The recent outage of PSN and the subsequent backlash on social media brought something to my attention – games, and gamers, have become far too reliant on the online services we use to partake in our hobby.
Monetary compensation, I’m assuming is what they mean; but let’s be reasonable and break that down for a second. Based on the price of a 12-month subscription via the PSN Store at £39.99 (and that’s a maximum - it can be picked up considerably cheaper elsewhere), if the service goes down and you can’t use it for even as much as 24 hours, you’ve lost mere pennies. Around 10p, actually. It wouldn’t even be worth compensating, would it? That’s like buying a chocolate bar, finding it broken in the wrapper and then asking for all your money back. Yes, most of my analogies do involve food.
Let's be realistic here, the real issue is that Netflix won't work
The real issue the whole scenario raises, though, isn’t one of entitlement, as annoying as I obviously find it. It’s actually whether games and the systems we choose to play them on have become so reliant on an online connection and service, that it seems they’re fast becoming unplayable without one. Personally, I was barely affected when I played while the network was down – I’m a social leper so friends and playing online aren’t an issue - although it was mildly annoying completing a game and not being able to synch the Trophies to see what I had left to do; but not so much I felt the need to berate Sony over it on social media.
However, certain games were completely unplayable during the period when PSN was not functioning properly, and that’s where the situation starts to get a bit more complex – service outages and DDoS attacks aside, not everyone actually has access to a decent internet connection, if any at all. When the Xbox One was announced, Microsoft were made out to be the devil incarnate for the apparent suggestion that the console wouldn’t work without an internet connection – yet there is little to no backlash against the developers bringing out games that you can’t play unless you connect first. Is the inability to play those particular games really the fault of Sony, or should the hate be directed at people making games that require an online connection?
It appears, however, that Sony intend to extend subscriptions of both PS+ and PS Now for those who were affected by the downtime anyway – so all those moaners should be quite content. Or not. Probably not. Besides, let’s be realistic, the biggest issue here is that if Netflix won’t work how am I supposed to put Paw Patrol on for a tantrum-throwing three-year-old? Forget the 10p worth of service I’ve lost; what’s left of my sanity is at stake.