Playstation Network & how to ruin your brand and make users hate you

Love at first sight

When I first played Mario Bros on Nintendo when I was little, I knew there was no going back. Videogames were awesome.

Since those days, I’ve been always playing videogames on my free time. Of course the amount of free time you have while being at school, then college, and later having a job is very different. Nonetheless, I’m turning 28 in a few months and I’m still playing videogames when I can and I’m not planning on quitting anytime soon.

A brand connection

After my initial love for Nintendo, I turned myself into a Playstation fan. I had the PS1, then PS2, PS3 and I currently own a PS4. So let’s say that Sony has shared with my a long long road.

That is a powerful and hard thing to achieve.

Sony was a brand that had made a connection with me.
It “got” me. It knew what I liked and what I wanted.
It was a part of my life.

And I loved Playstation and Sony. I stood by them. Defending the brand towards my friends and getting people into buying their consoles. I thought their products were of great quality.

I did this for many many years, when gaming was more offline than online, and when PS3 released the ability to play online I thought it would be a real game changer. And it was.

The siamese twin

From day one the PS3 went online, we were introduced to the “Playstation Network” (PSN for short). A place were you could connect with friends, share achievements and more. It sounded great.

But as soon as I started getting into it, I discovered that everything online involved the PSN. Maybe you wanted to play a game with a random stranger in another country and you needed to be signed-in to the network.


  • I’m not having a relationship with this person.
  • Can’t an achievement by synced with the Playstation at a later time?

These were things I didn’t understand and felt like a poor design choice. It was a method for Sony to get more user data, I understood that, but why make it mandatory? It made no sense.

Every game I played had this siamese twin called the PSN, attached to it, and I couldn’t separate them if I wanted to.

I thought the Sony staff would correct this mistake, but I was wrong.

A spiral down hill

The PSN was always there, and I didn’t want it, but at least it worked okay, so I was not being “locked-out” of playing because the network was down.

Oh boy, this has really changed.

Between poor infrastructure, low investment, and numerous hacking attempts, the PSN has been down more than we can count.

And everytime it goes down, our console becomes a piece of furniture.
The reality today is that everyone plays online, MOST of the time. Not SOME time. So If we can’t go online, there’s a reasonable chance that we won’t even play at all.

This has been going on for so long now. Today it’s Christmas and the servers are down. All the PS4 consoles gifted by family members or friends can’t play online or watch a movie on Netflix.

Old users like me are frustrated and literally hate you by now, and your new potential user’s first experience with your product is a complete and utter failure.

A gaming console that cannot game.

Sony, we want to play an online game or watch a movie.
Your gaming console is great at doing both things. Let it do it.

You are sabotaging your own product because of a stupid PSN policy.
People can’t play because you need to upgrade their trophies or tell them who of their friends are online? It’s stupid and we don’t care.

PSN is a “nice to have” and shouldn’t be mandatory to do ANYTHING.

Just let it go. Time to separate the twins…

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