Reasons why Nintendo could ship a bag of moldy jujubes for their console and still destroy Sony

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tagged: console, sony, complete technological failure, playstation network

Or: things that have happened to me since Sony relaunched PSN and their "Welcome back" promotion.

  • I logged onto Sony's web site and changed my password. (This part, surprisingly, worked as expected.)
  • I fired up the PS3, logged in, and got the system update. (Ditto.)
  • I went to the Playstation Store. The "get some free games" offer was visible, but any attempt to touch it triggered a glittering snowstorm of error codes. I don't mean "404", I mean eight-digit hex strings.
  • I figured that Sony was overloaded -- that was Friday the 3rd -- so I left the PS3 turned off for the weekend.
  • Today (Monday), I went back in, and discovered that one of my two "free PS3 game" slots was gone. Apparently I'd managed to select it, and it was therefore used up. I hadn't managed to select a game for it, of course.
  • I used the second slot to grab Little Big Planet. This involved an awkward interaction of "buying" a game slot, backing up, and then buying a game to fill the slot. It made less sense than that, I think, but Sony compensated by plastering every screen with instructions, so they won't lose too many customers there.
  • My friends listened to my piteous whining and pointed me at how to get the lost game slot back. This required a trip down six or eight levels of menu (starting with "Account Management" and getting more arcane from there), battling crocodiles and carnivorous lianas all the way. Arthur Dent's disused lavatory and leopard would have wept in envy.
  • I downloaded Infamous 1. Or started to. (Four times the size of LBP; but for some reason the download was running about one-thirtieth the speed, before I cut it off in disgust.)
  • I went to launch LBP. It said it had to spent ten minutes installing itself first. (That wasn't part of the download process? Well, whatever.)
  • I went to launch LBP. It said it had to download two more software updates first. Words fail. Weapons also fail, but only because Sony's executives aren't within range of my whacking stick.
  • I went to launch LBP. It offered me a sixteen-point EULA, carefully squished into a small window so that people will be less likely to read it. (Really, it's the same technology as the health warnings on cigarette cartons. Companies are good at this.) I intend to decline the EULA, because online play -- enh. Not what I'm here for.
  • I came back to write this blog post.
  • The next decade in the console wars will be Nintendo versus Apple. Slugging it out for second third place: Xbox versus Xbox-losing-money.