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No, Sony, PSN is not 'one of the worldʼs leading network services'

psn down
psn down (Image credit: Android Central)

I recently read through Sony's Corporate Report 2019 and found this amazing gem of a quote:

Our progress in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019 can be measured by the growth of PSN, which has become one of the worldʼs leading network services. Game & Network Services (G&NS) posted the largest sales and profit ever recorded by a single segment of Sony, and that achievement was driven by PSN, which accounts for more than 60% of the segmentʼs sales.

Let's just highlight a particular part of that: "...PSN, which has become one of the worldʼs leading network services." Excuse me while I laugh.

Sony, I love you, but in what reality is the PlayStation Network one of the world's leading network services, because it surely isn't the one I'm living in. And I reckon it's not the same world that most people are living in. By what metric is this being defined? Quantity? The sheer number of users? Quantity does not equal quality, and that statement is misleading at best. PSN has more users than Xbox Live simply because the PS4 has sold gangbusters, not because it's any good.

An independent study from the IHS Markit determined Xbox Live to be the fastest, most reliable network in a head-to-head evaluation against the PlayStation Network. And if you look at the report, Xbox Live beat PSN in nearly every category tested during multiple scenarios.

Mercury needs to be in retrograde during a full moon for the PlayStation Network to work properly.

In my own experience, I've had a much more difficult time joining multiplayer matches and starting parties on PlayStation 4. Just last week I had trouble joining a party with fellow Android Central writer James Bricknell because of incompatible NAT types — at least, that's according to what my PS4 told me after shutting the party down. If he invited me to the party, we couldn't hear one another, but if I invited him everything worked out fine. The opposite happened the week before that where, when I invited him, it wouldn't work. I should not have to jump through hoops, perform a ritual sacrifice, change my NAT type, or start a party ten times for it to finally work.

It's beginning to feel like the stars must be aligned and Mercury needs to be in retrograde during a full moon for the PlayStation Network to work properly.

Are both PSN and Xbox Live prone to DDOS attacks and go down from time to time? Sure. No online service has a perfect uptime record. But it doesn't help when there's an infamous example of PSN being hacked, resulting in the network going down for several weeks and Sony settling a lawsuit for $15 million because the information of 77 million users was compromised. The service has definitely gotten better, and more secure, since then, but the bar still shouldn't be that low.

If Sony wants to focus on Direct to Consumer businesses (DTC) like the PlayStation Network when the PlayStation 5 releases, as this report indicates, and I believe it should, in addition to quality games, it needs to do a hell of a lot better.

The company said that it "will continue to evolve playersʼ experiences on PlayStation through advances in computing, streaming, the cloud, 5G and other technologies." Well, that advancement needs to come quickly. Preferably before the PlayStation 5 launches.

It wasn't that long ago that PlayStation Plus only cost $50 instead of the $60 we're used to paying for PS Plus or Xbox Live. Not to say that a cheaper service always means it's inferior, but that money goes a long way in building a more reliable service for everyone.

If Xbox Live is Google Chrome, then PSN would be Internet Explorer. And that's a hell of a feat considering Microsoft is the one that developed Explorer. How Microsoft can make the best product and worst product is beyond me, but it works out in its favor when it comes to gaming services. Just not web browsers and search engines.

Jennifer Locke
Jennifer Locke

Jennifer Locke is Android Central's Games Editor and has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things on Twitter @JenLocke95.

41 Comments
  • What's the point of this post? Besides the fact they said "one of the world'sleading" not "the world's leading" but the document you're picking apart is a corporate report. This document essentially has 2 purposes, to convince shareholders they have made a good investment and to push the sales of more shares. It's true that the QoS of the PSN is far from industry leading, but I'm certain the PSN IS industry leading in whatever narrow, undisclosed area they were referring to. That's how spin works.
  • I don't think the "PSN being down" is PlayStations fault. It's most likely your internet causing these problems. The only problems I've had with PSN is the NAT type issue. That's easily fixed by turning off wifi connection then back on again.
  • Also, Zach, it's definitely Sony's fault.
  • That is one option, but ultimately if you still have the Nat issues after that I would suggest looking into doing the proper port forwarding cause that will clean up all Nat issues and provide a more clean voice chat if properly configured. Most of the common issues I've seen fall on the users lack of knowledge in regard to technology. Most people think that you plug it in, turn it on and then you are done. But far from true it needs permission through the network otherwise it will be restricted and only able to squeeze through where it can, which can in turn result in packet loss. So this isn't all on Sony by any means it fall most on the user for improperly configuring their devices. I am a long time tech and the only issues I've had are when the servers are down for maintenance. Lol.
  • Long time tech of what? Toaster ovens? NAT and port forwarding have nothing to do with packet loss unless you twist the definition of "packet loss" beyond recognition.
  • Heck I've been trying to play gears 5 since yesterday but could not log in to Xbox live at all and today I kept getting disconnected so I'm my eyes Xbox is just as bad
  • Well said. In terms of money, users and marketing, PSN is killing it. Sure, it doesn't make it any less an unreliable piece of garbage network, but where they can spin it they'll be convincing.
  • Do you even use PSN? Back in the PS3 days it was less reliable although still decent for a free service. This gen it's improved out of all recognition. I bought a PS4 day one and can count on one hand how many times I couldn't get online. PSN is a very good service these days as is Xbox Live. By the way aren't Sony partnering with Microsoft for their online servers now or at least in the near future?! Pretty sure I read that somewhere.
  • I was just gonna say the same thing. It's kind of arguing semantics. Also, I'm a PSN user, and it has always worked perfectly for me. I admittedly don't play multiplayer very often, but the times that I have I've never had a major problem. I also use the cloud storage and game store a lot, and I've always been able to do what I was trying to do, and quite easily I might add. I suppose this post was mostly just an excuse to ***** about the PSN. If it makes you that angry, don't use it brah. Boom!!! Problem solved.
  • The great PSN outage. For me it was all downhill from there. PSN sucks by every metric
  • All networks go down for maintenance from time to time. I can't tell you the last time PSN prevented me from playing a game, but about a month ago a system update made me wait. The only issue I had was cause by the default DNS settings on my router. Changing the DNS to a better service instantly improved my PS4's network speeds. Yes, according to the metric outlined in the quoted text, the PSN is one of the leading network services. They aren't saying they're the best but one of the best. It's quantified by noting "Game & Network Services (G&NS) posted the largest sales and profit ever recorded by a single segment of Sony", and the PSN accounts for 60% of that profit. In the end money rules the world, and the PSN is leading the charge for them at this time.
  • Clearly they are stating they they are the leading platform based off of their sales and profits they have made. The are also probably including the amount of PSN users they have around the world. It's not really hard to understand off of their statement. Just like fuzzylumpkin commented, this comment is for shareholders to feel confident in their investments. Yeah sure maybe the Xbox is faster with matchmaking and signing into game servers and such. But you wanna know what I categorize if a network is slow or fast? It's based off of how fast I can download and install a game and get in to play. Ive compared my friends XboX one to my PS4 in multiple game download tests. Mind you my friend has a very solid network setup at home since he is a system network admin at his job. He's running a 700 mb download speed connection, and my network at home is a 400 mb connection. I still manage to have games downloaded and installed much faster than I have ever seen a game download and install on his XBOX and thats just one example. He's not the only xbox owner that Ive noticed this huge difference. I was just at his house yesterday where he was downloading Gears 5 and it took 4 hours for it to download and install. When I got home that same night I purchased it on my PC and it was downloaded and installed in less than 2 hours. And on top of the long download on the XBOX after it downloads it still needs to install. PS4downloads and installs at the same time so once It's finished downloading I can start immediately. 30 Minutes out of his 4 hour download and install was strictly for just installing the game.
  • Very good points
  • It seems to me that you are just an xbox fanboy. Playstation has had it's fair share of ups and downs. It's true that it's common for there to be nat type issues when people live in 2 completely different locations. You are just hating on the company.
  • Way to reference an old esoteric report from years ago in a non-related site in reference to a 2019 corporate statement. What those two have to do with each other is a big stretch of the imagination.
    Seems like you're just ranting or possibly an attempt at click bait.
  • Something that happened Years ago is something you bring up. Are you kidding me Nobody really cares about xbox. Playstation has alot of players so it harder to maintain something that has no players -xbox- the more players the more money Sony has which makes them a bigger target for hackers sorry to burst your bubble but Sony does have what they said "One" Of the Best Moron
  • no players on xbox? 57 million xbox live users... r u an idiot or just a ps player?
  • 57 million Xbox users does not equal to 57 million Xbox1 sales, lol
  • PSN support IPv6 yet?
  • No authenticator app support for 2FA yet.
  • My Xbox won't even let me connect to my college internet, on top of wholly crashing anytime I get a direct message, so IMO Sony is doin something right.
  • PSN this generation has improved immeasurably whilst I've noticed more downtime on Xbox Live. Truth be told there is nothing between the services these days so your article is a load of fanboy ********
  • Whether Sony Playstation network is the best on Earth or one of the world's leading network, the report is not intended to show off but to inform Sony's investors about what they have been doing in Game & Network part of their business. You are clearly not the target audience for the report. So I am not sure why you need to post this article. So I am not sure why you have to post this article...
  • First thing it is a misconception that Microsoft made it in face the company stole it from a colleague and lost the legal case and has been paying royalties ever sens
  • I literally made an entire account on here just to point out your stupidity. If you're having connection issues when you join someone else's party but are fine when you host the party, that means YOUR connection is the problem. Get better Internet or suck it up, Buttecup, but it's not Sony's fault you're on MacDonald's quality WiFi.
  • Fire who wrote this or find someone to bring us real facts not biased
  • Agreed. I've had a PS4 for almost 6 years, and I can count how many times I've had a problem with it on my left hand. And my left was amputated 2 years ago! The NAT issue is easily fixed, and never would have happened in the first place If you set up the device properly. And in the picture, that failed connection is, 99.9% of the time, because that account NEVER BOUGHT PSN! If not, then the servers are down for routine maintenance.
  • This is a rambling angry mess. You could've written the same article and had it received much better if you didn't take such a bitter, petty tone.
  • as a console xbox is way better, but ps4 has better games
  • Excellent article.....Sony fanboys on here should have courage to admit how crappy PSN is in comparison to Xbox Live (or most other reputable networks)
  • This article was written by an uneducated woof dog!!!They are not a true gamer. They are just a sore loser xbox microsoft fan.. Sony Playstation beats. xbox dumb 1 usersand xboxone.Anon makes you look like a fake news. wannabe tech female.lol. go make some food.
  • What a terrible article, it sounds like you had a connection issue last week and got so butt hurt that you wrote this article.
    Sorry but opinions aren't facts, no matter how much of a tantrum you throw.
  • And XBOX Live was down this week but let's ignore that fact, that didn't affect you personally so they don't have to feel your impotent rage
  • Hey! I have a PS4! As such I disagree with your article because it insults my monetary investment!
  • You dooooo realize the next PS console is not too far away and it would be my guess that they are testing the servers on the new console. Just think on it.
  • What a terrible article. Is this the kind of regurgitated tripe this site wants to associate with? One guys rant about a business statement where he takes the statement way out of context? Such an aggressive article too, and the worst thing it it doesn't prove anything. You bring up a situation that occurred years ago which isn't even relevant anymore, and you think that proves your point in some way? You shouldn't need to set up your internet correctly... in order for your PSN connection to work correctly? Do you lack a basic understanding of networking or something? You come across as an irate entitled kid, and this article reflects horribly on both your writing style and you as a person. If I owned this site, I would be seriously considering letting you post crap like this. This reads like you were writing an angry post onto GameFAQs but instead chose to post it as an article. What an embarrassment.
  • Microsoft has 14 Video Game Developer Studios & No Exclusive Games but has more Resources then Sony & Nintendo Combined also Backed by Parent Company Microsoft a $ 1 Trillion dollars Company but sucks in exclusive game Department just look at the valuation - https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/25/18515623/microsoft-worth-1-trillion-d...
  • I really join this sign up just to reply to this pingahead guy. I never haved problem joining PSN or a party. And like other plp comments it the user cheap 32mp upload and download maybe if they was not useing a Starbuck hotspot or they mobile date they can enjoy. They PS4 you post make no sense and you can blow my PSN pinga so fu and your dumb post suck box fan boy. Thank u
  • Oh also wanted to all the PSN network had not be off once this months or the pass months stop useing ur mobile data dickhead bye so I did my research on this blue short hair Smurf ninja want want be little sister. All here articles make no sense and someone call it correctly she an Xbox fan girl. But damn she ugly 🤣🤣 also as a beta tester she do know the next update focus on networking fix's and she maybe useing the old reg PS4 not a pro or the PS4 slim that have 5ghz wifi card. So i look through this ***** tweet and I right she useing 20mp upload and download that explains everything she ******* about mystery solved and she want sit here and say it Sony na ***** you need better internet ***** and your problem will be fix. It not Sony it you bring cheap.
  • I play on 12 mb and I play on the PS4 slim and have absolutely no problem. My downloads take about 2 hours and I have little to no issues in partys. I play online constantly and own over 150 games and I can play them with ease, so i dont think it is an internet problem.
  • Apparently Microsoft is better than Sony is what qualifies as journalism nowadays. They're both major corporations more interested in their bottom lines than their users. This was a corporate statement. Get over it. Play PS4, play XBone. Play an empty moonshine jug. Who cares?