The Sony PlayStation Network, used by millions of online video game players around the world, has been offline since Wednesday 20th April.
You can still play games offline, but if you want to connect your PlayStation to play online games, stream movies, or go shopping you’re out of luck.
According to Sony, who have been updating their blog with developments regarding the outage, the company decided to bring the network down after an “external intrusion”.
The company clearly isn’t planning to bring the network back until it is confident that its infrastructure is secure – and although inconvenienced, game players should be grateful that Sony appears to want to make sure it’s done the job properly and that any vulnerabilities are fixed.
Precisely how much longer those game players will have to wait, and whether their trigger-happy fingers and patience will be able to bear it, remains to be seen.
Patrick Seybold, Sony’s Senior Director of Corporate Communications, says:
"Our efforts to resolve this matter involve re-building our system to further strengthen our network infrastructure. Though this task is time-consuming, we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the system with additional security.."
"Unfortunately, I don’t have an update or timeframe to share at this point in time. As we previously noted, this is a time intensive process and we’re working to get them back online quickly."
Although Sony is doing a good job on its blog of reassuring players that they are working on securing and bringing back the network, they do not seem to have addressed the issue of whether any personal information (such as credit card details) might have been compromised by whoever attacked the PlayStation network.
The spectre of data loss is a worrying one – let’s hope that nothing so sensitive has been lost, and that Sony will be able to share good news that may reassure its customers soon.
Update: Bad news – it appears that personal information has been stolen from the Sony PlayStation Network’s users.