Now, it is clear that something is seriously wrong at Sony headquarters. A quick Google search will bring up multiple reports discussing the problems with the PlayStation Network. Unfortunately, as is Sony's tradition, they offer little information as to what is going on. All we know is that Sony is aware of the problem, and is 'working on' it. What that means and when the network is back is anyone's guess. The error message did change from the annoying, mysterious "You have been signed out of the PlayStation Network" from a couple of days ago to now saying, "The PlayStation Network is under maintenance."
Sony won't say what happened (now admitting it was "external intrusion"). However, it could be the result of hackers (now confirmed). Google searches bring up information about a hacker group known as 'Anonymous' that promised to hack Sony's network after Sony sued infamous hacker George Hotz. The hacker group has stated they have nothing to do with the current problem, but I doubt they would publically admit it. Read up more on the story here from the Wall Street Journal article:
I've posted an interview with George Hotz below in which he discusses his hacking tactics (legal to hack the iPone in the US) and why Sony sued him. I really could care less what or why he is doing it. He caa do whatever he wants, get sued or go to jail. However, I do get mad if all this caused the PSN to crash. Why should the rest of us that could care less about these hackers suffer because of their activities?
What this means for the league is basically chaos. The week was looking bleak prior to the PSN going down on Wednesday. Only 13 of 50 matches had been completed (26%). So, this downtime is only going to exasperate the participation problems we've been having. Since we are up against a deadline with Super Brawl II and the release of SSFIV: AE in June, I can't extend the weekly deadline. I still plan to close the week Sunday night, and post Week 21 matches on Monday. Instead of double-forfeiting a bunch of matches, all unplayed matches will result in 'Draws', and both fighters will retain their rankings pending other results. Those matches that were played will still result in rising or falling in the rankings. Those that did not play may have to move one or two spots to make room for those fighters that did play. The 'Draws' won't count against any records.
Hopefully this problem gets resolved over the weekend so we can get back to business on Monday. The first play-in matches for the Super Brawl II tournament will be posted as will the Invitational Tournament for the returning fighters. So far, only 6 of 8 fighters have committed to playing so there are still two spots open to anyone interested.
In the meantime, enjoy the downtime while it lasts. A chance to catch up on some non-online games like Heavy Rain for myself (great game BTW!). Here is another article I found on CNET.com polling readers if Sony should reimburse gamers for the PSN going down:
Good luck to all members!