Sony’s Woes Continue: PlayStation Network Outage Continues, Security Breach Worsens

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The bad news keeps on coming for Sony, going from bad to worse. Despite promises, more than three weeks later, the PlayStation Network and Qriosity services continue to be down as the extent of their catastrophic security breach is revealed to be even worse than initially believed. In today’s fast-paced, connected society, three weeks is an eternity, and users are getting angry.

Sony revealed in a press conference last week that they shut down services after they discovered a security breach where personal information of over 77 million PlayStation Network accounts was compromised, along with as many as over ten million credit cards.

As the outage continues, gamers have gone from annoyed to angrier the longer online services remain down. Modern video games are increasingly connected, and players expect to be able to play games online, make purchases, or download demos. Game developers and publishers are frustrated as well, as sales on PlayStation 3 games plummet. Retailers have seen a 200% increase in PlayStation 3 trade-ins, with over 50% of those opting to get Microsoft’s competing Xbox 360.

Now comes news that the attack wasn’t limited to PlayStation Network or Qriosity, as Sony shuts down down Sony Online Entertainment, the development and publishing of Sony best-known for creating massively multiplayer online games, leaving fans of DC Universe Online and Free Realms, as well as other games, unable to play at all. Forensic investigators discovered that the information than 24 million accounts was also compromised, and one cannot wonder if the breach does not extend further.

Sony took over a week from their discovery of the breach before notifying customers that their personal and financial data may have been compromised, via a post on their blog. Lawmakers blasted Sony’s response to the breach in Congressional in a congressional hearing. “If I have anything to do with it, that kind of half-hearted, half-baked response is not going to fly in the future,” said Congresswoman Bono Mack (R-California), who plans to introduce legislation to protect consumers against data theft.

Sony has stated that the hope to restore services at the latest by May 31, over a month after the outage began. As part of a “Welcome Back” program, Sony promises to offer selected entertainment content for free download, 30 days of free PlayStation Plus network service, as well as 30 days of free Qriosity music service.

At three weeks and counting, will these offerings be enough to satiate frustrated customers, or is it already too late?