May 20, 2011, 7:54 AM — [Update: Well May 24th came and went and the Playstation Store didn't return. Sony now says they hope to have it restored by the end of the month. So, the debacle continues for now...]
Tired of hearing about Sony's servers being hacked and the service outage that followed? I can't blame you, and honestly I'm getting kind of tired of writing about it. But together we have to see this story through to the end, right?
And the end may finally be in sight. Word is that the Sony Playstation Store will be back online next Tuesday, May 24th. As far as I can figure, that's the last part of the service that isn't running. Of course we still all need to get our free games and identity protection package; we're still waiting on final details about those.
So the Store comes up on the 24th, but of course their schedule is totally out of whack at this point. In order to catch up they're going to do extra updates on Friday the 27th and Friday, June 3rd. So four content refreshes in two weeks.
That's great news for gamers, I guess, but I suspect the developers who're getting their moments in the sun cut by half a week can't be happy, particularly after this extended dry period of no sales (particularly painful for developers who only publish on the Playstation network). After all, customers aren't going to have twice as much time to play, or twice as much money to spend, during those two weeks. Will they buy whatever is new on both Tuesday and Friday for two weeks? My guess is no.
On the other hand, I'm not sure what else Sony can do. Would it be better to just double up on the amount of new content for two weeks in a row? Possibly. At least then everyone gets a week on the 'newest content' section of the store. Any way you cut it, the developers are getting hurt one last time, and that's before you factor in loss of sales from customers flat out deciding not to use their credit cards on Sony's service. (Sony has said it may be possible for devs to reschedule the launch of their content, but such a move will be approved on a case-by-case basis.)
Once the Store is up and running, Sony promises further details on taking advantage of our "Welcome Back" goodies. But it seems like the developers aren't getting quite as warm a welcome. Let's hope Sony decides to buck up and offer some more concrete support to the devs; without a stable of third party developers creating unique and fun content, the Playstation Network may as well not have a store.