Sony now says
it intentionally turned off the PlayStation Network (and Qriocity) on Wednesday night as a result of an "external intrusion." The decision to flip the switch on PSN was made so that Sony could "conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward." No timetable was shared for when things are expected to go back to normal. It's a regrettable situation, though one has to wonder why this information wasn't shared sooner -- it may have helped to quell some of the outrage over the downtime.
The PlayStation Network remains down after a sudden outage began sometime either late Wednesday or early Thursday. Sony has yet to identify the cause, only saying that it could be another full day or two
(from yesterday) before service is fully resumed. The hacker group known as Anonymous, which promised
to attack Sony earlier this month, is now claiming it isn't to blame.
An update on the AnonNews website
reads in part, "While it could be the case that other Anons have acted by themselves, AnonOps was not related to this incident and does not take responsibility for whatever has happened. A more likely explanation is that Sony is taking advantage of Anonymous' previous ill-will towards the company to distract users from the fact that the outage is actually an internal problem with the company's servers." Before being removed, a message on the European PlayStation Blog noted that "targeted behaviour by an outside party" could be responsible for the issues.
Following the threats earlier this month PSN underwent maintenance, prompting Anonymous to clarify that it was not attacking the service. "Anonymous is on your side, standing up for your rights," a press release stated. "We are not aiming to attack customers of Sony. This attack is aimed solely at Sony, and we will try our best to not affect the gamers, as this would defeat the purpose of our actions. If we did inconvenience users, please know that this was not our goal."
Sony faced a serious issue
just over a year ago when PSN became inaccessible due to a calendar error affecting older PlayStation 3 systems. That incident was arguably worse as, even though it didn't affect all PS3s, Sony was advising that PS3 users avoid turning their systems on altogether until a fix could be issued. At least this time around, gamers are able to play offline games without any headaches -- for the most part.
Besides online play obviously being restricted, certain games have been rendered unplayable as a result of the current outage. Two Capcom games -- Bionic Commando Rearmed 2
and Final Fight: Double Impact
-- include a form of DRM requiring players to have an active internet connection. Kotaku
reports that, without being able to connect to PSN, neither of those games can be played.