I have a new Sony PlayStation Network (PSN) account password, patched my PS3 to the new firmware and I’m back online shooting at real people, rather that poor AI in Crysis 2.
My PlayStation feels connected again, more or less. It’s been a glitchy return for Sony’s online gaming environment with the sheer mass of logs ins taking the network back down again briefly. Furthermore, parts of the Network, such as the online download shop, as well as integration with social networking tools such as Raptr, are not yet working properly.
But let’s say that Sony’s on the path to recovery now, and in the coming weeks, the full PSN will be back and running smoothly.
What then for Sony? Given the scale of the initial hack, and the subsequent controversy over how the vendor handled the situation, are people going to come back to the service, trust Sony with credit card details, and buy games off the PSN again?
I’d like to think so. If there’s a definite benefit that can be derived from the hack it’s that the new Network is guaranteed to be tougher to break into.
Sony’s recruited some of the biggest names in security to help it out this time around, and while it’s false confidence to say any network is properly secure, the policies around customer data and network security will be much more sound this time around.
Personally, I’m as comfortable giving the new Network my credit card details as any other website out there. And should the Network get hacked into again, I have no problem cancelling my cards again and having new ones issued. It’s an irritation, but the PlayStation Network remains at its core a compelling product.
And, from the purely selfish point of view as a gamer, Sony’s offering a pretty darned good “please come back, we really do care about you” package. PS3 owners get to pick two free games from a list of five. Those five games are pretty good. There’s also free subscriptions to Sony’s premium game service, PlayStation Plus, in the package as well – which actually means more free games, because PlayStation Plus subscribers get new free content every month.
I don’t think I’m unique amongst gamers. I’m prepared to be patient with the process of getting the PSN back online, and I’m prepared to give a new, much more aware Sony a second chance.
There's no doubt the vendor lost some ground in its battle with Microsoft for the attention of online games, and Sony will have a lot of work to do in rebuilding trust with the developer community, who themselves lost a lot of money as their products were taken offline.
But at least Sony has indicated that it realises the PSN to too valuable as an asset to simply give up on.