Sony is currently facing possibly the worst public relations crisis they’ve ever encountered. News that user information was compromised during the recent PSN attack has torn through the industry. The PlayStation Network may not be active again for another full week, and Sony has made clear that its “efforts to resolve this matter involve re-building our system to further strengthen our network infrastructure. ”
Today, news is making the rounds that in addition to enhanced security features, other improvements may come to PSN as well. What sorts of other improvements? Cross game chat, perhaps, and maybe in-game video chat. Possibly more. One alleged Sony Computer Entertainment representative has publicly stated that PSN is in for a “massive update.”
The representative in question responded (and has been responding for some time) to questions posted in the comments of stories on Engadget. Take a look at this exchange between the alleged Sony rep and Engadget commenter TheGordonShumway:
Of course, there is a world of difference between “taking into consideration” new features and actually implementing them. Given the years that have gone by without either of these features being supported on PSN, it’s a bit difficult to accept that they could easily be rolled into the package within the space of a week — particularly while the entire service is being re-engineered at the same time.
Adding some measure of believability to the claim of a “massive update” coming to PSN is that Sony, so far, has not flat-out denied it, nor have they called into question the credentials of the alleged Sony representative who made the claim in the first place.
Responding to an inquiry from Gamersmint, Senior PR Manager of Sony Computer Entertainment UK, Jonathan Fargher, offered the following:
“As I’m sure you can appreciate, there’s a lot of rumour and speculation about the PSN at the moment, a lot of which is false. All of the official announcements regarding the situation can be found here: http://blog.eu.playstation.com/.”
No denial, but certainly no conformation. Adding new features to PSN once it becomes active again is one strategy Sony might use to lure customers back to the service. Video chat may appeal to a relatively small slice of the PlayStation 3’s install base, but cross-game chat has been a heavily requested feature for ages.
Still, will new features, no matter how great, really be enough to restore confidence in PSN? Or does the massive breach of PSN’s security, and Sony’s delayed response, require a more significant gesture on Sony’s part? What do you think?
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