Maybe. I hate to say this as a gamer, but the question has to be asked. One of the biggest bragging points about Sony is that PSN is free so their gamers don’t have to pay to go online which is all good and dandy until something like this latest outage happens. This is the second time in recent weeks that PSN has been hacked and one must ask themselves why does this keep happening? I have no doubt that Sony puts lots of money into PSN as far as content creation and ways to generate revenue but it would seem that they haven’t put as much money into building a robust infrastructure underneath it that is both reliable and secure.
Now look as an IT guy I can tell you that if you have a group of individuals motivated enough and they have the right equipment then its impossible to stop all attacks. With that said though, if you have a global distributed, highly available architecture you can lessen the load of these attacks as we saw when hackers tried to take down Amazon.com a few weeks ago. Amazon has a globally distributed network that is highly available meaning it’s very hard to focus on one part of it and take the whole thing down because it constantly shifts load and resources to negate this effect. The design is really meant to make sure the site stays up under times of heavy load which it might see during holidays or at a new product launch. Since a lot of today’s attacks involve a Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS), which happens when you saturate the target machine with external communications requests, such that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered effectively unavailable. In this case the target machine or resource is PlayStation Network and basically the DDOS is flooding PSN with millions of request per minute probably which then takes up all of the available resources effectively preventing PSN from allowing you to connect and our stay logged in.
Now with all that said, at this point one has to wonder if PSN wasn’t free would it be more robust and secure. Microsoft charges for XBL and that means they have revenue to put back into making service more robust and reliable. Sony doesn’t have that same revenue stream and thus that money has to come from some place else. If that is case then I am sure that Sony wants to keep that number to a minimum because for them its overhead. The consequence of it though is that PSN is and will continue to be susceptible to attacks like this and we will continue to be offline.
So the two things we want to know from you is 1) Would you pay for PSN if it allowed Sony to make it more robust and secure? and 2)How much would you realistically be willing to pay?