The PlayStation Network has been hit by a major service outage, with many users reporting an inability to sign in to online services. This is not the first issue to impact PlayStation's users since the launch of the much-anticipated PlayStation 5. Many fans are still struggling to get their hands on the elusive console, which has been plagued by critical supply shortages and opportunistic scalpers buying up the stock with programmed bots. As troubling as this situation is, CEO Jim Ryan believes the shortage may end this year.
The console's online ecosystem has been affected as well. Recently Sony made the controversial decision to shut down the digital storefronts for its PS3, PSP, and PS Vita consoles. While both systems are much older than current devices like the PS5 and its competitor the Xbox Series X, many fans were nonetheless outraged at this decision. Several indie developers who have yet to abandon the consoles were distraught as well. The severity of the backlash led Sony to reverse its decision for the PS3 and PS Vita, though at the time of this writing there are still no plans to rescue the storefront for the PSP.
Now even fans on the PS5 are prevented from accessing Sony's online services, because a widespread PlayStation Network shortage has been reported. The extent of the issue can be seen on Down Detector at the time of this writing, and the PlayStation Network website has reported issues in all fields, including account management, store services, PlayStation Now, and online gaming. Further details about the cause, extent, and nature of this bug are unknown, but the PSN status page promises that "we're working to resolve the issue as soon as possible."
Such a widespread and devastating outage is bad news for Sony. Its online services have already faced some blowback, not only for the aforementioned attempted store closures, but for a recent development with PS Now. The subscription service offers users a selection of free games to enjoy throughout their designated month, but April's offerings, namely Borderlands 3 and Marvel's Avengers, are restricted to their PS4 versions, even though the retail copies offer free next-gen upgrades. PS Now subscribers who were lucky enough to secure a PS5 are stuck with the outdated editions of the games.
This is a critical outage, and it seems to only be getting worse, having spread from account services to the entire network. The network website insists that it is working to resolve the issue, but only time will tell when bereft PlayStation fans will be able to access their games and services once again.