At the time of this writing, the PlayStation Store in North America has yet to be updated. This week’s update is now suffering from a 24-hour delay that Sony says should be rectified sometime today. The reason for the delay? Ongoing scheduled PSN maintenance from April 15. I understand mishaps happen every now and then, but this is becoming a trend with the PlayStation Network. The PlayStation Store is woefully inconsistent when it comes to updating. Sometimes it updates in the early afternoon, and there are other times when nothing will happen until around 10pm EST. This, and the frequent calls for PSN maintenance is something Sony needs to get under control as soon as possible.
Consistency should be a major concern with Sony when it comes to PlayStation Store updates. Why? Because Sony’s competitors are embarrassing them at this point. Every Wednesday morning, I awake to see XBLA has already updated. It’s been like this for a long time. Microsoft nails it nearly every week. Nintendo also has a good track record of updating the eShop around the same time every Thursday. So why is it Sony can’t do the same thing for the PlayStation Store? By failing to keep updates consistent, Sony risks losing money. The PlayStation Blog usually hypes up releases hours before the PlayStation Store updates. If someone is primed for an impulse buy based on those blog posts, but has to wait a long time to spend their money, chances are their urge to buy will pass.
No other video game network from the big three suffers from as much downtime as the PlayStation Network. It seems like every other week we’re hearing about scheduled PlayStation Network maintenance. This kind of thing rarely happens with Microsoft and Nintendo. Sure there are times when Xbox Live is having its hiccups, but it’s usually sorted out very quickly. As we move deeper and deeper into an era where a lot of functionality is tied to being online, frequent outages won’t be tolerated very well. Let’s take Sony’s upcoming cloud gaming service for example. PlayStation Cloud will be a part of the PlayStation Network. It boasts being able to play just about any game on the service on the PS4, Vita and whatever else Sony opens the software up to. PlayStation Cloud won’t be very attractive if Sony can’t keep the network running for long periods of time. Some outages are unavoidable, but PlayStation Cloud won’t be a viable option if Sony can’t get maintenance under control.
I know the PlayStation Store delay and maintenance may not seem like a big deal on its own and you’d be right. But when things like this keep happening so often, something has to be said. Get it together Sony.