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What Does Sony Owe Us for Its PlayStation Network Outage?

29 Apr

Free games? Free DLC? What do you want from Sony in compensation for its agonizingly long PlayStation Network outage?

Sony’s online network has been down since April 20, after it was hacked by an unknown party. Sony has since been sued, accusing the company of failing to adequately protect, encrypt, and secure its customer data. The suit seeks damages for the data loss and PlayStation Network downtime.

That may have been on Sony’s mind on Friday, when the company’s latest blog post addressed what will happen to customer’s saved games, data, and other aspects of game play.

Perhaps the most interesting bit of information is listed at the bottom, however: “Will there be a goodwill gesture for the time we haven’t been able to utilize PSN/Qriocity?” the blog’s FAQ asks. “We are currently evaluating ways to show appreciation for your extraordinary patience as we work to get these services back online.”

Sony Online Entertainment also said that it will be holding “special events” for subscribers to its “DC Universe Online” and “Free Realms” massively multiplayer online games.

Unlike the Xbox Live network, Sony’s PlayStation Network is a free service. But the inability to play multiplayer games, download new demos, movies, and music, and access other online services is grating, especially with so prolonged an outage.

What should customers get?

Since the PSN is a free service, I’m not entirely convinced that we should be compensated with free goodies. On the other hand, that’s partially offset by the fact that I still have tons of single-player games on my backlog. If I’m a “Call of Duty” fanatic, I’d be pissed.

And that gives us a foundation to start constructing our argument.

In no particular order, here are five things that Sony might consider giving to customers to appease them:

1.) A free three-month subscription to PlayStation Plus. A $4/month value, the service provides free games, discounts, one-hour game trials, and more. It would be a great way to hook people on the service and give them freebies as a way of saying “We’re sorry”.

2.) Free multiplayer DLC. Parenting a toddler takes away one of the elements of multiplayer gaming, trash-talking, which means that I usually spend my evenings offing computer-controlled baddies. But picking a few multiplayer-centric games and offering some free DLC (or an experience boost) might be soothe some nerves.

3.) Games, games, games. The easiest solution, but one of the most popular. Allow gamers a $10 ($30?) credit in the PlayStation Store, and let them go nuts. Wall Street won’t like it, but to heck with ‘em.

4.) Kevin Butler commits a ritual rite of penance via an online video. I think this is due the gaming community anyway, but who wouldn’t want to see this?

5.) Free credit monitoring services for a year. Boring, right? Tell that to all the people who feel (correctly or not) that their credit cards were stolen or duplicated after the hack.

Bonus: “I want my cash back so that I can go and purchase and [sic] Xbox 360 Elite! I dont trust Sony anymore!” via @romanticnnature, on Twitter.

What do you think you’re owed, if anything? Chime in in the comments below.

For more from Mark, follow him on Twitter @MarkHachman.

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2384702,00.asp

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