PlayStation Network Outage Bad News for Netflix and Hulu

91 Comments

Updated. Online video services Netflix, (s NFLX) Hulu Plus and MLB.tv 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 MLB.tv. 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:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7L-enQzS7w]

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.

91 Comments

LAFMAN

After three days of using the workaround- ( Log in, go back, log in, go back) I can no longer access Netflix on May 9, so the “expired cookie” theory seems likely.
Access via computer direct to Netflix is fine.

kenny

Idk but mine has worked entire time i jus shut the auto login off and run netflix it says login required so i do than say playstation network undergoin maintenance push cirle than its always on the que after i hit back for me so idk y ppl are having problems.and everthing works great no probs still HD videos

Paul

During the outage i was able to use Netflix by trying to log-in. When the log-in failed it would let me use Netflix and play videos.

Just a few days ago I removed it and then reinstalled. The reinstalled version looked a little different and the log-in, fail method no longer works (sad)

could there be two versions?

Justin M

How were you able to reinstall netflix with the network down?

andres

netflix wants to transfer all the blame to psn but its not, there service can work just fine with out been log in to psn. for example, before you only need it the disc and an internet connection, then just the app, then it had to be logged in too psn (after the down i was able to log in fail but the videos still load until now may 7) so they are fucking stupid,idots,retards,morrons,ignorant fools,mentally challenge, for lack of a better words to describe this idiots at NETFLIX.. now there services are officially useless to me with out stream to tv via play-station ,. and psn is a let down already return socum witch the story line suck but online game is raw but wait there is no online.. ,,, going to xbox and switching off netflix to a smart t.v and even if they have netflix there am going with amazon.. i waste it my time, and they lost my business.

TheDude

Everybody is pissed. Take your business elsewhere if you’re that upset. Or maybe you need to learn some self control. Whatever works best for you.

M.M.

Netflix was working for me (after the initial PSN login attempt failed) up through Thursday May 5th, more than two weeks after the Playstation Network was taken down.

Then, Friday the 6th it started failing, just like the video in the article showed. I don’t know why it would work for that long and then stop working. (Surely Netflix wouldn’t have made a change suddenly requiring PSN two weeks after it went down.) Nor do I know why the failure would have hit some customers earlier and for other customers it worked for quite a while before it stopped working.

The symptoms are as strange as they are frustrating.

Sony clearly has the primary responsibility here. Their network security failed, and they’re taking a long time to fix it so they can get PSN back up again. But Netflix shares some responsibility for their part of the outage. Why is the connection to Netflix requiring a connection to the Playstation Network in the first place? It clearly doesn’t *need* that PSN connection, or Netflix streaming would have been failing for all their PS3-connected customers as soon as PSN went down.

San

I can’t get in either, and I have all the latest updates. My guess is that it has nothing to do with hardware or software versions. The problem may be that our PS3 authentications expire after a certain amount of time. For example, let’s say they have a one-month life. A month ago, the system deleted your cookie and made a new one automatically, which it verified against your PSN account. So the Netflix servers allowed you to stream video until your old cookie expired on the 6th. The system can’t let you in now because it can’t re-authenticate your device without PSN. Users who still have access may eventually lose it if the network stays down long enough.

Mike

All i notice about the video is that netflix looks like a more recent version than mine. I try to login twice, then stream whatever i want without problems. I am connected directly to my router/modem. All i can say i guess is it especially sucks for those who can’t use it. Good luck

john

that’s the older version of the app in the video. my ps3 is running the latest version of netlix and it works just fine every single time after a double login failure.

the man

i was just watching netflix on my ps3 less than one hour ago and now all of the sudden its not working. this is bullshit

Jen

I was just watching something on netflix’s and in the middle of the episode the ps3 just shut off then when I turned it back on the netflix’s layout had changed and I could no longer watch things on my netflix’s even after trying the double back out. Tried turning he ps3 off and on again the the layout changed back but still can’t watch stuff.

Jen

I was just watching something on netflixs on my ps3 and it just shut off randomly. when i turned it back on the layout for netflix had changed and i could no longer watch things on there even after double backing out. Turned it off and back on and the layout changed back but still can’t watch anything.

Delanie

Netflix does work. Netflix, obviously, runs off Internet, and in order for Netflix to not work, well u gotta not have Internet. They should of realized this by now. Im not having any issues with playing the movies. The picture is clear, it loads just fine. I’ve been watching movies all day without problems

IG88

Google “playon”. This program will serve Netflix (as well as a bunch of other content) to your ps3, no login needed. You can get a free trial and access Netflix until all this crap blows over.

Ian

Still can’t get into mine, and it’s been… what, 2 weeks now since the issue with PlayStation Network? This is ridiculous, and I’m furious. Netflix worked for a period of time while PSN was down about a week ago, but since I turned my system off for a weekend, it’s been nothing but denied entries. PSN better give me some free credits to their store.

waicool

i just signed up for netflix last night and when i went to watch it failed and said that netflix requires a successful psn login. i tried a dozen times to login to psn and keep getting the “playstationnetwork is currently undergoing maintenance” message. i guess i will have to wait til sony psn gets their act together because i am not going to get an xbox or anything else. i was able to browse netflix and make selections to my que but am not able to watch the content. message to netflix, no psn, no netflix, can you offer a workaround? oh yeah, i always thought i had to accept the ps3 updates so my firmware should be current.

billy

My Netflix still works. it says ” netflix is undergoing maintenance.” twice, then it lets me watch for as long as i want!

haha! success!

samehere

same here. 2 failed sign in (using the O back at the failed prompt) and I am good. I can actually see the interface loading in the background before I try a second time.

Shawn

Netflix worked fine for me up until today when I just woke up. If this persist I am going to demand a refund of my $$$$$.

moonvapors

I was able to access netflix and watch movies on it until this morning and now I can chose the movie, but when it starts to stream I get the error an am kicked back like the above video :(

ami

I can access my queue but can’t stream I’ve done it at least 15-20 times still the same results, sooo frustrating!

Jim

What is this BS with Netflix having to talk to the Playstation network just for me to watch a movie. Are they contacting Microsoft when I want to watch a movie on my computer. I don’t think so so why do we have to be connected to PSN to play our movies. I have been able to get past the log in problems until today. Now it kicks me out as soon as it tries to buffer the movie.

Abhay

Netflix is actually on and off for me, because yesterday at evening it went down, but by 10 it was back up again.

Sallie

We are having similar problems. It’s asking for our login to the network several times. We finally get to the Netflix menu. When we try to play anything, it keeps re-buffering, making it nearly impossible to watch.

IG88

To all you people who can’t get to your Netflix, try this program called playon. If you haven’t heard of it, it serves Internet video to your tv through your ps3, 360, wii, streamboxes, iPhone, and many more. The company has a free trial that should last you until this nightmare is over. Check it out, I dropped my cable because with it, I can watch just about every movie or tv show ever made, on demand. Hard to get my homework done now, but it’s great…

Micki

Our serive has been in and out. Sometimes we can get on and sometimes not. Even when we do get on we are only able to complete loading about 1/2 the time. I bought a PS2 thinking my kids might use it some but mostly because I wanted netflix. I think Sony should have to reimburse for costs people are out due to the fact they were simply not protected enough. I will not buy another playstation.

phillip

me too i can access netflix you got to keeping logging in and it will let you pass to the browseing good luck

Richard

I’m watching Netflix right now.

I think I have an older version of it though. It stops asking me to login after 2 attemps. No message when I start any videos.

Crissa

I never did figure out why Netflix on my mother’s PS3 and our PS3 looked completely different – I’ve updated them both as much as possible, yet they remain different.

It doesn’t surprise me that users are then getting different answers from the system.

But why does the playstation network need to know about each segment we’re streaming?

gid

My netflix doesn’t work it hasn’t since Tuesday! And the logging in thing doesn’t work either I tried it like 15/20 times :( I’m so bored

tim

I have been using netflix all week but as of this afternoon it prompts an extra time during buffering and will not let me watch.

thefunkbox

Been trying…repeatedly…following the basic steps…no luck..the workaround doesn’t work for everyone

Brendan

The reason for the variable results is the software version. If you have the very LATEST Netflix app and the LATEST PSN version, you can NOT access Netflix after failed attempts.

If you have the EARLIER versions, you can access Netflix after a couple of failed login attempts and using the ‘back’ button.

It’s so funny how people criticize others, suggesting that their own experience is universal, and everyone else is an idiot.

Hasn’t anyone ever heard of VERSIONS of software/firmware before? They may look the same, but they’re DIFFERENT.

Ben L

I am using the most recent PS3 and firmware and the most recent version of the Netflix app and I am able to connect without any issue. When I was prompted to log into the PSN, I cancelled and when the prompt came up again, I tried to log in, got the message about it being down for maintenance, and was then able to browse my queue.

Russ

I have the latest Netflix version and PS3 firmware, and I was able to stream video until Tuesday. I think, as Chris said above, Sony or Netflix changed something.

Raider

Yea, I have the latest updates and can’t use Netflix. I guess a lot of people are new to software and applications because it seems that no one knows this and just spout about how they can watch it so all must be well.

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