Howard Stringer, president of Sony Corporation, has said that PSN is "better than ever" following its six-week outage earlier this year.
Stringer cut a bullish figure at a Berlin news conference yesterday, in which he said PSN users and purchases were up, Sony was over its bumpy start to 2011, and even argued that it was better positioned than Apple.
"I'm pleased to tell you that PSN is more secure and better than ever," he told reporters. "We are aggressively expanding its content. We have more than three million new customers since the network came back online, and sales are exceeding what we had before the cyberattacks."
Sony endured a dismal start to 2011 when the PlayStation 3 washacked and opened up to piracy. The platform holder's aggressive response - taking legal action against George "Geohot" Hotz, the hacker who published PS3's root key online - incurred the wrath of the hacking community.
While the culprits are still yet to be identified, it is widely accepted that the group of hackers whose attack on PlayStation Network resulted in a six-week outage, the loss of 100 million users' personal details, and Kaz Hirai's humble apology at a Tokyo press conference. That, Stringer believes, is ancient history.
"This year, we at Sony have been flooded, we've been flattened, we've been hacked, we've been singed," he said. "But the summer of our discontent is behind us. The past is a prologue to future possibility."
Stringer's attitude is worlds apart from his apology for the PSN outage, Sony's handling of which prompted several fund managers to call on him to step down. Indeed, so confident is Stringer in Sony's current state, and its wide reach, that he argued the firm was in a better position than Apple, saying: "Yes, yes, Apple makes an iPad, but does it make movies? Warner Bros and Fox produce fine movies, but what about their cameras and smartphones? Sony is where art meets technology."
Sony revealed its release plans for two new tablets at the IFA electronics show in Berlin yesterday, and Stringer believes the devices, which run on Google's Android operating system, can take on and beat iPad. "We want to prove it's not who makes it first that counts," he said, "but who makes it better."
The company also announced the formation of Sony Entertainment Network, which will coalesce its online services - including PlayStation Network, the Qriocity music and video services, and those provided by thirdparties - into one, all-encompassing brand
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