So PS3 gamers, by now, you should have realised something was not quite right this Easter weekend. The PlayStation Network is down, and Sony doesn't expect it to be up again for another day or two.
Almost immediately, fingers were pointed at hacktivist group Anonymous, which had threatened to take the PlayStation Network as a way to protest against Sony's (now settled) lawsuit against hacker geohot. But the hacktivist group remained relatively quiet after Sony's announcement, on the official PlayStation blog, that the PSN was going down for a while. Anonymous later posted on their Facebook page that, no, they weren't responsible for this "attack" (Sony calls it an "external intrusion", whatever that means).
So who is responsible?
Nobody really knows at the moment, although one has to wonder if this issue is related to one that Amazon cloud hosting customers are still experiencing at the moment. Amazon Web Services offers a cloud hosting called EC2 to a huge array of websites, from small blogs, all the way to major websites like FourSquare and The New York Times. Unfortunately, EC2 has been down for at least 36 hours, and that was several hours ago. Could Sony also used EC2 to host PSN related services, and you would expect them to be using a content distribution network like EC2 for delivering so much data to PS3 gamers all around the world? Unlikely though, since if Amazon EC2 was responsible, surely Sony would mention it on their blog to, at the very least, spread around the blame a bit. And it doesn't match their "external intrusion" line.
So it looks like Sony's PSN infrastructure suffered a meltdown, for whatever reason, and they just did not have adequate redundancies in places to have dealt with the problem in a more graceful manner (a downtime of a couple of hours is fine, but days?).
The only silver lining in the cloud (again, not saying this has anything to do with Amazon EC2, so technically not a pun) is that PSN is *mostly* free, and so at least there won't be an universal call for refunds, apart from the people who purchased PlayStation Plus accounts, who surely should receive a pro rata refund of the fees for the rest of their 12 month subscription as compensation.
Do you think Sony could have handled this outage better, such as reducing the down time, or providing more information as to the cause? Post your opinion in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread: