Monday, May 23, 2011

PlayStation Network Hack ... Worse Than Originally Thought?

Sony has had its hands full lately.  The April hack, which resulted in the loss of millions (77 million by one account) of people's personal information, is expected to cost the Japanese company the equivalent of $170 million (US).  Couple that with the earthquake that hit Japan and low consumer confidence, and Sony is doing the proverbial shitting of bricks.  Not in public, though.

Sony has been, by all appearances, fairly open about the hack.  Anyone who has studied business, however, knows that the problems Sony has discussed are nothing compared to the problems the company is actually experiencing.  That's Business 101.  Put on a happy face.

Denying new hacks, meekly apologizing about overtaxed servers, stating there is no evidence of any of the credit card information that was stolen being used, and so on is there to put consumers and investors at ease.  Whether or not works remains to be seen, but either way Sony has problems.

Sony has made plenty of mistakes as of late.  The PSP Go and the overpriced PS3 are two of the notable ones.  These are not minor mistakes.  These are company altering mistakes, and while it appeared the company was trying to correct them and ride them out, setbacks like this exemplify just how weak the company has become.  In the years past, people would have forgiven Sony for a hack like this.  They would've stuck by it.  Now?  That future is uncertain.  Plenty of people have lost confidence in the Japanese giant.  The hack pushed them to the edge.  Things are not back to normal yet, and when operations do resume I expect the amount of users on the PlayStation Network may be far less than Sony expects.