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Sony PlayStation Network outage creates suspense

June 24, 2008 |  1:28 pm

PlayStation Network, Sony's online video game marketplace and future digital distribution platform for movies and music, was down for several hours this morning, prompting angst among some of its 8 million addicts subscribers.

Sony spokesman Patrick Seybold urged calm, saying the outage is part of an announced "routine scheduled maintenance." This one took four hours and 45 minutes, during which time the PlayStation Store was shuttered and no online games could be played.

"Nothing really at play here," Seybold said in an e-mail. "It is just a slightly longer update than normal."

He didn't give details on what was updated, saying only, "Just part of normal tuning to ensure optimal usage."

That hasn't stopped some players from getting the impression that they were banned or that something darker was afoot with the Japanese electronics giant. In the always-on Internet era, take an outage, add a minor information vacuum and voila! You have the ingredients for an international corporate conspiracy. Hmmm, sounds like the makings of a good game!

-- Alex Pham

Image courtesy of Sony