Electronics giant Sony today asked for "a little more patience" from users of its PlayStation Network which has been out of action for nearly a week.

It took down the network and Qriocity last Wednesday after suffering what it described as "an external intrusion on our system".

There has been speculation that there was an attack by hackers and that financial details could have been stolen. The company has not commented on this.

A spokesman said today: "We sincerely regret that PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have been suspended, and we are working around the clock to bring them both back online.

"Our efforts to resolve this matter involve re-building our system to further strengthen our network infrastructure.

"Though this task is time-consuming, we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the system with additional security.

"We thank you for your patience to date and ask for a little more while we move towards completion of this project. We will continue to give you updates as they become available."