In case you haven’t been paying attention, things haven’t been going very well for Sony. First, PSN was hacked. SOE eventually followed suit, rendering all of their MMOs unplayable. Then, after a month it came back on with the PlayStation Store still having problems. After this, Sony websites were hacked and so on, and so on. It’s gotten to the point where for some gamers, faith in Sony has been completely shot. On the other side of the spectrum, Microsoft recently encountered their own problems with a hacker, but handled it in a very different way than Sony.
A 14 year-old boy in Dublin, Ireland tried to hack Microsoft just over a week ago. His specific target was the online server for Modern Warfare 2, though what his intentions were remain a mystery. Microsoft quickly took action to prevent any sensitive information belonging to the players from being leaked.
During a keynote speech at the Bank of Ireland Business Week, Microsoft’s Ireland General Manager Paul Rellis revealed the events that took place to the audience present. He also revealed that Microsoft was now working with the young hacker in question to further develop his talent, so he could be used for “more legitimate purposes.”
This is certainly an interesting method to use for dealing with hackers and it’s a situation much better handled than the Sony-Geohotz mess. It’s a nice contrast to what Sony did, effectively declaring war on any and all hackers last month, a response that’s proven… less than effective.
Some players themselves have been losing faith in Sony’s effectiveness as well. In a recent survey conducted by Gamespot, 2,285 PS3 owners were questioned about the PSN outage. Though most said that they would stay faithful to Sony and continue to use PSN as normal, 28 percent of them said that they wouldn’t trust them with any personal information anymore, and 14 percent said they had totally lost faith in them. When further asked if they would switch from PS3 to Xbox 360, 9 percent said that they had already made the switch, with another 5 percent saying that it was “very likely” they would do so.
Do you think Microsoft handled their situation better than Sony handled theirs? What can Sony do to win back those that have lost faith in them?
Leave any thoughts you may have in the comments below.
[Update: We recently learned via Kotaku that the above story of Microsoft working with the 14-year old hacker is, in fact, false. Microsoft explained that Mr. Rellis's comments were taken out of context, and that they were not, in fact, mentoring the hacker.]