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PlayStation Network

"PSN" redirects here. For other uses, see PSN (disambiguation).
PlayStation Network
Developer Sony Computer Entertainment
Type Online service
Launch date November 11, 2006
Last updated May 11, 2015
Platform PlayStation 4
PlayStation 3
PlayStation Vita
PlayStation Portable
PlayStation Mobile
Sony Xperia
Members 110 million[1]
65 million active monthly[2]

PlayStation Network, officially abbreviated PSN, is an entertainment service provided by Sony Computer Entertainment for use with the PlayStation family of video game consoles, Sony tablets, smartphones, Blu-ray players and HDTVs. The PlayStation Network encompasses online gaming, music, television and movie streaming services.


Sony's second home console, the PlayStation 2, had a limited number of online features in select games via its online network. It required a network adaptor, which was available as an add-on for original models and integrated into the hardware on slimline models. However, unlike the short-lived network of its competitor, SegaNet, Sony provided no unified service for the system, so support for network features was specific to each game and there was no interoperability of cross-game presence. Five years later, during the development stage for its third home console, the PlayStation 3, Sony expressed their intent to build upon the functionality of its predecessor, by creating a new interconnected service that brings the "PlayStation World" together, with an emphasis on community, communication and content.[3] In March 2006, Sony officially announced the online network for its upcoming system at the PlayStation Business Briefing conference in Tokyo, Japan, tentatively named "PlayStation Network Platform".[4] A list of supporting features was announced at the Tokyo Game Show later the same year.[5]

Sony launched a premium subscription service on top of the free PSN service in June 2010. Known as PlayStation Plus, the system provides access to exclusive content, complimentary games, regular store discounts, and other content such as background themes.

Following a security intrusion, the PlayStation Network had a temporary suspension of operation which began on April 20, 2011 and affected 77 million registered accounts.[6] Lasting 23 days, this outage was the longest amount of time the PSN had been offline since its inception in 2006.[7] Sony reported that user data had been obtained during the intrusion.[8] In June 2011, Sony launched a "Welcome Back" program following the outage, allowing all PSN subscribers who joined prior to April 20 to download two free PlayStation 3 titles and two free PlayStation portable games. Users also received 30 free days of PlayStation Plus, while users who were already subscribed before the outage got 60 free days.[9] After the disruption, Sony changed the PlayStation Network's license agreement to legally bar users from filing lawsuits and joining class action lawsuits without first trying to resolve issues with an arbitrator.[10]

In July 2012, Sony Computer Entertainment announced that they had acquired video game streaming service Gaikai for $380 million. The acquisition was later strengthened when Sony acquired the assets of Gaikai's market rival OnLive. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2014, Sony announced that Gaikai's technology would be used to power PlayStation Now; a new cloud-based gaming service that allows people to play PlayStation games on a variety of devices. During 2014, Sony started to roll out the PlayStation Now service in North America on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in beta form as a means for users to test performance and pricing structures.[11]

On December 25, 2014, both PlayStation Network and Xbox Live suffered network disruption after a denial-of-service attack.[12] Functionality was restored on December 26, with some users experiencing difficulties in the days that followed.[13] On January 1, 2015, Sony announced that users would be compensated for the downtime with a 5-day extension to PlayStation Plus memberships.[14]

Formerly the gaming provision of the much broader Sony Entertainment Network, the PlayStation Network became Sony's premier entertainment service in 2015, unifying games, music, television and video. While synonymous with gaming, Sony said the PlayStation Network had evolved to become a "comprehensive digital entertainment brand".[15]

Network chart

The PlayStation Network is available as both a free and subscription-based service, known as PlayStation Plus. A comparison of free and premium services:

Feature PSN Free PS Plus[16] Additional requirements PlayStation Vita PlayStation 3 PlayStation 4
Auto-updates Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Avatars Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cloud game saves No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free-to-play games Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Game DVR
15 minutes
Yes Yes No No Yes
Instant Game Collection No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Live broadcasting
Twitch, Ustream, Niconico
Yes Yes No No Yes
Media sharing
Dailymotion, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Yes Yes No No Yes
Online multi-player Yes/No[b] Yes Yes Yes Yes
Remote Play Yes Yes Companion device Yes Yes Yes
Share Play No Yes No No Yes
Voice/party chat Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Voice messaging Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Web browser Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
First-party apps and entertainment services
PlayStation App N/A N/A Mobile device N/A N/A N/A
Animax Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Crackle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Live Events Viewer[a] Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Live from PlayStation Yes Yes Yes No Yes
PlayMemories Yes Yes No Yes Yes
PlayStation Music
Yes Yes No Yes Yes
PlayStation Now[a] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
PlayStation Video[a] Yes Yes No Yes Yes
PlayStation Vue Yes Yes Beta Beta Beta
Share Factory Yes Yes No No Yes
The Playroom Yes Yes PlayStation Camera No No Yes
VidZone Yes Yes No Yes Yes
A selection of third-party apps and entertainment services (expand)
ABC iview Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Amazon Instant Video[a] Yes Yes No Yes Yes
BBC iPlayer Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Blockbuster[a] Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Crunchyroll Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dailymotion Yes Yes No No Yes
Dish Network Yes Yes No Yes Yes
EPIX Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Foxtel Play Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Gamereactor Yes Yes No No Yes
HBO Go Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Hulu Plus Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
IGN Yes Yes No Yes Yes[a] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
MUBI[a] Yes Yes No Yes Yes
NBA Game Time Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Netflix[a] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
NFL Sunday Ticket Yes Yes No Yes Yes
NHL GameCenter Live Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Now TV Yes Yes No Yes Yes
ooVoo Yes Yes PlayStation Camera No No Planned
Plex Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Qello Concerts Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Redbox Instant Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
SnagFilms Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
TV from Sky[a]
Sky Go
Yes Yes No No Yes
Spotify Yes Yes No Yes Yes
UFC Fight Pass Yes Yes No No Planned
Vudu Yes Yes No Yes Yes
WWE Network Yes Yes No Yes Yes
YouTube Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
YuppTV Yes Yes No Yes Yes

^ a Various rental/subscription fees may apply
^ b PlayStation Plus membership required on PlayStation 4 (free-to-play titles exempt)


  • Friends list, allowing for 100 friends on PS3 and up to 2000 friends on PS4
  • Block list, for barring other users from contact
  • Instant messaging
  • Online gaming, including cooperative and competitive multiplayer, matchmaking and cross-platform play in supported titles
  • Live from PlayStation: Browse live or archived game streams
  • Parental controls, limiting access to age restricted content and shopping cart
  • Portable ID: A small infographic, showcasing a user's Online ID and trophy level, intended for use as a forum signature[17]
  • Remote Play: Activate your PlayStation 4 from a distance away, and continue playing on a secondary screen, such as PS Vita or Sony smartphone[18][19]
  • Share Play: Invite an online friend to join your game session, even if they do not own a copy of the game[20]
  • Trophy achievement system


  • PlayStation App: Allows iOS and Android mobile devices to access the PlayStation Network, display in-game maps, access live streams and interact with online friends
  • ShareFactory: A video, screenshot and music editor that allows you to customize your most memorable gaming moments[21]
  • The Playroom: Play a collection of augmented reality mini-games, or turn your living room into a TV studio and broadcast live[22]


  • Live Events Viewer: Watch sport, music and entertainment events on-demand
  • PlayStation Music: Streaming music service in partnership with Spotify
  • PlayStation Now: Streaming video game service, offering members access to a library of 100+ PlayStation 3 games
  • PlayStation Video: Streaming movie service
  • PlayStation Vue: Streaming television service, providing live and catch-up TV

User information

Sign up

Signing up to the PlayStation Network is free. Two types of account can be created: Master accounts and Sub accounts.[23] A master account allows full access to all settings, including parental controls. Sub accounts can subsequently be created (e.g. for children) with desired restrictions set by the master account holder.[24] A sub account holder has the option to upgrade their account once they reach 18 years of age.[25]

Online ID

An Online ID is your username on the PlayStation Network. It can range from 3 to 16 characters in length and consist of letters, numbers, hyphens and underscores. Your Online ID is central to your PSN profile and is displayed when you play online games and use other network features. It must be unique, inoffensive and cannot be altered.


Users have the option to disclose their real name aside their Online ID, add a personal description, exhibit a profile picture or avatar, and list all spoken languages. Profiles also include a summary of a player's Trophy level and recent activity. PlayStation 4 users have the additional option to tie a Facebook account to their PlayStation Network account, and their profile picture will automatically update whenever they change their Facebook picture. Profiles can be viewed via the user interface or online through the PlayStation website.


Trophies are in-game awards presented to players for hitting specific targets or reaching certain milestones (e.g. completing a difficult level or defeating a certain number of enemies). There are four different types of trophy awarded. A bronze, silver or gold trophy is contingent upon the difficulty of the accomplishment, with each reward contributing to a level system attached to a player's profile. A platinum trophy is presented to the player once they unlock all other trophies in a game. In addition, each trophy is graded by popularity—common, rare, very rare, and ultra rare—based on the percentage of people who have unlocked it. Developers can choose to make various trophies hidden so that its value and description are not revealed until after the user has discovered it.[26] Because trophies were introduced in 2008, some early PS3 games do not support trophies.

Portable IDs

A Portable ID is a small infographic intended for use as a forum signature. The graphic showcases a user's trophy level and number of trophies awarded. Each user is able to log-in to their PSN account using a web browser to access and customize their Portable ID, and are then given a unique URL which they can cut & paste to display their ID elsewhere on the internet.[17] Several third-party websites offer similar graphics (commonly referred to as "trophy cards") as both free and paid services which either update automatically or are updated manually by the user.[27]

PlayStation Plus

PlayStation Plus
Developer Sony Computer Entertainment
Type Premium online service
Launch date June 29, 2010
Last updated April 7, 2015
Platform PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
PlayStation Vita
Members 10.9 million (as of January 2, 2015)[28]

PlayStation Plus is a paid PlayStation Network subscription service that provides users with access to premium features. These extras include the ability to have game patches and system software updates download automatically to the console, early or exclusive access to some betas and demos, full game trials, and regular store discounts. Other bonuses are also made available. As part of the subscription, members are given six games every month—typically two for each platform—and 3 GB of internet storage space for up to 1,000 saved game files. Users may choose a monthly, three-month or annual subscription.[29] In 2013, Sony announced that PlayStation 4 online multiplayer will require a subscription to PlayStation Plus.[30]

Instant Game Collection

Membership in the PlayStation Plus service includes access to a rolling selection of games. New titles are made available every month, while older games are withdrawn from the collection. Members can keep all of the games in the collection as long as they are a member of PlayStation Plus. If their membership lapses, the games will become locked and unplayable. However, once the membership is renewed, the games will become unlocked again. The longer a user is a member, the larger their game collection will become.[31] In 2014, PlayStation Plus gave away over $1,300 in free games to subscribers,[32] while competing service Xbox Live gave away $584.[33]

PlayStation Store

Main article: PlayStation Store

The PlayStation Store is a digital media shop that offers a range of downloadable content both for purchase and available free of charge. This includes full games, free-to-play games, add-ons, demos, music, movies and background themes. The store is updated with new releases each Tuesday in North America and each Wednesday in PAL regions. The store accepts physical currency, PlayStation Network Cards and PayPal transfers.[34]

Network cards

PlayStation Network Cards are a form of electronic money that can be used with the PlayStation Store.[35] Each card, or ticket, contains an alphanumeric code which can be inputted on the PlayStation Network to deposit credit in a virtual wallet. Sony devised the payment method for people without access to a credit card, and PlayStation owners who would like to send or receive such cards as gifts.[36] The tickets are available via online retailers, convenience stores, electronic kiosks and post office ATMs.


Sony introduced 'cross-buy' in 2012, whereby a game available for multiple PlayStation devices needs only to be purchased once. Players who download the PlayStation 3 version of a game can also transfer the PlayStation Vita or PlayStation 4 version, at no extra cost, and vice versa. Users have immediate access to supported titles in their digital game library, even when they upgrade to the newest system.[37]

PlayStation Blog

Main article: PlayStation Blog

PlayStation Blog is an online PlayStation focused gaming blog which is part of the PlayStation Network. It was launched on June 11, 2007[38] and since its launch it has featured numerous interviews with both third-party companies such as Square Enix[39] as well as posts from high-ranking Sony Computer Entertainment executives such as Jack Tretton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Computer Entertainment.[40] A sub-site of the blog called PlayStation.Blog Share was launched on March 17, 2010 and allowed readers of the blog as well as users of the PlayStation Blog to submit ideas to the PlayStation team about anything PlayStation-related as well as vote on the ideas of other submissions.[41][42]


The Official PlayStation Blogcast is a weekly audio program that is produced by the North American PlayStation blog. The podcast usually features Sid Shuman, Nick Suttner, Ryan Clements and Justin Massongill. The program often features guest appearances and interviews with figures in the gaming industry. The crew usually announces PlayStation content and PlayStation Store sneak peeks along with answering PSN user submitted questions, or "player queries" as they are often called on the podcast.[43]

PlayStation Home

Main article: PlayStation Home

PlayStation Home was a virtual 3D social network gaming service for the PlayStation Network available on the PlayStation 3.[44] Launched in December 2008, Home allows users to create a custom avatar, which can be groomed realistically.[45][46] Users can edit and decorate their personal apartments, avatars, or club houses with free, premium, or won content.[45] Users can shop for new items or win prizes from PS3 games, or Home activities.[46] Users interact and connect with friends and customise content in a virtual world.[47] Home also acts as a meeting place for users that want to play multiplayer games with others.[47] In August 2014, Sony Japan announced the service would be shutting down in Japan and other Asian territories, and Sony America and Europe followed suit the next month. Home officially closed worldwide on March 31, 2015.[48]


As of January 2015, PlayStation Network is currently available in 71 countries.[49] It is possible for non-supported regions to access the PlayStation Network if a user provides an address located in a country where PSN is officially available.

File:PlayStation Network availability map.svg
Global PlayStation Network availability

See also


  1. ^ "Number of registered PlayStation Network accounts reaches 110 million". PlayStationLifeStyle. 
  2. ^ Radu Haulica. Sony Plans to Invest Heavily in Its PlayStation Division,, April 30, 2015.
  3. ^ Tor Thorsen. PlayStation 3 announced for 2006, Gamespot, May 16, 2005.
  4. ^ Hirohiko Niizumi. PlayStation Network Platform detailed, Gamespot, March 15, 2006.
  5. ^ Shoemaker, Brad (2006-09-21). "Sony TGS 2006 keynote speech". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  6. ^ "PlayStation Network and Qriocity Outage FAQ – PlayStation.Blog.Europe". Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  7. ^ "PlayStation Knowledge Center | Support -". 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  8. ^ "Update on PlayStation Network and Qriocity". SCEA PlayStation. 2011-04-26. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  9. ^ Brett Molina, USA Today. "Sony launches 'Welcome Back' program for PSN users." June 3, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  10. ^ "Sony asks gamers to sign new terms or face PSN ban". BBC News (London). 2011-09-16. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  11. ^ Eric Johnson. Sony Acquires OnLive’s Cloud Gaming Patents,, April 2, 2015.
  12. ^ Ghoshal, Abhimanyu (25 December 2014). "PlayStation Network and Xbox Live down for many over Christmas". Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  13. ^ Jensen, Catherine (27 December 2014). "PlayStation Network Update". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  14. ^ Martin, Michael (January 1, 2015). "Sony rewards PSN users' patience with free five day extension". IGN. Retrieved January 1, 2015. 
  15. ^ Sal Romano. PlayStation Network becomes center of Sony entertainment services,, January 28, 2015.
  16. ^ Join PlayStation Plus,
  17. ^ a b Ed Easton. Design Your Own Portable ID,, 21 April 2011.
  18. ^ High speed internet connection required. You can play your PS4 games on your smartphone,, 20 Nov 2014.
  19. ^ Giuseppe Nelva. Remote Play helps hospitalized kid play PS4 500 Miles from home,, April 25, 2014.
  20. ^ Isabelle Tomatis. PS4's Share Play feature in action,, October 24, 2014.
  21. ^ Scott McCarthy. SHAREfactory: Share your greatest moments,, 16 April 2014.
  22. ^ Nicolas Doucet. Turn Your Living Room into a Broadcast Studio,, June 11, 2014.
  23. ^ Sub accounts and master accounts,
  24. ^ Limitations of Sub Accounts,, November 21. 2014.
  25. ^ Eric Lempel. Upgrade Sub Accounts to Master Accounts,, February 12, 2015.
  26. ^ "Firmware v2.40 Walkthrough Part 2: The XMB". Sony. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  27. ^ "PS3 Trophy Card Generator". 
  28. ^ "PlayStation Network to encompass games, TV, video and music". PR Newswire. 2015-01-28. Archived from the original on 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  29. ^ Jim Reilly (June 24, 2010). "First PlayStation Plus Details". IGN. Retrieved July 5, 2010. 
  30. ^ E3 2013: PlayStation Plus Required for PS4 Online Play. IGN (2013-06-10). Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
  31. ^ PlayStation Plus Introduction. Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
  32. ^ Good, Owen S. (13 December 2014). "PlayStation Plus gave away more than $1,300 in free games in 2014". Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  33. ^ Good, Owen S. (13 December 2014). "Xbox Live gave away $584 worth of games in 2014". Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  34. ^ "Sony "Leveraging" PSN Services for Other Sony Electronics". 2010-07-01. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  35. ^ PlayStation Network cards,
  36. ^ Lempel, Eric (2007-12-14). "PlayStation Network Cards are coming". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  37. ^ Chris Reed. Cross-Buy, Cross-Save, and Remote Play Explained,, March 30, 2015.
  38. ^ Patrick Seybold (June 11, 2007). "Welcome, You’ve Been Waiting". PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  39. ^ Chris Morell (February 12, 2010). "Final Fantasy XIII Your Questions Answered". PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  40. ^ Jack Tretton (October 19, 2009). "Welcome to the PlayStation Nation". PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  41. ^ Michael McWhertor (March 17, 2010). "What Do PlayStation 3 Owners Want Most From Sony?". Kotaku. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  42. ^ Patrick Seybold (March 17, 2010). "Introducing PlayStation.Blog Share". PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  43. ^ PlayStation blogcast – Archive.
  44. ^ "GDC: Phil Harrison's Keynote Speech". Games Industry. May 16, 2007. 
  45. ^ a b "PlayStation Home unveiled". Engadget. 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  46. ^ a b "GDC 2007 Sony keynote speech". Engadget. 2007-03-08. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  47. ^ a b "PlayStation Home, the free virtual world of PlayStation 3". JoyStiq. 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  48. ^ Pereira, Chris (September 26, 2014). "Sony's Virtual World, PlayStation Home, Closing Its Doors After 6 Years". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  49. ^ PlayStation country selector,

External links