Sony has brought back its PlayStation Network after a month-long outage, which means that PS3 users will also be able to once again access Netflix and Hulu Plus on their game console. However, Netflix isn’t planing to give users any credit for the outage time.


Updated: PS3 owners can finally access Netflix on their game consoles again after Sony started to restore the PlayStation Network (PSN) over the weekend, but they shouldn’t expect any grand welcome back gestures from the streaming video company. Netflix isn’t offering any discounts or refunds to people affected by the PSN outage, I was told by a spokesperson today.

That’s a stark contrast to Sony, which plans to offer all kinds of goodies to make up for the four-week outage. PSN members will receive a free month of PSN Plus membership, and PSN Plus members will also get a month of PSN Plus access for free. Sony is also offering one year of free identity theft protection, and various other goodies for gamers that couldn’t play online during the outage.

Hulu Plus subscribers affected by the outage can also expect some goodwill gestures from the company. Hulu has been sending emails to subscribers that have previously accessed their Hulu Plus subscription through the PS3 with an offer to credit them for at least part of the time missed. Update: A Hulu spokesperson told us that the company is offering a credit fpor the full duration of the entire outage.

Who should pay for Netflix & Hulu being inaccessible through Sony's PlayStation Network?

Of course, the PSN being inaccessible for a month as a result of a successful hacker intrusion was Sony’s fault alone. Netflix, or Hulu for that matter, aren’t obligated to give out any credits to make up for their service being unavailable through a platform they don’t control.

However, the whole episode does put a spotlight on the flip side of media consumption in a world dominated by online app platforms: This time, it hit Sony. But Netflix and Hulu Plus users would be equally affected if hackers decided to take down Microsoft’s Xbox Live tomorrow. Dedicated media players like Boxee are also based on online services, meaning Netflix users could be left in the rain in the event of an outage as well.

So who should compensate end users if third-part apps aren’t accessible? The app maker, or the platform provider? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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  1. TattoozNTech Monday, May 16, 2011

    maybe i’m a strange minority here… but everytime i launched Netflix on my PS3, it would error about signing into the PSN, but then Netflix worked just fine. i’ve been using my Netflix through PS3 normally through this whole PSN outage. anyone else have that weird, but welcome functionality?

    1. Dumb article seeing as Netflix worked ad you can access both Programs without a ps3

      1. Jason,

        Sorry to burst your GigaOm conspiracy theory bubble, but Netflix didn’t work for everyone. It didn’t work for me or for one of my co-workers.

        For those who it didn’t work for, the problem was that you needed to be signed into PSN to use Netflix.

        The liability should be on whichever company Sony or Netflix required the two services to be coupled, because they really didn’t have to be.

        If Sony said they want PSN users only accessing Netflix, then it’s Sony’s fault.

        If Netflix said to Sony, we want you to make sure users are logged into PSN before they access Netflix, then it should be Netflix.

        In this case, I’m pretty sure Sony was responsible.

        And dude. I have a streaming only Netflix account. I’m almost designed to refute your bullshit.

    2. It worked for some people, but not others. Some got it to work for a week or two, and then it stopped. A few of our commenters suggested that it might have been an expiring cookie issue, which sounds plausible:


      1. That’s an excuse to make your article seem plausible. Netflix worked period. If you didn’t cache your cookies your own fault . Plus when you sign up for Netflix it’s minimum 1 DVD out and streaming which consists of tv phone ps3s xboxs and etc.. So their should be no refund.. And

    3. I’ve been able to access it the entire time from PS3 as well.

    4. worked everytime for me about 85% of the time

  2. I was also able to use Netflix during the outage.

    Besides, why should Netflix refund anything. Unlike Sony services, which were completely unavailable during the outage, you could still access Netflix on the Roku, Xbox, PC/Mac and a slew of other devices. Netflix did not go down; it may have become inaccessible in one form due to another company’s issues, but you could still use it through other means.

  3. Ty Margheim Monday, May 16, 2011

    Why should Netflix do anything? Subscribers could still access it through their computers.

    I don’t expect Netflix to reimburse me if my isp goes down.

  4. Netflix shouldn’t offer anything. The PS3 is not a primary netflix device you don’t pay 10 dollars or whatever a month to just watch netflix on your PS3. It’s like asking your ISP for a refund because you couldn’t access the internet on your console.

  5. STUPID!!! You were able to watch netflix with the PS3 down. Who ever wrote this article is not doing their homework

  6. Lol. I have had access to Netflix the whole time. It was a little buggy but vid quality was the same. I just hit x through the network connection prompt then at the last message screen pressed circle and Netflix would continue

  7. Ummmmm…..you actually could access Netflix through the PS3 so why would they give a refund? Hulu you couldn’t. Try doing some research before posting such a retarded article. Amateurs.

  8. Bromosapien Monday, May 16, 2011

    Neflix wasn’t down, though. PSN was down, but netflix worked just fine. And how can you say that it was Sony’s fault alone. You actually put zero blame on the hackers? I fail to see your logic

  9. You didn’t need to have PSN access for either NetFlix nor Hulu. This article puts the spotlight on what modern journalism has come to.

  10. My netflix worked on my ps3 the entire time psn was down. And I still can’t play my ps3 online. And as soon as they “turned on” psn, it stopped letting me get on netflix. Netflix shouldn’t give us anything. Sony messed up and sony a lone. They should refund any money lost from people paying for netflix. And give any ps3 owner a full refund to anyone who wants to switch over to Xbox. They obviously don’t know what they’re doing

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