We have learned from PlayStation Network issues, says Sony's Michael Denny


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The Independent Tech

Gamers have not been deterred from downloading games via Sony's PlayStation 3 despite the hacking issues suffered by users of the console earlier this year.

Michael Denny, the senior vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studio, said the number of users is now back to where it was before the well-publicised crisis which had caused the company's PlayStation Network to close on April 19 for almost a month.

He said the electronics giant had taken the problem seriously and that it continued to look at the situation and learn from it.

But he added: "We always try and look at the positives and it has been great to see that our loyal user base of PlayStation fans, despite the disappointment and issues we had over that difficult period, have returned and the levels of interaction with PlayStation Network is back to where it was before."

During Sony's crisis, hackers had accessed names, addresses, countries, email addresses, birth dates, PSN and Qriocity usernames, passwords and online handles. The company compensated customers with free downloadable content and a free subscription to the PlayStation Plus enhanced online premium service.

It also added automated software monitoring, enhanced data protection and encryption, new firewalls and a better ability to detect software intrusions to help prevent future issues. The FBI was involved in investigating the source of the breach.

Mr Denny told The Independent: "The issues we had with PlayStation Network were very difficult, not just for ourselves but particularly for PlayStation users. It was something that we’ve apologised to our users for.

"We know that was a bad time for everybody but I think PlayStation fans and our users realised that we were the victims of illegal activity there as well. What we’ve had to do is look at what happened there and learn from it. We have had to make sure that our systems are as robust as they can be going forwards and that’s absolutely what we’re doing and what we’ll continue to try to do for the future."

Mr Denny said the company was still very much behind using the internet as part of a user's gaming experience and he called for greater broadband speeds in the United Kingdom.

"I think it is absolutely one of the priorities I would push for," he said. "It would open up lots more possibilities for us. One thing that will keep going forward all the time is connectivity: connectivity and gaming and what that can add to games. I don’t just mean simultaneous multi-player games but all sorts of different connectivity and interaction that consumers can have going forward."

Last month, The Sun newspaper reported that Microsoft's Xbox Live had been hacked with millions of pounds stolen. Microsoft denied the allegations saying users were victims of phishing scams rather than hackers.