PSN outage woe enters seventh day

No explanation - or end - in sight.

The PlayStation Network outage currently preventing PlayStation 3 owners from gaming online has entered its seventh day.

Sony is yet to fully reveal the exact cause of the outage that rendered the PlayStation Network unusable over the Easter weekend or hazard a guess at when it will be resolved.

Current speculation suggests Sony turned its system off to thwart hackers who had found a way to steal content using faked credit card numbers.

Sony is yet to address this concern.

The Japanese company is rebuilding the network to provide it with "additional security" after what it described as an "external intrusion". Hacker group Anonymous has denied responsibility.

"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," Sony said in a statement issued yesterday.

"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."

European PS3 owners first found they were unable to log in to PSN last Thursday morning but the service has been down since Wednesday evening for US gamers.

At the time Sony said PSN was "down for maintenance", before changing its mind to describe the problem as an "outage".

Later that day Sony revealed it was investigating the possibility of "targeted behaviour by an outside party", suggesting hackers might have been responsible.

The outage is poorly timed particularly for PS3 gamers.

Last Thursday saw the launch of superb first-person puzzle game Portal 2 one of the most anticipated games of the year.

The PS3 version features Steamworks integration a first for Sony and maker Valve that allows cross-platform co-op play between the PS3 and the PC and Mac.

This feature remains unavailable.

Now, as the PSN enters its seventh day of outage, questions remain unanswered over the future of the free online service, and the security of gamers' credit card information.

Eurogamer has once again contacted Sony Computer Entertainment Europe for comment.

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