What is the PlayStation Network (PSN)?
As a gamer and a PlayStation lover, you must be familiar with the PlayStation Network (PSN). For those who are in the dark about it, PSN (PlayStation Network) is an online service for gaming and distribution of media-related content. Sony (which owns PlayStation) had initially introduced PSN in order to offer support to its PlayStation 3 gaming console. This service has upgraded over the years to support PS4, other devices by Sony and also look after streaming of video and audio content. Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI) owns the entire PlayStation Network.
How to use the PlayStation Network
You can access the PlayStation Network using the internet. You could either use the console of your PS3, PS4 or any other compatible device; alternately you could use a web browser and access one of the PSN websites. For example :- (us.playstation.com/psn)
In order to use PSN, you will have to set up an account online. You could opt for either a free subscription or a paid one. You need to enter your primary details like name and email id. You also have to pick a unique name which will be your identity online. If you log in to the PSN as a subscriber, you can join multi-player games, track their progress and statistics, view the leaderboard etc.
You can also access the PSN store. You can purchase either games or videos from the store. You can use either your standard credit card or use a PlayStation Network card to make your purchases. This card is a simple pre-paid debit card.
Benefits of PlayStation Network
PlayStation Network has an extension called PlayStation Plus. This offers a little extra to those who pay the additional Plus subscription fee. It gives you extra games and services. With PlayStation Plus, you gain access to PS4 multi-player games online. You also get access to full games online (selected games only) and a discounted price on purchases made at the PlayStation Store.
PlayStation Now is a service that offers to a stream of online games using the cloud storage. It was initially launched in 2014 and then rolled out to different markets across the world during the 2014-15 period.
PSN Music offers audio streaming via Spotify. This can be accessed via PS3, PS4, and other compatible Sony devices.
PSN Video service allows you to purchase digital movies or television programs online.
Vue is a digital service offered by Sony. They have different subscription models. You can access cloud-based recording and playback the same. This works in a manner similar to that of DVR systems.
Problems with the PlayStation Network
PlayStation Network has multiple issues. It has faced multiple high profile network outages over the past few years. Some of these have been the result of malicious attacks. The PSN allows you to check the network’s current status online 24 X 7 by visiting their website.
A lot of PS fans have articulated their displeasure and disappointment when Sony decided to make PlayStation Plus membership a mandate for gamers using PS4. This service was initially free for PS3 members. Many others have also critiqued the quality of the games that Sony had given for free to the PlayStation Plus subscribers as the monthly cycle update since the introduction of PS4.
As is the case with other Internet-based portals, weak connectivity can also affect the performance of the PlayStation Network. You may face temporary sign-in issues, have difficulty in finding other players to compete with in-game lobbies, face a network lag etc. Also, the PlayStation network is not available in all countries.