PSN Downtime: Some Perspective

Perspective is a funny thing. It’s entirely unique to the individual, and is formed by several factors which play a prominent part in our daily lives. Something that you undervalue could be something that another person would give a limb for, and this is a capacity that not everyone has the benefit of.

Although admittedly hard at times, the reason above should dictate that the utmost appreciation is shown for your every possession, however irrelevant and expendable they may seem. Who hasn’t felt agitated over a malfunctioning electronic in their time, or cursed at the freeview box for not recording your favourite program? This being said, I do think that some members of the internet have shown a considerable lack of gratitude when it has come to discussing the issue of the recent PSN downtime.

[drop] Before I continue, I’d like to highlight that everyone has a right to feel somewhat aggrieved. At the end of the day, you have purchased a product which an online service is a part of, and currently you aren’t receiving it. Sony may be offering a generous “Welcome Back” program, but it doesn’t change what is a poor state of affairs that debatably shouldn’t have been allowed to happen in the first place.

When you put your trust in a multinational company such as Sony, you expect your confidential information to be protected up to the hilt. In this case, Sony has failed to deliver and I accept that thousands (including me) are upset with the situation, and will naturally post a brief comment or two to voice our concerns.

However, recently I have read a variety of comments that portray the Playstation Network downtime to be akin to the apocalypse. As previously mentioned I understand  the annoyance, but at the same time feel that some people need to put the downtime into some serious perspective. It’s a period of time without the Playstation Network; go outside, do some work, or check out this list. You don’t even need to go without gaming; why not pick up a title that’s been collecting dust for a second playthrough? The opportunities are endless, but I can’t help but think that some are making the worst of a bad situation.

As we sit in our centrally heated homes populating the internet, it’s easy to forget that whilst some are moaning about the lack of Call of Duty, soldiers are out on the front line in places such as Afghanistan, taking cover from sniper bullets without a respawn.

It’s also easy to forget that poverty rages across the world, and in this day and age, it is beyond belief that millions are still without access to a clean water source. The media coverage may have diminished but two months on, Japan is still picking itself up after suffering one of the most horrific natural disasters seen in decades. How many loved ones were never seen again after that fateful morning on the 11th March?

The problems don’t end in this country, either. Unemployment is at an all time high, and the people that are lucky enough to have houses are being forced to push every resource to its limit, as prices skyrocket from fuel to food. The size of the population is increasing, and with government cuts hitting every part of the country, public services are feeling the strain more than ever.

Even though we have one of the most advanced health services in the world, incurable illnesses continue to rip families apart, cutting innocent lives short before they even have a chance to prosper. All of this contributes to a society where children grow up without a sense of right and wrong, and the love and attention that humans at that age so desperately need.

I don’t deny that I am also guilty of lacking perspective at times, but with the heartbreak, terror and sadness that haunts our world on a daily basis, does the Playstation Network downtime really matter?

The decision is yours, but I know exactly how I feel.



  1. When yuo compare it to some in the world who for example have no water for 3 weeks, it doesn’t compare. However we live in the western world – we can’t help it.

    • Exactly! As we live in the more developed areas of the world, we care too much about the wrong things sometimes, we should just take for granted what we have in the first place…

  2. Couldn’t agree with this more, so no online? Some people seriously need to re-evaluate their lives if this small inconvenience affects them that much! I’ve heard some daft things over the web over the last few weeks, as I’m sure most of you have too, everything from selling their PS3 and getting an Xbox (fine by me by the way) to boycotting everything that Sony do/make!! Madness, sheer madness. Me, I’m 21% into RDR & I’m loving it, PSN down? At the moment, I don’t care! ;) Peace.

  3. Sony did screw up yes, but they’ve payed the price, they’ve apologized and is also giving out loads of free content including a month of free PS+ as compensation. Forgive them, they deserve as much…
    Yes it sucks to be without the PSN, I miss the weekly meets and I’m also dieing to play Portal 2 co-op, but I can handle as much, I know you all can as well. If this is the biggest concern in your life at the moment you can be nothing but extremely happy.

    As much as I agree with what you say Toby, and grieve in the loss of innocent lives in Japan and other places, I don’t fully agree with the “only the person in the world experiencing the most pain is rightful to be sad” sentence. Yes of course perspective is important, but so is also relativity.

    Great piece.. :)

    • Thanks, and relativity was something that was in my mind throughout the writing of this article. It’s human nature to find something to moan about, and as I said, I don’t blame people for being a bit upset with the situation.

      But in saying that, I think it does take a little reminder from time to time to highlight to people how lucky they really are in the grand scheme of things. It’s a debate that could go on for hours!

      • @ Toby, thanks for talking some sense in this situation! Some people certainly have proven to be unable to deal with disappointment and loss.
        Everyone is entitled to feelings like frustration, anger and disappointment. But we also have the responsibility to deal with them and assess the degree of which we should blame someone else for these feelings. Some people seem to have lost control of this evaluation. And above all, what makes it more complicated, feelings are highly personal and we should always respect them.

  4. It does matter when you want to do a file transfer from a broken PS3 to a new one and can’t until you register your PSN to the new PS3 and deactivate the old one.


    • as far as i’m concerned, i would just be happy knowing that i can afford a new ps3. i have never had to do a data transfer (from one ps3 to another) so i am not sure how it works but i am pretty sure that either way you have a working ps3 which is much more than some people do.

    • Oooh, a file transfer – that sounds so fun!

      • For a PS3 to PS3 file transfer, don’t both PS3’s only need to be the latest Firmware 3.60
        It should be fine…

      • Yeah, but I have trophies I need to sync on my old one and my savegames won’t work unless I have my PSN ID registered on the new PS3.

    • I was going to buy a 32GB memory stick for the PSP…. not good timing. since I have alot of games from the PSN

  5. I think that TSA has been peeping into my mind lately. This is exactly what i was saying to a friend just last night. There are sooo much more issues at hand that are not getting the attention that they deserve. Sure it is frustrating to have anitem that isn’t working to its full potential but that doesn’t mean that a)it will stay that way and b) you should get soo worked up about it.

    Use this downtime to do some thing that you were neglecting. Reconnect with friends and family, get some (or more) exercise, read a book, shift your interests for a while, play some single player games. The world hasn’t ended cuz you can’t play C.O.D online or buy the latest piece of DLC. Things will get back to how they were at some point and you can continue life ut don’t drop everything cuz one thing isn’t working. No crying over spilt milk.

  6. Brilliant article!
    What the PSN is – is an intangeable product. We can not touch the PSN, so for every person, the PSN experience will be different. The article made me think of a Chinese proverb, a crisis is also an opportunity…
    With that being said, try your single player games, actually, take Black Ops out of the CD tray and try another game!

  7. I’m of two minds over this article. It is true that people should have some perspective, and yes, terrible things are happening all over the world and we in general are very fortunate. But it does become a bit of a blanket reason for never complaining about things. So what if your car was stolen? People are dying of hunger all over the world, what right do you have to complain.

    We all have our own individual norms. A break from that can be distressing.

    • It’s a tough issue, with no right or wrong answer. As Aquastyle said above, it’s all about relativity.

      As for your car example, I think that the person in question would have every right to moan and be unhappy about it. However, it wouldn’t be reason for them to seclude themselves off from the world and moan about it for the next ten years. Sure, it’s terrible and I have sympathy for anyone who has ever found themselves in that situation, but I think it is important, in whatever capacity, just to keep a space in the back of your mind which reminds you how lucky you are in comparison to the rest of the world’s population.

    • Agreed, fella.

      Thankfully, only some folks need a real slap around the chops and a “get a grip, man” firmly shouted at them.

      Sony have really dropped the ball, from a PR perspective. It’s doing them damage every hour the PSN is offline. We’re all gutted and I’m sure most of us can’t wait for it to be back online; to give us the freedom with our machines once more. However, until then, most of us have got on with our lives and enjoyed time with loved ones, fresh air, 360s, Steam (PC/Mac), etc. God knows we were turning people away from L4D2 last night which is bonkers!

      Good article, Dex. The only downside is that it’ll fall on deaf ears when it comes to the ranters. They’ll just keep on ranting. :-\

      • You and bloomin L4D2.

      • I’d actually been on a zombie diet with me cutting down on the undead consumption but the Versus mode has eight of us laughing ourselves silly and enjoying it several nights a week! Get on there, moshi. ;)

      • “most of us have got on with our lives and enjoyed time with loved ones, fresh air, 360s, Steam (PC/Mac), etc. God knows we were turning people away from L4D2 last night which is bonkers!”

        Agreed but some, like myself, don’t have 360’s or a PC powerful enough to enjoy Steam. The deaf ears still will rant but as you say, Sony’s PR is helping. If PS Blog just posted something different like information about the firmware it might change the haters topics.

    • I agree, everyone has the right to complain about something if they are unhappy, but it definitely has to be relative to the insult. Some people have /completely/ overreacted to this whole PSN business, which is quite sad.

      • I think there needs to be a distinction between overreaction to the downtime and the reaction to the cause. The latter deserves a reaction.

  8. Finally, someone with sense. I almost completely agree with this post, as much as I disagree with all the new haters Sony has gotten, that used to play PSN 24/7. If anything, PSN going down has some good coming out of it. It roots out disloyal players, gives Sony a chance to make the network better, and to regather themselves and reflect on their decisions of late, involving the legal battles, and trouble that they are currently in.

  9. “I don’t deny that I am also guilty of lacking perspective at times, but with the heartbreak, terror and sadness that haunts our world on a daily basis, does the Playstation Network downtime really matter?”

    But on that matter, does playstation 3 really matter?, does the whole computer industry really matter? Is it all just a pointless waste of time in the grand scheme of things?

    I think your taking things out of context. Statements like these will always come across as deflective.

    • As I said, I understand why people are upset with the situation, and agree with them to a certain extent.

      What I think is wrong however is when people completely blow the situation out of proportion and make out that they are one of the unluckiest people in the world. I really don’t think that’s right.

  10. I’ve been completely unable to get upset over the PSN downtime. I’ll grant you that it’s irritating at times but that’s it. I’m keeping an eye on my card transactions but as I do that anyway it’s not exactly an onerous task. I very rarely play multiplayer I much prefer a game with an in depth singleplayer experience, case in point being that I think my next game purchase will be L.A. Noire. Anyway even then I’ve been far too busy going to work and getting used to looking after my six week old son to be at all upset over a lack of PSN. As Toby M points out in the article, you may not be able to play MoH or CoD but think of the guys crawling through real mud and human filth while dodging real bullets, RPGs and IEDs at this very moment. Many of them wish far more than any of us that they were playing on an MP game on a console right now.

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