The PS4 chat feature is harder to monitor "than Whatsapp" / Getty Images

The network powers all of the console's online features, including video and the store, as well as online games

The PlayStation Network has buckled for the first time in 2016.

The online service is required for playing games online, as well as for other features of the console like videos and its store.

Sony said only that the network was "experiencing issues" and its status page showed that the problems were affecting all of its major services.

PSN suffered some problems over the Christmas period, including issues playing online on Christmas Day. But the outage is the first problem of 2016.

Sony's "Network Service Status" page only showed that the problems were affecting all of the company's platforms, including the PlayStation 3 and 4 and web services. It said that people were having problems getting online and that its "engineers are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible".

The problem affected users from around the world, according to online tools.

PS4: The saving grace for Sony?

Some on social media suggested that the service was down for scheduled maintanence. But the time of the rumoured period passed without the service going back online.