PSN apology: What else would you have Sony do?

Sony's 'apology package' is more than enough, but the real apology comes when the network's proven safe and sound

Now that the PlayStation Network’s back, Sony’s trotting out something it's calling a "PlayStation Network and Qriocity Customer Appreciation Program," prompting cries of "too much" or "too little" in certain press channels.

Sony's essentially giving away freebies as an apology for 26 days of PSN and Qriocity downtime. The service went dark on Wednesday, April 20th, and just came back this weekend, Saturday, May 14th.

In North America, PSN perks include two free PS3 games (from a list including Dead Nation, inFAMOUS, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD, and Wipeout HD + Fury), two free PSP games (from a list including LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force, and Killzone Liberation), movie rental vouchers, and either 30 days free membership in Sony’s PlayStation Plus service for non-members or 60 days in credit if you’re already signed up. If you’re a PlayStation Home user, you'll have access to “100 free virtual items,” too.

All that, and Sony's offering a year free enrollment in an identity theft monitoring service. Of questionable value, I know, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

Only Sony knows how many PSN members pay the extra $50 a year for PlayStation Plus membership, but as the service launched less than a year ago, I'd wager it's a relatively small number. Most PS3 owners use the PSN gratis and still enjoy access to all the core features (unlike Microsoft’s Xbox Live, where virtually all are held behind a $50 "Gold" membership barrier). Debate the subjective value of either service all you like, Sony has Microsoft beat hands-down when it comes to services outside the pay wall.

Sony’s network was hacked by one or more individuals with intent to do catastrophic harm to Sony, as well as—by proxy—the tens of millions of users whose information was breached. I’ve called the hackers "philosophically sophomoric reprobates," because they are. That much, at least, isn’t up for discussion.

What is, is whether Sony’s “apology” package is enough.

As reparations go, I say it’s more than enough. Yes, time is money, and the time lost here is either incalculably great or small, depending on your vantage. But the cost in dollars alone is trifling: less than a month disconnected, or—when you do the math—about $3.50 of PlayStation Plus members’ $50 annual total. The cost to non-PP members is essentially zero (all of this assuming, of course, that members were able to access services like Netflix irrespective of PSN authentication, as users repeatedly claim they were able to).

Yes, your inability to link up with a friend in a cooperative game of Portal 2 was compromised, along with hundreds of other online game-related matchups, and that’s surely tragic. But let's keep this outage contextual. I’ve had worse, far more impacting experiences with vendors who’ve done less than a fraction what Sony’s offered so far in recompense.

For instance: I’ve suffered extended periods of intermittently available high-speed broadband service due to faulty vendor hardware that required elaborate, tortuous diagnostics—exponentially more harmful to me than something as trivial as a month of PSN downtime. The broadband provider's reparations? Not even credit toward the period the service was in flux. Sony’s “reimbursements” seem a king’s ransom by comparison.

All I want from Sony is a virtual guarantee this won’t happen again. That’s all I’d guess any of us really expect from online service providers these days. Keep the service alive. Keep any sensitive personal and financial information we divulge secret and safe. Keep the bad guys out.

Anything more sounds like "entitlement complex" to me.

The apology I want has no arrival point or expiration date. It takes time, patience, and trust. You're either willing to give those or not. That's up to you. But hammering Sony for more in the way of financial restitution verges on pillaging, and for that, there's no excuse.

Interact with Game On: Twitter - Facebook - Get in touch

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags hackersplaystationsonygaminggames

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?