Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation Network is now entering its sixth day of an outage, believed to be caused by hackers. The company is not giving any indication when service will be restored. The online gaming network, known as PSN, allows the 70 million owners of PlayStation 3 game consoles to play against each other over the Internet in real time.

The U.S. Headquarters of Sony Computer Entertainment is based in Foster City. Sony Computer Entertainment won't say how soon it will restore service, but on its blog a company spokesman says, "This is a time intensive process, and we're working to get back online quickly."

What's alarming PSN players is a comment from Sony executive Satoshi Fukuoka in Japan, indicating it doesn't know yet if user information, including credit card data, has been compromised.

The executive editor of GamePro, Justin Haywald, says Sony should be more definitive with its subscribers whether to cancel their credit cards. He also says that Sony has created another problem.

"This is a huge mark against them in the reliability, in the community that they've built up because gamers expect to be able to play the games that they have online, especially with the recent release of Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat, which are huge releases," said Haywald.

"You never want any of that credit card information out and everybody's going to be yelling at PS3 or PlayStation," said PS3 gamer Kenny Mai. "You've got to make sure it's safe first."

Mai says he's had to play basketball instead of playing online on his PS3. Other PlayStation owners have been posting messages on the Web, some complaining, others thanking Sony for putting security first.

"You can never say that a network is completely bulletproof, but hopefully they're adding extra layers of defense," said Joris Evers with Internet security company, McAfee. "They're looking closely at what kind of security is necessary for a service like this."

During this outage, PS3 owners can still use their consoles to play offline, to watch Blu-Ray DVDs, and if they know how, to watch movies from Netflix without logging onto the PlayStation network. Most, however, want to play online.