Stringer Speaks: Defends Criticisms Over PSN Hacks

May 18, 2011Written by Tyler Minarik

The PlayStation Network got hacked, and everyone freaked out, quick to play the blame game by lashing out at Sony. Chairman, CEO, and President of Sony Corp., Sir Howard Stringer, has responded to these complaints, and seems to think they may be overly critical.

Whatever your stance is on the PlayStation Network outage is, it was likely frustrating, and one of the first things a frustrated person does is place blame on whoever is apparently at fault. Some of us feel it is the fault of the hackers (See: Me, and Randy Pitchford), while others think that Sony should have focused more attention on network security to prevent the situation. Either way, it’s resulted in one of the biggest PR fiascos for Sony ever, and its executives and PR teams have taken a lot of heat for it. Recently Howard Stringer, Sony’s CEO, responded to the situation, clearly annoyed with the response of the company’s critics:

This was an unprecedented situation. Most of these breaches go unreported by companies. Forty-three percent notify victims within a month. We reported in a week. You’re telling me my week wasn’t fast enough?

Well, depending on your point of view, yes and no. It’s commendable if that figure is true that Sony beat many other corporations to the punch when place in a similar situation, but to many consumers a week of having your information compromised is a week too long. During the entire ordeal Stringer failed to comment on the situation, instead leaving it to Kazuo Hirai to apologize and try to appease the public. Stringer meanwhile is still worried about the financial impact of the situation, which is likely to be quite large:

There’s a charge for the system being down […] a charge for identity theft insurance. The charges mount up, but they don’t add up to a number we can quantify just yet.

Apparently once that final number is quantified experts are expecting it to cost up to $2 billion, according to Reuters, which is a hefty sum indeed. Sony as a whole is attempting to make amends with its customers with a welcome back package offering free games, which has also gathered mixed opinions from the 77 million customer base. While lots of people are sure to be happy with the offering of a selection from top quality games, many seem to think it’s cheap to offer older titles that they may already own. Complaints on the PlayStation Blog have been mounting, to which SCEE’s Nick Caplin has responded cordially:

I’m really sorry that there is nothing there that you want. We’ve tried really hard to put together a list of high quality BD games rather than simply offering cheaper PSN titles. The average Metacritic rating for these games is over 84%, so these are high quality games. Unfortunately with a user base of 77 million people, it is really hard to offer something for everyone.

If they could appease everyone, I would be sincerely impressed. This is especially considering that I also own most of the games offered in the package, but I still recognize that it’s a nice gesture to attempt to rectify the situation. However, not everyone is so forgiving, and Sony still has quite a bit of work to do before all the tension has settled down. Howard Stinger’s expression of frustrations aren’t likely to win over the masses any time soon, but the rest of the company seems to be on the right track to winning back some love. Where do you stand on their response time, and subsequent welcome back package?