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PSN buckled under weight of new users

2 min read

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I keep remembering old school consoles. You know, the ones you were able to just plug in and start playing as soon as you took them out of the box? I know, I know, they didn’t have nearly the same functionality that our new consoles have, but for some people who couldn’t download their day one patch from the PlayStation Network, it’s hard to even know what the functionality is.

With the influx of new PS4 owners thanks to the Black Friday, the PSN simply could not cope with demand at the end of last week; people were unable to login to the PSN, making it impossible to download the necessary day one update, redeem vouchers or download digital content. Sony acknowledged the problem with this tweet:

Sony had to actually stop people from redeeming vouchers while they worked on the problem. On Saturday, they wrote a post on the Playstation blog:

We are aware that users are experiencing some disruption to the PSN service. To minimise the inconvenience we have suspended the “redeem voucher” functionality whilst we investigate further. Unfortunately this means that money cards, product vouchers, PlayStation Plus vouchers, PS3-PS4 upgrade vouchers and any other vouchers for digital content are not redeemable at this stage.

Sony obviously had people working on this all weekend, but redeeming vouchers is still limited. Playstation is increasing voucher redemption functionality, but it is not at full service and users are still struggling. Sony hopes to have their activity feeds up an running in the Content Information Screen soon, although it sounds to me like their priorities are a bit out of line. Shouldn’t they be focusing on getting everyone access to the voucher and download systems? Those seems to be a bit more crucial – hard to see what your friends are playing if they aren’t able to download their digital content.

It seems that we keep on getting proof that neither the gaming community, nor the companies themselves are ready for the shift to digital. If you build your system on the cloud, it clearly can’t support the demand. We keep seeing this – every time an online-centric game launches, servers crash and chaos ensues. Why would it be any different for consoles? So far, Xbox One is winning this race – no reports thus far about their cloud servers going down. I suppose their investment is paying off.

Last Updated: December 2, 2013

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