Go ahead and brave the untamed wilds of Sony's(SNE) online offerings, gamers. It's not as if Sony's basically paying hackers to take your information while you're playing L.A. Noire or anything.
After letting hackers help themselves to the personal and financial information of 77 million PlayStation Online users last month and later admitting that the online assets of another 25 million gamers was compromised when the same hackers targeted Sony's PlayStation Online Entertainment division, Sony was just bringing everything back up to speed when suddenly more holes appeared in their parchment-and-kerosene firewalls this week.
First Lebanese hackers got into Sony Ericsson's Canadian eShop and made off with thousands of e-mail addresses, passwords and user names. Then breaches at a Greek music division, in Thailand and in Indonesia turned 8,500 user accounts into one big hacker peepshow. Finally, because Sony apparently doesn't get it until someone hits them where they live, hackers hit Sony Music's Japanese site and posted Sony's database information to a Twitter account.
Sadly, the only way Sony knows how to defend itself is with its "throw money around and hope it sticks" finishing move. Sony tried to "Welcome Back" locked out PlayStation Network users by offering a free weekend of movie rentals, 30- and 60-day free subscription periods and a choice of two old games - Dead Nation (2010), Infamous (2009), LittleBigPlanet (2008), Super Stardust HD (2007) and Wipeout HD + Fury (2008) for the PlayStation 3 and LittleBigPlanet, Mod Nation Racers (2010), Pursuit Force (2006) and Killzone Liberation for anyone still using the PlayStation Portable. This concession and security updates are expected to cost the company more than $172 million.
The only opponent that big-money move hurts is Sony itself, as evidenced by the $3.2 billion loss Sony just posted for last year that only compounded the effects of Japan's earthquake and ensuing tsunami back in March. That setback makes it HD-clear what Sony has to offer as it heads into the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in less than two weeks: Three straight years of losses, a PlayStation Move motion controller being outsold by Microsoft's(MSFT) Xbox Kinect and a leaky online gaming and media service that's still not working in Japan.
Sony's expected to pitch a new portable gaming device at E3 and has a slew of other products its should be excited about, but there's one word Sony reps and "VP Kevin Butler" might want to avoid in Las Vegas: Cloud. That's a shame, since Microsoft keeps bulking up its Xbox Live offerings, Nintendo's expected to debut a new console with expanded online options and content competitors including Apple(AAPL) and Amazon(AMZN) are already powering up their own cloud-based services.
As users have learned all too well within the last month, Sony's cloud is just a dark, porous mass with a habit of unleashing a downpour of user information just when hackers are standing beneath it holding kiddie pools. 3. Disney Drops Dopey Trademark Bid
Sony's arrogance, high price and proprietary format came back to bite them. Sony is what happens when lawyers and accountants run a company. Happens over and over again. First they stop innovating because lawyers dont understand creative people, then they demand premiums for the name, even as quality declines (because they source to China). Their their decisions (Made by the bean-counters and lawyers again) and policies turned me against them. Something to worry about, if the go down as company they will be a really big patent troll. The lawyer are happy and still got high paid jobs. Drop dead, SONY.