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Sony PS4 hardware needs to reduce PSN outages

The words PlayStation network and maintenance seem to be a common thing these days we’re sad to say and unfortunately, it looks like Sony has no immediate plans to put a stop to this. We have news of yet another lengthy maintenance period for PS3 users and it does make us wonder if the company has plans to make this issue obsolete by the time the PS4 arrives.

Maintenance cannot be avoided sometimes, we understand that – but you have to question Sony’s timing for some of their maintenance periods sometimes as more often than not we see the PlayStation Network go offline at the worst time when you are just about to head on for an online session after a hard days work or study.

It was just earlier this month that we told you about the last maintenance period which involved the error code 80023102, but now we have some important information for PS3 users this week as well – the entire PSN will be offline this Thursday. Sony has announced on their official blog that the PSN will be offline on Thursday March 1 and key services will be unavailable for a staggering 14 hours. Usually these maintenance periods were annoying, but didn’t affect most users who were already signed in as they could still play online – but not this time.

Sony has also confirmed that during the maintenance period, nobody will be allowed to sign-in and those already signed-in will be signed-out. The PlayStation Store will also be unavailable, as will account management and access to PlayStation Home. Here’s the key timing of the outage plans for you to make a note of:

March 1 outage begins at: 8am Pacific time, 11am Eastern time, 4pm UK time
March 1 outage resumes (fingers crossed) at :10pm Pacific Time, 1am (Friday) Eastern time, 6am (Friday) UK time.

As you can see, that isn’t ideal at all for many of you and it basically means that on Thursday you won’t be able to play the likes of Battlefield 3 or Modern Warfare 3 as you normally would. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect for gamers though, is the fact that Sony hasn’t given any sort of explanation for the 14 hours of time other than the usual ‘sorry for any inconvenience caused’ message. We have a feeling that most of you wouldn’t mind so much if Sony would communicate with their customers a little better, state a real reason and choose a different day and timing to perform their maintenance.

With online gaming, account management and the PS store all out of action, it does give the impression that there’s a serious problem that needs sorting out. 14 hours is quite a big deal at the end of the day, so let’s hope that Sony provide some answers to this on their official blog – just expecting customers to put up with the frequent outages every week with no explanation isn’t really good enough.

One other factor which is probably worth mentioning is the PlayStation 4. These outages seem to be occurring a lot at the moment, and we would hate to think that Sony would bring their maintenance issues over to the PS4 as well. The company needs to design their next console so that they have certain contingency plans in place so that when a problem does occur, it’s something that the new hardware would be able to deal with effectively and at minimum hassle for users. One possible idea for this could be to handle all software issues on the PlayStation 4 all through an internal cloud server, which Sony can operate and fix problems without affecting online game play. Once maintenance is finished, messages can come through to gamers via the PlayStation network telling them to re-sign in to issue the update to the system.

That’s just one idea of course, but let’s hope that Sony is seriously thinking about a solution which doesn’t involve three maintenance periods per month. Let us know your thoughts on the 14 hour maintenance outage this week and any ideas you have to reduce outages on the next console.

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Written by Alan Ng

Alan has been working for Product-Reviews since 2009 and became the Editor-in-chief in 2014. He has a passion for technology, the latest mobile phones and gadgets, and the gaming industry. Alan is a graduate of Canterbury Christ Church University and completed a B.A in Commercial Music in 2008. While expressing a keen interest in all areas that PR cover, you'll usually find Alan in the gaming section, where he'll be keeping enthusiasts up to date on all the latest news and reviews for consoles and PC.

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