It has been a rough Spring for Sony and Sony gamers, and despite recent reports there is still is no definitive end in sight for the PSN outage. A seemingly bright patch Sunday–the announcement from Sony’s Shigenori Yoshida that PSN services would return by May 31–has now been denied as being an overly optimistic interpretation of Yoshida’s (and Sony’s) hopes that the service will be restored sometime in May. Subtle differences, but considering the uncertainty around the stolen data during the April 20 hack of Sony servers, or even who was actually responsible, we can’t blame Sony for being unwilling to commit to a return date.

After all, some Sony gamers are already feeling burned by the previous report that PSN would return by the end of last week.

Of course, even the return of PSN in May is hardly ideal given that that would tally over 40 days of downtime for Sony’s online console gamers (with even PC gamers being affected this past week). While the exact long-term effects of this downtime, Sony’s apparent mishandling of communications right after the hack, and the class-action lawsuits that have been launched against the electronics giant are unknown, there can be no doubt that Sony hurts every day this continues. Consider also the developers and publishers, who are missing out on millions of gamers buying and playing their content–this hack can only be affecting their trust in Sony while harming their bottom lines.

To be fair, Sony may be the biggiest victim here, and the company is taking steps to fill any security gaps and to compensate affected gamers, but that will be small solace for any of the potentially millions of people whose personal information could be used without their consent. By this point, most gamers probably just want to see a return of their favourite hobby, but Sony is not rushing to a solution. They can’t afford to.

Have you made the switch to a different platform for your online gaming, and maybe more importantly, is the switch permanent?

Sources: Bloomberg, Giant Bomb, The Escapist

tags: PS3, PSN, Sony