It"s been over two months since a cyber attack of still unknown origin hit Sony"s worldwide Playstation Network online gaming service. Sony shut down the PSN"s servers on April 20. It began restoring the Playstation Network in most of its locations around the world in mid-May and finally brought the service to full operation by the end of the month. However, the Playstation Network"s downloadable Playstation Store feature is still down for Japanese Playstation 3 and PSP users.
Today Sony"s Japan unit offered an apology to its Japanese customers over the continued Playstation Store downtime, according to a translated message posted on the Andriasang web site. However, Sony"s message only gave a vague reason for why the restoration process was taking so long, saying that it still had issues to solve with a number of "related parties". While no specific names or companies were mentioned, it"s widely believed that Sony is trying to convince Japan"s various credit card companies and the country"s government that the Playstation Store will be safe from further cyber attacks. Hopefully when the Playstation Store does come back online in Japan, Sony will offer its Japanese customers a "Welcome back" program of free downloadable games and services.
In related news, Sony Playstation America CEO Jack Tretton spoke to Gamasutra about the cyber attacks on the Playstation Network. He feels confident that the user base for PSN will continue to grow in the coming months thanks in part to number of upcoming Playstation 3 games. He states, "We could have the most secure network in the world, but if our content isn"t compelling, our login rates would drop -- like a stone."