PlayStation Network Offline: Five Reasons it's a Good Thing
Yes, the PSN debacle sucks for everyone, but there's a silver lining.
PlayStation 3 and PSP owners have had plenty of time to sing the blues, as Sony struggles to get its PlayStation Network online after hackers torpedoed the service and made off with customers' personal information.
To say this is a black eye for Sony is a huge understatement, especially with less than a month to go before the Electronic Entertainment Expo, where Sony plans to give the media a better look at its upcoming Next Generation Portable (NGP) and map out a console strategy for 2011 and beyond.
Will the company recover? Absolutely. We've seen worse disasters in the corporate world. Just look at Toyota's accelerator issue. People still purchase the Camry and Prius.
Taking this a step further, we think the PSN issue will only benefit the video game industry moving forward. Here's why...
It forces companies to strengthen network security
Sony took a few unexpected right hooks to the back of the head, but on the positive side, this embarrassing breach will force the publisher and other companies to re-evaluate online security, thus taking the necessary steps to make sure this never happens again, or at the very least, lesson the chances.
It validates the need for physical media
If you scoffed at Sony's decision to nix the UMD drive from the PSP Go, feel free to bask in the proverbial sun, because this is your moment. The Go was essentially crippled by the PSN breach, as users (especially new owners) couldn't download games to the hard drive. That said, you can expect to see discs and cartridges/game cards for years to come.
It humbled Sony
Let's face it, all of these console manufacturers are arrogant to a certain degree, and every so often, they need a grim reminder that empires don't last forever. Just look at Nintendo and the GameCube. After years of dominance, Mario and Co. came in third behind Microsoft and Sony. The result? The Nintendo Wii, one of the best selling and revolutionary machines of all time.
How does this apply to Sony? Expect more humble and devoted executives when E3 rolls around, as well as fewer mistakes/bonehead decisions moving forward. Bottom line, they have more to lose.
You'll receive free stuff
Sony chose to take the high road, offering PSN subscribers a year of free credit monitoring, an ID theft policy, a free month of PlayStation Plus and other content. For some users, this doesn't make up for more than two weeks of darkness, but as the saying goes, something is better than nothing.
You plowed through the old backlog
We have a stack of games still shrink-wrapped, the result having to devote most of our time to mobile content. At least with PSN down, we were able to enjoy some DS games. Most importantly, we purchased retail PSPs to finally experience Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. That probably wouldn't have happened had PSN been live.