This PlayStation Network shutdown reminds us of the BP oil spill in some ways (minus the oil-covered geese). We've heard outrageous estimates for the potential damages of up to $24 billion. At the same time, PS3 loyalists are vehemently defending PSN. We don't believe that this PSN outage will be forgotten anytime soon and their brand has undoubtedly been tarnished. Although, as optimists we feel that this hacker attack may provide Sony with an opportunity to change the company's direction.
Howard Stringer was promoted to the CEO position in June of 2005. Since then, we have seen Wii outsell PS3, Apple's iPod and iPhone take over the portable music player industry, and Microsoft's Xbox Live outperform PSN with respects to quality and safety of service. At the same time, Sony has lost share in the HD television market as Samsung, Vizio, LG, and others have gained brand recognition. This is not entirely the fault of Stringer, but much of this market share deterioration occurred on his watch.