The PlayStation Network went offline for several hours Monday, January 4, as the Inquisitr reported. The outage was worldwide and affected the PlayStation 4, PS3, and PS Vita for much of the day, along with related services such as PS Now. Sony issued an apology for the downtime and promised compensation in the form of extensions to existing subscriptions.
The apology and first mention of compensation for the PlayStation Network outage was made via the official PlayStation Twitter account.
Thanks for your patience today – stay tuned for details on PS Plus, PS Now, and video rental extensions.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) January 5, 2016
This essentially means that subscribers to PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now will get at least one day added to their existing subscriptions. Additionally, those who rented videos through the PlayStation Store and were unable to watch the movie or TV show because of the outage will receive at least a day back as well.
The PlayStation Network outage affected millions of players worldwide. Notable inconveniences included the inability to play Destiny during the final day of the monthly Iron Banner online multiplayer event. More notable was the delay of the start of the Call of Duty World League. Sony snagged the timed-exclusivity rights away from Microsoft, which included making the PlayStation 4 the official eSports platform for Black Ops 3. Delaying the start of the new eSports league, which Activision is actively pushing, is a bit of a black eye for the console maker.
Due to issues beyond our control, the start of the CWL will be pushed to next week in all regions.
— Call of Duty eSports (@CODWorldLeague) January 5, 2016
This isn’t the first time PlayStation Network has gone down, and it certainly isn’t the first time Sony has compensated users for the outage. The 2014 Christmas PSN outage caused by a Denial of Service (DoS) attack lasted several days, and Sony extended PlayStation Plus subscriptions by five days in response. Additionally, all PSN members were given a one-time 10 percent discount code to use on the PlayStation Store.
Meanwhile, the infamous 2011 PSN hack that brought down the PlayStation Network for 23 days and compromised 77 million accounts was the most severe instance of a PlayStation breach and outage. Sony responded by offering a free PlayStation 3 game, PS Vita game, PSP game, PS Plus membership, or free themes as compensation in January 2015.
Additionally, the #BetterPSN hashtag began trending on Twitter in July 2015, as covered by the Inquisitr, following a series of connectivity issues and issues with the PlayStation Store. Supporters created a list of demands on the #BetterPSN website that included enhancements to the PlayStation Network along with stability improvements. Sony acknowledged the demands at the time but has made little progress towards any of the major feature enhancements.
The good news is the PlayStation Network stability has greatly improved. Christmas 2015 came went relatively well despite the flood of new PlayStation 4 owners and threats of a new DoS attack. The only hiccup came from new PSN user registrations being slowed by an overload of new account verification emails.
By comparison, Xbox LIVE was taken down briefly during the Christmas holidays thanks to an attempted DoS attack. Fortunately, Microsoft shrugged that attack off and the service ran fine during the rest of the holidays.
The biggest loser in the stability wars this holiday season was Steam. A DoS attack didn’t bring the PC gaming store and service down, but the response to the attack accidentally exposed the personal information of thousands of users, forcing the store to go offline for several hours until fixed. Valve issued an apology and is working with its partners to contact those affected.
[Image via PlayStation]