E3 2011: Sony Leads with Apology for PlayStation Network Outage

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Sony bigwig Jack Tretton kicked things off at E3 2011 last night exactly as we hoped he might, owning the PlayStation Network outage from his first word, and even managing to crack a joke and tease the press, who’ve certainly benefited traffic-wise from Sony’s misery.

“This isn’t the first time that I’ve come to an E3 press conference with an elephant in the room,” said Tretton, dressed in a gray suit, pink shirt, and light blue tie as he strode the stage and kicked off Sony’s E3 presser. “And of course I’m referring to the PlayStation Network outage. This is the first opportunity for me to personally address everybody and discuss it a little bit.”

“So my friends who are reporters tell me that there’s absolutely nothing in the world that makes their editor’s day like controversy and bad news,” said Tretton, adding “So to all our esteemed members of the press, I say, you’re welcome.”

(More on TIME.com: Hackers Who Hit Sony Last Week Hit Sony Again This Week)

Tretton went on to thank third-party and retail publishing partners, though he almost undermined the apology by tossing in a few gratuitous “go Sony” blurbs, including an almost rote PR pitch about year-on-year sales numbers.

But then he settled back into contrition mode, addressing “the audience [he’s] most interested in… [the] consumers.”

You are the lifeblood of the company. Without you, there is no PlayStation. And I want to apologize both personally and on behalf of the company for any anxiety that we’ve caused you. I know we took you away from doing what you enjoy most, connecting and gaming with friends all over the world and enjoying the many entertainment options on PlayStation Network. And it is you that causes us to be both humble and amazed at the amount of dedication and support you continue to give to the PlayStation brand. Network activity is currently at over 90% of the original levels before the network outage. And that is something we absolutely do not take lightly. We are committed more than ever to making sure that the PlayStation Network experience is both entertaining and secure for everybody.

Not bad, as apologies go, though the real apology’s going to be Sony’s ability to keep the PlayStation Network anchored in the face of inevitable all-but-looming future hack attacks.

(More on TIME.com: E3 2011: Sony Shows Off 3D Monitor, $249 PS Vita Handheld, New ‘Uncharted 3’ Gameplay)