Sony To Unveil New Online Service, ‘PlayStation Network’, One Week Before E3
Speaking by phone earlier this morning with Bloomberg, Sony Japan spokesman Shigenori Yoshida has stated that the resumption of PSN and Qriocity services is planned for May 31. Mostly. Noting that ‘The company is in the process of adopting an improved security system’, Bloomberg paraphrases him saying ‘the plan to restart the services fully by May 31 is unchanged’.
The most interesting thing about this comment is its sleazy similarity to last week’s suspiciously specific non-announcement from Electronic Arts. You’ll recall EA’s attempt to pass off the delay of Mass Effect 3 – “Today we have confirmed that Mass Effect 3 will be released in the first three months of 2012.” – as though they hadn’t told the entire world multiple times that the plan was for Q4, 2011. Until this morning’s comment, Sony hasn’t bothered to predict when services would return. Treating this rather understated confirmation that PSN security issues are even worse than we thought as though they’ve been keeping us fully formed, particularly when coupled with their prior history of obfuscation, is somewhat galling.
After Sony’s laughable attempt to pretend they didn’t tell their customers about the risk to their personal data because of zomg detective/cop/spy reasons, I only half jokingly remarked that Sony must think we’re stupid. After today’s attempt to clumsily frame their tremendous security lapses and disastrous inability to recover from them, I have to conclude it’s true. And it’s sad, because had they consulted me first, I’d have told them there’s a better way to deal with this: Simply pretend you never had an online service. Scrub all references to PSN from your websites, records and corporate literature. And treat this ignoble delay like the E3-timed launch of your exciting new service, ‘PlayStation Network’.
As Yoshida admits, this isn’t writ in stone and they might not be finished repairing PSN by Memorial Day weekend. On the bright side: At least they’re telling us now so when they don’t make the date they won’t have to pretend they totally meant to do that. We’ll keep you posted as this story inevitably develops again and again.