Next week, the video game industry is set to meet in Los Angeles at E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The gaming trade show is where the most prominent console manufacturers and developers will announce their next big products. It's also the first time Sony will be in front of the entire industry since their PlayStation Network security disaster.
For those who live under a rock, Sony's PlayStation Network and its Music by Qriocity service databases were hacked in early April. The hackers illegally accessed millions of consumers' data, which included passwords, user names, emails and much more. Sony, which failed to acknowledge the breach until a few days after it happened, had to shut down the PSN for a few weeks while it restored it with security enforcements. The whole breach, and Sony's lack of early response, left a black eye on the company.
Since then, Sony has been hit with additional hack attacks. Most recently, a group of hackers calling themselves Lulzsec, claim to have hacked into Sony Pictures' database and stolen collections of data from consumers. The data includes passwords, email addresses, home addresses, dates of birth, and all Sony opt-in data associated with their accounts.
Sony has already apologized numerous times for the original PSN breach and offered its consumers a healthy welcome back package. The package includes free games, free movie rentals, 30 free days of PlayStation Plus, a free month of subscription for subscribers to PlayStation Plus and Qriocity's Music Unlimited and 100 free virtual items. It also includes security related measures and $1 million in insurance.
Despite all of these gifts, many have wondered whether or not Sony will be able to move past the entire ordeal or if security issues will continue to linger in consumer's minds. E3 would seem like the perfect time to move past it once and for all and have people forget it ever happened. Scott Steinberg, veteran video game analyst at http://www.toptechexpert.com, says this is why the company shouldn't bring it up.
Memories tend to be short in the gaming world, Steinberg said. As Sony rolls out new hardware and eye popping new releases as well as games from proven franchises, it will illustrate how powerful the system is and why people have to have it. As they begin to introduce all of this, people will move on. Gamers will look at them more carefully, but I don't think it will affect anything.
Sony is expected to introduce a new handheld console, codenamed NGP, at the E3 next week. In this regard, if they chose to ignore their security issues, they'll have plenty of ammunition to get people's minds off of the subject. On the other side of the fence, Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities, said he thinks Sony needs to address the issue.
They need to reassure people. They need to say they are pleased it's back up and that they hope everyone knows they will take care of them in the future. They need to make people feel good about it. They don't need to apologize, but they need to restore confidence.