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Published on May 18th, 2011 | by Ken Yarbrough, Editor

Devil’s Advocate: A Brief Tale of Sony’s Many Lies

Let’s talk about some numbers, shall we?

24 Days: The number of days PSN was down, officially
100 Million +: Number of users whose personal data was compromised
3 Days: The number of days before Sony even acknowledged there was a problem.
5 Days: The number of days before Sony acknowledged that it was an “intrusion”.
9 Days: The number of days before Sony warned it’s customers that data had been compromised.

I’ll give you a moment to digest those numbers…

Let’s begin. I have been a vocal opposer of Sony for a very long time. For me, it really all started with the PS2. It was a widely held opinion that Sony purposely manufactured their PS2 hardware to be faulty. The general opinion being that it was done to increase overall sales of the hardware. Usually, the hardware would malfunction after the warranty had already expired.

I was a store manager at Gamestop when the PSPs launched. We had an email the day before the launch advising us that “dead pixels” would NOT be covered under any warranty. Strange email. Imagine my surprise when 60% of our launch stock of PSPs came back within 24 hours with dead pixels. Hell, Sony even mentioned the pixel problems in the PSP manual!

Those are just my hardware complaints though. No one can forget the blatant lie Sony touted at E3 2005. Showing off Killzone 2 for the first time ever, Sony claimed that what people were seeing was actually in-game graphics. There were even direct quotes of Sony stating that “this is what the game looks like”. Obviously, in hindsight, it wasn’t just incorrect. It was a flat-out lie.

Which leads me back to 2011. Sony simply lies. From purposely creating faulty systems, to blatantly lying to their consumer, they’ve never learned. Even now.

Three days after the attack, Sony spokesman begins releasing statements saying that THEY were bringing their systems offline. A lie. Five days after the attack, they admit to the intrusion, but claim customers have nothing to worry about. Second lie. NINE DAYS after the attack, they admit that user data has been compromised, but aren’t forthcoming on exactly how many users have been affected, or to what extent.

Fast forward to 24 days later. The PSN goes back online. Sony has detailed it’s “Welcome Back” program, a program designed to apologize to it’s customers. There’s a lot of talk about how “awesome” it is that Sony is offering it’s users two free games. Don’t be fooled, people. You have a list of five games to choose from, and not a single game on the list is over $30 at retailers. These are year old or more games, MOST PS3 users already have them, and even if they don’t, why is the choice being taken away? Why not give me 60 bucks worth of credit on my PSN account that I can then spend however I want? Easy. The five games offered have already “made their money”. There’s no loss for Sony here, or the developers. Sure, you get a couple of free games, but what is the punishment to Sony?

30 days free of PSN Plus. Sweet. I don’t trust your network security at ALL, but I’d love to have you use this opportunity to “sell” me on PSN plus. Also, good job warning those taking advantage of this offer. Any games or downloads that you get during your 30 day free phase? Gone if you don’t sign up. Nice shadiness…again.

I really don’t get it. How does ANYONE still support this company? Forget whether or not the PS3 is a good system. I’ll concede, that of all the console’s Sony has released, this one is by far the most stable. It’s also powerful. It’s not that the PS3 is a terrible system (unlike its predecessors), it’s that Sony is a terrible company. They haven’t gotten better over the years.

There have been tons of reports from Reuters, to well-known “hackers” claiming that not only was Sony’s system not up to par, but that it’s STILL not up to par. Less than a week after the PSN went back up, and phishers had already exploited Sony’s “password reset” website. Really Sony? REALLY? How do you let a URL slip your attention, right after your entire network was left unlocked? The US Government has issued inquiries to Sony about the intrusion. Sony still hasn’t answered all the questions. The Japanese Government isn’t even allowing Sony to bring PSN back online!

Today, however, was probably the most angering moment of all of them. Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, dismissed the outage at “a hiccup in the road to a network future”. A hiccup? The longest downtime ever seen by a console maker is a hiccup? He further went on to deflect the issue, stating that the real concern should be when hackers decide to breach world financial systems, or FAA systems. This was a deliberate attempt to make it seem like the PSN outage was no big deal. How could it be compared to the FAA being hacked? Ridiculous. I understand that PR needs to make the best of a situation, but these statements are a slap in the face to it’s customers. Let’s not forget, it’s not just that the PSN was down…personal customer information was stolen.

Perhaps the worst part about Sony’s handling of the situation, is that the well-publicized hacker group, Anonymous, has stated before that they INTENDED to hack Sony’s systems. Their reason? Sony lying to their customers.

Keep it up, Sony.

**The opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of They are my opinions, and mine alone. ***

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About the Author

I'm the guy everyone loves to hate. The resident Devil's Advocate for GAMINGtruth, my words are harsh, my message serious. The gaming industry needs some big changes to keep from destroying itself.

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