PlayStation Network Outage Bad News for Netflix and Hulu


Updated. Online video services Netflix, (s NFLX) Hulu Plus and have been hard hit by an ongoing outage of Sony’s (s SNE) PlayStation Network, which has been down since last Wednesday. Sony took the network for its gaming console offline last week after hackers gained access to customer data. The company admitted the breach Tuesday and said it expects “to restore some services within a week.”

PlayStation 3 users haven’t just been locked out of online games, but also have been unable to access video services like Netflix or Hulu Plus, which both require a PlayStation Network subscription. Also unavailable are VOD rentals from Sony’s PlayStation store, as well as programming from Vudu rentals, on the other hand, are accessible without any issue, we confirmed this week, which suggests the Walmart-owned (s WMT) download store interacts differently with the Playstation Network than Netflix and Hulu Plus.

While online video services like Netflix and Hulu Plus have rapidly increased the number of consumer electronics devices they are available on, game consoles still represents a large percentage of viewing. Netflix, for instance, claims to be available on more than 250 different devices, but the PS3 is definitely one of the more dominant players. Sony’s PlayStation Network has more than 70 million users worldwide, and the console maker had sold close to 18 million PS3s in the U.S. alone by the end of last year. Just for comparison’s sake, Roku has sold a little more than a million of its broadband set-top boxes.

The outage is particularly cruel for Netflix users, who are able to launch the Netflix UI after going through a number of failed attempts to log into the Playstation Network. Users are able to select a title for streaming, and the application even starts buffering the stream. However, another log-in window pops up, and the app throws the user back into the catalog overview after the log-in fails. Check the video embedded below for all the depressing details:

A Netflix spokesperson told us the company is redirecting any requests by end users who inquire about the issue to Sony. Hulu wasn’t available for comment at the time of writing, but the company has reportedly started to offer refunds to some of its customers to make up for the fact that they can’t access the service on their PS3.

Update: Judging from our comments, some people have been able to access Netflix streams despite the PlayStation Network outage. However, we tried multiple times yesterday without success, and also talked to a number of users who ran into the same issues described above. Individual results may vary.



Try deleting the NETFLIX app on ur PS3 then redownload it.. install it.. and you’ll get the FAIL feeling..


Anyone that does as you suggest deserves what they get. Since PSN has been down forever it seems, it would be impossible to download the latest version. If you didn’t upgrade recently, you’re SOL.


I have been experience this YouTube clip for the last day or so. It sounds like most people can still get Netflix streaming, but not all of us.


TOTALLY shooting in the dark here but…

Could it depend on what firmware your system is on? Earlier firmwares may not work whereas newer firmwares may?


I have the latest, in fact I don’t even think you can access netflix without the latest firmware. I don’t think it’s that. Bummer.


@mike smith…Relax man, we all know what he meant by “issue”.

Since the outage and up until today I have been able to stream Netflix, all systems “nominal” ( a joke for mr. Smith). However, something has changed, either from Sony’s tinkering or else just bad luck, and now I can get to my queue but am prompted a few times for my login when trying to play a video. Trying to hit circle just causes an endless circle jerk of login prompt, error message, login prompt, error message. The only alternative is to hit x but once I do, I am given the error message in the above photo and kicked back to my queue. Must be a hit or miss thing lately as I’ve heard from people that can still play the service and those, like me who cannot. I’ve had my account with Netflix from the beginning of its offering on ps3, so it is not a new user thing. Anybody else out there have the same thing happen? Maybe the fact that the workaround exists is a security vulnerability itself and it’s a good thing it isn’t working for me now… I don’t know, just trying to stay positive. I’ve still got Playon, a Megavideo account, and an Ice Films script thankfully…


My Netflix has not been working at all while PSN has been down. I’m able to bypass the PSN login screen as everyone is saying, but the Netflix app itself tells me “We’re unable to connect you to Netflix. Please try again later.”
I hadn’t used the Netflix app for streaming for a few months so perhaps that is the issue.

Luis Alvarez

Netflix works fine on PS3, it’ll ask you to log on like twice while netflix launches, after a few tries and the network down messages, you are allowed to use your service. I’ve been using netflix for the last few days.


The video shows my experience. However, I have a friend who is able to access Netflix. I believe different users are experiencing different results.

James Gerber

Something is really fishy about the video for sure. I had no problems after attempting two logins, I get through fine and checked with several friends who had the same experience. Maybe this is a system that never logged into Netflix since they updated it some time ago and now, of course, it won’t update because it (the old version) depends on the availability of PSN.


Seems like new users will not be able to play any movies from Netflix, despite the fact that they could get into the UI after confirming/canceling the PSN error message few times.
Any users who are not new for Netflix and have played movies recently should be able to continue using the service once they are pass the PSN errors.
I believe that Netflix folks made some changes to allow this to workaround possible. Cheers to them for that.


I’ve been using NetFlix since it became available to the console. Yesterday (5/1//11), I began encountering the same problem as the above video describes. I believe that this is evidence that it doesn’t matter when a person began using NF. It seems to be more random than anything.

Mike Smith

The author of this post says “… Vudu rentals, on the other hand, are accessible without any issue …”. Very trendy, that use of “issue”, but also obfuscatory. The word is problem, not issue. “Without any problem” is readily perceived; “without any issue” isn’t. Issue? A debatable matter? No. An edition of the newspaper? No. Instead of using ambiguous “cool” words, try the right one, and your writing will be clearer. Thanks.


I’ve been able to access Netflix. It tells me to login to PSN, but when it won’t let me login it just simply went to Netflix. No issues at all. Can’t say the same about Hulu and Qriocity, though. But Hulu is giving a discount for the trouble.


Get your facts straight before you publish these lies!

Do you even OWN a PS3, or are you just reporting what your neighbor told you over the back fence?

Netflix works just FINE on my PS3 and everyone else I know. Someone should look into your stock portfolio to see if you are purposefully trying to affect the market. I think I’ll point the SEC to this article just in case.

Janko Roettgers

Hi Johnson, if you watch the video above you’ll see that it didn’t work for me. I’ve since updated the article to reflect the comments here, but I’ve also heard from more folks saying that it doesn’t work for them, e.g. here:!/rjcc/status/63308072176717824

And since you asked, I don’t own any stock in any technology company. In fact, I don’t own any stock period.


Get YOUR facts straight. You have an earlier version that works. The rest of us are stuck in Hell because we updated to the latest version.


My Netflix also works. You just have to keep hitting connect through the PSN crap. Eventually Netflix will load off from your internet. That’s all it needs to run, INTERNET. NOT the Playstation Network. Jeeez


hey i can play videos on my ps3 i dont need to sign in at all just keep trying to load netflix


My Netflix also works, but I have to cancel the PSN login several times. It’s worth trying.

Hulu however does not. Not that it really worked well before the outage….


I must be lucky cause my netflix still works perfectly fine once I get past all the failed ps3 network login attempts.


I have been watching Netflix since this outage has began. In fact I am watching it right now. You have to attempt to login in to PSN, it fails, and then you exit out of that screen. after that you can watch. you think you would try a bit harder before you write up this.


Umm. Netflix never stopped working for me throughout this entire outage.


Unless something changed between 2AM CT and now (which is possible), netflix was accessible to me. I’ve been watching Jericho for the past couple days.



The netflix on my PS3 looks completely different than in that video and even during this network outage I have been able to stream all netflix videos perfectly after the double sign-in back out. Once I see my queue and all available titles, I haven’t had any trouble watching anything.

Is the Netflix UI different on the old FAT PS3?


that does looks like an older UI. Is it possible that he doesn’t have the more recent version of Netflix? I thought the updates were mandatory when the app started.


I have a new PS3 and my Netflix main page looks totally different. I also have had to play the log in game a couple of times before it works but then works fine for me

Derek Bradley

My Netflix works just fine on my ps3,so I am not sure they know what they are talking about


” They ” do know what they are talking about. If you’ll look back to what has been written by “they” it’s clearly stated some people could indeed connect to Netflix. Until Wednesday I was one of the lucky ones. As a matter of fact I was watching Netflix Wednesday morning (4-27 10 AM ) but had to leave briefly. When I returned I was unable to connect anymore and have not been able to since. I have a 360 also but because of lack of memory (yes I will be purchasing a hard drive VERY soon!!) it does not have Netflix. So I can play online but I miss my NetFlix. My computer will not play Netflix for some odd reason. It did but now it says something about being unable to play protected content.UGH!!!!!!! Anyhow, some people do have the ability to connect to NF thru their PS3 but from everything I’ve been reading,fewer and fewer people are getting thru. I’ll be glad when it’s over. Missing my Netflix and sick to death of my boys fighting over who’s turn it is to play online.


Err… I’ve been able to access Netflix throughout the duration of the outage, including last night, and have seen many anecdotal success stories as well.

The behavior I’ve experienced is getting the PSN login prompt, then seeing the “PSN maintenance!” message, after which I’m still able to proceed with selecting and viewing a title in the Netflix UI as normal.

I can’t speak to or Hulu though.


Mine worked fine until yesterday morning. I’d fail the log-in, wait for the queue to load, fail the log-in again, and then it’d be fine. Now the prompt appears when the video starts buffering, and it keeps appearing until Netflix itself kicks me back to the queue.

It’s amusing that you’ve actually pointed out that your argument is based on worthless anecdotal evidence. Let us know when you’ve polled a few thousand people around the country about Netflix on their PS3s. Err.


Why are people still trying to tell us how to log on to Netflix?!?! LISTEN! That is not peoples problem. They CAN log in and get to their queue. The problem starts when trying to play a video. Watch the video in this post. He is at his queue, dammit.


now it is. Before it was a issue getting on NF to begin with. I could get to Nf and I could watch movies. Now all I can do is browse thru movies.When I try to play ,well it looks just like the above video!!! Grrrrr!!!!!


So yeah Netflix worked fine for me up until i would say May 7th, was able to use the workaround just fine up till then. Then i turned my PS3 on may 7th and started up netflix and a new screen popped up saying, Are you a new member etc… basically you just had to re-login in to your netflix account via the ps3. Now my netflix dont work. still can get to my Que and start a video, but the buffer bar gets about 25% full and the login screen pops up saying you need to be signed in to the PS3. No amount of button presses gets passed this. it is dead. So like someone said here, there must be some type of cookie and mine expired. even that or sony hit the “reset button” so they can start fixing, improving, restoring or what ever, the netflix app.

If it hasn’t happened to you, just wait sooner or later it will.

Man there are a lot of children it seems posting here. No manners or politeness towards this problem. something doesn’t work so you start calling people stupid. real mature and intelligent.
Because every single person using netflix on their PS3 has the exact same circumstances/setup as everyone else. ” oh well my ps3 netflix works just fine so you must be a stupid head if yours doesn’t work” Geeze grow some brains .


No Netflix here, it appears to be related to sony firmware update. I was experiencing the (Login, loop!) and was able to watch a few movies. I read that sony was putting out an update for the console, and when you attempt to login to PSN it would trigger an email to your registered email account for a password reset. I applied the update and did not get the email, and now I can not get around the (Login, loop!). Why to go sony! Glad I got the Wii to fall back on..

Comments are closed.