Sunday, May 1, 2011

When PSN is Back Online...

With the addition of the promised improved security, I still think that when the PlayStation Network is back online on the PlayStation 3, Sony will be offering discounts for all of the PSN Store items (with perhaps 30-50% additional price slashes for PSN+ users). Those who don't pay for PSN+ will not be too happy but PSN+ users, who are themselves prone to paying for nothing, will eat the whole thing up and pay Sony despite their crimes. Still, there is still time for Sony to come up with better rewards for losing our personal information to the hacker and even though there is really nothing that can rectify that fact, here are some things that Sony can do that I think will help them recover some of their video gaming reputation back:

1) Abolish PSN+
It's evident now that the extra bit of cash that Sony got from this program is spent elsewhere and not on improving the PSN infrastructure, security, nor features. Sony can once again reunite the community by continually providing cool access to games and discounts to all PSN users: basically, giving everyone the "extra efforts" instead of just a select percentage of the community.  PSN+ users should recognize at this point that this program is worthless because whenever the PSN is down, they are the ones who would suffer the most - not to mention looking dumb at the same time.
Possibility: 0.1%----------Alleviation Factor: 60%

Update Note: 11:50am - Well it looks like instead of abolishing PSN+, Sony wants to try to get more people to sign up for it by giving non subscribers 1 month of free service. As suspected, Sony just wants to get more money from this disaster by 1) getting people to spend more from the discounted PSN+ offers and 2) trying to increase the PSN+ subscribers so they can get more out of practically nothing. I will not be surprised if users would have to manually cancel this free one month membership if they don't want their credit cards to be charged automatically at the end of the "trial" period. Urgh. And we were worried that the hacker was going to steal our money.

2) Five Full Title Game Downloads
Go for broke Sony. I am not talking about small $15 games here. I am talking about full title retail releases that are also made available as digital download titles. They each should be worth $59.99 and yes, you should grant your users free access to 5 of them. Allow the users to save their download codes for future games as well. Man up!
Possibility: 20%----------Alleviation Factor: 80%

3) PlayStation 2 Backwards Compatibility
The PS3 is one powerful machine. You know there is a way to make the newer version of the console to run PS2 games. Make it happen. This time around, allow the PS3 to fully run these games with improved performance and at native 1080p instead of using some muddy upscaling method and these extra levels of improvement will even make those still playing on the older PS3 happy. It's possible and there is no reason not to, especially now. You do this and people will almost forgive you for your mistakes. Screw the double dipping with your plan to release sub-par, supposedly "HD" reworks of old PS2 games - it's time to reward your loyal fans!
Possibility: 0.01%----------Alleviation Factor: 91%

4) Full Steam Integration
Don't stop with Portal 2. Instead, immediately adopt the Steam voice/text chat platform so that people will be able to do so easily cross games and platforms. A lot of people want that cross-game voice chat functionality for a very long time and now is the perfect opportunity to give it to them. I never understand the cross-game chat thing though. When I play my games, I don't want to hear a dork playing some other game talking in my ear and ruining my gaming immersion but you know, some people just play games for achievements and/or trophies so what do I know right? Even if it's not via Steam, a PSN only cross-chat feature would do I suppose.
Possibility: 80%----------Alleviation Factor: 75%

5) "Lifetime" Console Warranty
To truly show that you want to make things right and commit to this console, offer an extended warranty of the console for all of the registered PSN users. You may put in small writing that the "lifetime" refers to the lifetime of the PS3 cycle and that the warranty will expire when the PlayStation 4 arrives but make sure to explain that you are willing to give the PS3 another 5-10 more years of existence before abandoning it.
Possibility: 0.0001%----------Alleviation Factor: 35%

6) Brand New Xross Media Bar with "Avatars"
Surprise us PSN users with a slick, completely brand new XMB. Yes, we know you have been eyeing Nintendo's Miis and Microsoft's Avatars and you want to find some ways to integrate the same thing into the XMB versus having users log into the stupid Home application - people like cute, animated things to represent themselves. The new XMB should be vibrant and less cold and clinical to create a new sense of excitement for your users. The trophy sync-up process should be instantaneous and there should be multiple background options for us to choose from. It's a great way to show that you are bringing to us a brand new PSN experience and the new vista will make some forget the woes of the past.
Possibility: 30%----------Alleviation Factor: 20%

So far, Sony hasn't been handling the security breach properly. The delay in letting the users know that their personal data has been compromised is certainly inexcusable no matter how hard they tried to explain themselves for their poor timeliness. The only real compensation here is a lifetime protection to identity theft and if such a thing ever occurs to a PSN user, that will be a hard fought battle - especially when it happens further down the line, years after this very accident. This is ever the more reason why Sony really need to make this upcoming relaunch a success if they ever hope to keep themselves a friend in our gaming lives.

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