PlayStation Network Still Down, No End in Sight

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Welcome to Friday, all you PlayStation Network spurned, and yep, it’s still down. No word yet on when it’ll be back, why it happened, if hackers were involved, if Valve’s Steamworks had anything to do with it (Portal 2, which launched on Tuesday, uses it), or what Sony’s doing to fix it.

The company’s offered two laconic updates so far. The first occurred on April 20th (Sony’s PlayStation Blog doesn’t list post times, but the first comment came in at 5:51pm, so the outage probably began Wedneday late afternoon, Eastern time).

“We’re aware certain functions of PlayStation Network are down,” wrote Sony spokesperson Patrick Seybold. “We will report back here as soon as we can with more information… Thank you for your patience.”

The second popped up yesterday morning, when Seybold wrote Sony was still “investigating the cause of the Network outage,” and that it “wanted to alert [customers] that it may be a full day or two before we’re able to get the service completely back up and running.

A full day or two from yesterday could put the service’s return out to tomorrow, impinging on or wrecking weekend plans for Portal 2 or Mortal Kombat matches–both games that turned up this week. There’s also SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals–a third-person shooter with strong online components, also out this week–to think about.

Sony’s had its share of trouble with the PSN over the years. In March 2010, an internal timing bug knocked players offline for a day or so, and last month hacktivist group Anonymous may have slowed PSN servers with distributed denial of service attacks in “retaliation” for Sony’s (since settled) lawsuit against hacker George “Geohot” Hotz.

Last night I complained because I couldn’t log into Netflix (due to the PSN outage). I’m told you actually can, but that you’ll have to keep ignoring the “you must first sign into the PSN” errors. Where services are external, you have inelegant ad hoc workarounds, in other words. But for those who use your PS3s most of all for online gaming, you’re stuck waiting.

The irony living in a moment where sound, helpful information can be distributed almost in realtime, is that Sony’s opted to pass along the “what, why, and how” of the matter at a pace so glacial it makes old-school one-a-day newspapers seem informationally voluminous.

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