Sony’s Horrible Weekend…and Monday

Sony hasn't been having a good couple of days.

Sony’s last few days haven’t been all that great. It could use a Companion Cube to help make things better.

PSN went down for “maintenance” after getting hacked with information on over 77 million members compromised. CEO Kaz Hirai, the Senior VP, and the CIO all came out yesterday to a muted press conference to explain themselves after bowing in an act of sincere apology. And now SOE is taken down for almost the same thing with 24.6 million accounts that might have been copied down into someone’s computer.  At least the credit card information is safe, though the thousands that were taken from SOE were “outdated” ones from a 2007 database. But whenever someone renews their card, don’t the numbers remain the same with just the date changing unless they ask for a new account?

One question that has come up is whether this is the end of Sony. It isn’t. Not by a longshot. Remember, this is a company with a cap of over $28 billion dollars on the market. They own movie studios, sell TVs, and do a lot of other things outside of the PS3 or SOE. They’re going to have to live with this black eye for years, though many people might forget about it months down the road long after everything is back up and running.

It could also be called a trial by fire, something that a network savvy competitor like Microsoft has been put to almost daily since it started creeping across desktops and servers. There’s a reason why Microsoft’s Xbox Live network hasn’t hit headlines with its own breach. I’m not saying it’s impossible since no network is absolutely perfect, but it’s a good guess that the reason it hasn’t happened yet is that it has a lot to do with their own in-house expertise. Just like Sony, Microsoft’s business doesn’t solely revolve around the Xbox, either, though instead of TVs, they do IT.

I’m not quite happy on how they had handled the situation by leaving everyone hanging for days, or on whether they didn’t do enough to protect their information or not, but we can hope that they’ve learned what they can from this experience to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Microsoft certainly wasn’t been feeling too bad about PSN when they brought out a free weekend of Xbox Live in April. The indies that made PSN’s Marketplace their home can’t be happy, however, especially when the store is still down and won’t be up for awhile longer.

According to Sony, PSN will be slowly phased back into life. SOE, I’m sure, will follow and like any large company, it will try to move on and forget that this has happened and hope that everyone else will as well.

At least it until the next crisis. Or when it comes up in a year end article recounting the biggest events of 2011’s gaming space.

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