The PlayStation Network (official abbreviation : PSN ) is Sony's online community and webshop for the PlayStation game consoles of the PlayStation product family . It was introduced on the PlayStation 3 on November 11, 2006 and is also available on Sony smartphones , tablets and TVs . The PlayStation Network had around 110 million registered users as of June 2013 and a total of 103 million monthly active users in January 2020.
Every PlayStation console user who wants to play online games, download games or updates, or use an online service, must create a user in the console menu - similar to PC operating systems . In this, the user can create an online ID for the PlayStation Network in the console menu and link (activate) it with the user name on the console.
- An online ID can be activated on two consoles at the same time, making it possible to use downloaded and purchased content on several consoles at the same time. However, an online ID cannot be logged into PlayStation Network more than once at the same time.
- If multiple users are created on one console, e.g. B. for family members or flat share residents, all users can have the content that the activated main account has installed on this console.
It is thus possible to play game X purchased and downloaded from online ID A on console 1 with online ID A and on console 2 with online ID B at the same time, as long as online ID A is activated on console 2 (available) is. Activation of an online ID is linked to the serial number of the console. If a console is given for repair, exchanged or sold, the online ID should be deactivated beforehand.
Since April 11, 2019, the online ID can be edited retrospectively by the owner. The first change is free of charge, from the second change Sony charges a service fee (around 10 euros). It was previously not possible to change the online ID.
Sony markets downloadable content for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PSP and PS Vita through the PlayStation Store available in the console menu. Free Blu-ray film trailers, game trailers, wallpapers, designs (skins for the user interface) and demo versions of games as well as paid game titles and game extensions such as B. new multiplayer maps, level extensions or game modes. In addition, content for the PSP and classic games for the PlayStation (PSone) can be purchased.
The content of the PlayStation Store varies from country to country. On the one hand, the menu structure is different for the regions North America, Europe and Japan. In contrast to North America, for example, there is no separate category for demo versions in Europe; these can be found in the European store in the same place as all other paid content. The division into regions is also reflected in the fact that new content appears at the same time within a region; new content is published in the European store on Thursdays. But even within a region (e.g. Europe) the same content is not available everywhere. In the German store z. B. Content that is critically assessed with regard to the protection of minors.
Payment in the stores is made in the local currency. You can add credit to the online ID in the account management, which can be called up from the console menu. All major credit cards, debit cards and the PlayStation Network Card are accepted . The PlayStation Network Card is a prepaid card for the PlayStation Network, which is sold through traditional retailers and adds funds to the online ID by entering a code. In Europe, the PSN cards were released on October 1st, 2009.
In October 2012, Sony released an update for the PlayStation 3 that adds numerous new functions to the PlayStation Store. For example, it is now possible to search for games for a specific platform so that titles for the PlayStation Vita are no longer mixed with those for the PlayStation 3. In addition, there is now a ranking of the top rated games to help you choose.
PlayStation Plus (PS Plus) is a paid upgrade to PlayStation Network membership that has been available since June 29, 2010. This service includes network games, minis and PSone classics, premium avatars, dynamic themes, automatic downloads and full trial versions. Almost all games on PlayStation 4 require an active membership in PlayStation Plus for online multiplayer. Currently (as of August 7, 2020) 45 million people have an active PlayStation Plus membership.
Membership can usually be concluded for a period of one month, three months or one year for a fee. Products that are purchased for additional fees (e.g. games that are offered at lower prices for PlayStation Plus members) can also be used after the membership has expired. The included games are no longer playable after membership has expired, but can be used again or downloaded again after membership has been re-started.
Instant Game Collection
At the beginning of June 2012, Sony announced at the E3 video and computer game fair in Los Angeles that it was expanding its PlayStation Plus range to include the Instant Game Collection. The Instant Game Collection includes several games, the offer of which is exchanged for other games at a given rhythm. As a Playstation Plus member you can purchase the games free of charge at the time of the offer and use them until membership is canceled. The monthly offer currently includes two titles each for the PS Vita, for the PS3 and for the PS4, and these are often cross-platform games that can then be played on all or more platforms.
A streaming service for video games based on Gaikai was presented on January 7, 2014 at the Consumer Electronics Show under the name PlayStation Now . Game content can be streamed to PlayStation 4, PCs, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, televisions and Sony Blu-ray players. During the presentation, Sony showed demos of The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension, Puppeteer and Beyond: Two Souls, playable on BRAVIA TVs and PlayStation Vita. The closed beta phase began in the United States on January 28, 2014.
Support for PlayStation Vita, TVs, PlayStation 3, Blu-ray players and PlayStation TV ended on August 15, 2017.
PlayStation Now went into Open Beta on the PS4 in the US on July 31, 2014 and is now available in the US PSN store.
At first it was planned that with PlayStation Now old titles for the PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 could be borrowed, but with PlayStation Now you can only borrow PlayStation 3/4 titles.
A DualShock 3 or DualShock 4 controller is required on the PC for all games with motion control; XInput controllers such as the Xbox One controller are also supported as an alternative . An Internet connection with at least 5 Mbps is recommended.
PlayStation Music and PlayStation Video
On March 31, 2015, the former Sony Entertainment Network , which provided entertainment services for Internet-enabled televisions, home theater systems and set-top boxes from Sony, was completely expanded with the services PlayStation Music (formerly: Music Unlimited ) and PlayStation Video (formerly: Video Unlimited ) are integrated into the PlayStation Network and together with the PlayStation Store form the new PlayStation Network website.
Many games for the PlayStation consoles have online functionality. While for some this is limited to worldwide online rankings, other games offer full-fledged MMOGs or at least online duels. The games use the online ID with which the game was started. In principle, online games are free on PlayStation Network. The ID that the player has chosen once can no longer be changed and from then on identifies the player in ranking lists or multiplayer games without the player having to register again. Occasionally, you will need to download a game update before you can play an online game. This ensures that every participant has exactly the same version. This is the case when the software or the connection to the server needs to be optimized (e.g. Call of Duty 4), when errors are corrected that allow players unintended advantages (see glitches ) or when new content is created such as B. With "Motorstorm": All online drivers get to see a player's newly acquired paint job. The program code is available on every PlayStation thanks to the update, but only the player who pays for it can use the special paintwork. While the PlayStation Network can be used free of charge on the PS3 and PS Vita without restrictions, the PS4 must have a paid PlayStation Plus membership in order to access the multiplayer.
In June 2008, with the PS3 firmware 2.40, the “trophy collection” appeared in the menu, similar to the Xbox Live gamerscore . This is a reward system that awards bronze, silver, gold and platinum trophies. The rank of a trophy depends largely on the level of difficulty and the amount of work involved in unlocking the trophy. A platinum trophy is always obtained for unlocking all other trophies in a game. There are also “Hidden Trophies”. By default, hidden trophies do not show their rank and how to unlock them. However, since PS4 firmware 4.0, there is the option to display the content of the hidden trophies. There are also many Internet sites and forums that deal with trophy statistics and on which trophy lists of new games can be viewed as soon as they have been made public by Sony's servers - this can be several weeks before a game is published.
The four different trophies each have a value in points: a bronze trophy is worth 15 points, silver 30, gold 90 and platinum 180. There are two different types of trophy lists for games. Small, mostly cheap titles have trophies of 135 to 315 points and no platinum trophy. Larger games with a platinum trophy have between 1140 and 1230 points. The distribution of the trophies can be freely determined by the manufacturers. For example, Terminator Salvation only consists of 11 gold and one platinum trophies, while Rise of the Tomb Raider consists of a total of 66 trophies (64 bronze, 1 gold, 1 platinum).
Since the beginning of 2009, all games must have trophies. For some games such as B. GTA IV or Uncharted 1 , this functionality was subsequently submitted through an update. No trophies can be received for existing scores before the introduction by an update; they have to be played on new scores.
With new (mostly paid) add-ons for the games, there are often new trophies. These reduce the percentage of total trophies received, but are not required to receive the platinum trophy. The racing game Driveclub , produced by Sony's own studio Evolution, has reached the upper limit for the trophy system with 21 trophy add-on lists, the total number of trophies of 128 and an overall value of 4740 points, so that further add -ons are kept under a separate, new list.
The approximately 5 to 60 trophies per game title do not intervene in the game and are irrelevant for the course of the game and the evaluation in the game. They are for informational purposes only and can be compared with other users. This can add further incentive to meet certain challenges.
Typical examples of trophies are:
- End level or section
- Complete the main campaign of the game (often there are several trophies for different levels of difficulty)
- Find collectibles
- carry out certain actions - possibly under time pressure
- reach a certain level of development of the character
Examples of trophies on PS3:
- Perform a 180 ° flat spin (Burnout Paradise)
- Race through 60 burnout billboards (Burnout Paradise)
- Complete the first mission (GTA IV)
- Complete the story in under 30 hours of gameplay (GTA IV)
- Defeat an opponent in pool (GTA IV)
- Grab the movie ender (skate 3)
- Save Ryan before he dies (Call of Duty: World at War)
- Complete the mission "Semper Fi" on mercenary difficulty (Call of Duty: World at War)
- Game Complete (Sonic Unleashed)
- Use Sonic's All-Star to help Dr. Turn off Eggman! (Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing)
- Collect all 7 Chaos Emeralds! (Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I)
- Pass the "EGG Station" zone without being damaged! (Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I)
At the Game Developers Conference 2007 Sony announced the “Home” platform for the PlayStation 3. This is a virtual world, similar to Second Life , in which users can move around, meet each other or shop on virtual marketplaces. Special private areas should also be offered in which music and pictures can be shared or exchanged. The use of the basic version was free of charge, for special extensions of his avatar , the private area or for special content a payment obligation was provided.
Since December 11, 2008, Home has been in open beta , which you can participate in without prior registration. Sony has not announced when the final version of "Home" will be released.
The starting point in “Home” is your own virtual “home”. You can set up most of this yourself.
The rest of the content on “Home” was partly created by Sony itself or software producers. In these you could z. B. playing billiards, bowling, golfing, racing, etc. Often these areas were assigned to games by the respective producers.
Over the year 2009, a kind of game (with puzzles, tasks, etc.) took place in “Home” via an “underground organization” in Home.
As of March 12, 2014, PlayStation Home, like any other game, had trophies.
As of November 12, 2014, the weekly content updates for PlayStation Home were discontinued. Players in Europe and the US could download / purchase content until December 3, 2014. As a thank you to the whole community, Sony had offered a number of free content updates by then, so that the players could let off steam one last time. On April 1, 2015, PlayStation Home was finally discontinued.
Folding @ home
In a project called Folding @ home (FAH), unused computing power from the PlayStation 3 was used to simulate the folding process of proteins . It was hoped that this would provide insights into diseases such as Alzheimer's disease , cancer , Huntington 's disease or Parkinson's disease . The client program was preinstalled on the PlayStation 3. Around 35,000 regularly active consoles performed over a quadrillion calculations per second (1 Peta FLOPS ). That is roughly the speed of the IBM Roadrunner , the world's fastest supercomputer until November 2009 . The research project also made use of the PS3's graphics chip . This made it possible to observe the protein in real time during the simulated folding process.
However, these calculations were only carried out if the Folding @ Home client was actually active and the console was not being used for games or films (i.e. could also be switched off). A use of the remaining CPU time in the background, as is known from most distributed computing projects with PCs, did not take place on the PS3.
Life with PlayStation
On September 18, 2008, Sony released Life with PlayStation for the PS3. This is a greatly expanded version of Folding @ home . The protein folding is still calculated in the background, but you can now also call up news, live images from 60 cities, cloud images and the current weather. The previous Folding @ home was discontinued on the same day. On October 22nd, 2012, Sony announced that it would remove the feature from the PS3 as a result of a firmware update.
Since July 2009 Sony has made the free program VidZone available in the PlayStation Store , which can be downloaded and then appears in the XMB menu under the Music category . It enables the user to watch music videos from over a thousand artists and bands as a live stream in good quality. The user can create playlists and watch them for free. This service is also available on the go via Remote Play for the PlayStation Portable .
Data theft 2011
When the PlayStation Network failed in 2011 due to an external (electronic) attack on the evening of April 20, 2011, the PlayStation Network was not accessible for a long time. At the end of April it became known that strangers had access to private data from up to 77 million network accounts between April 17 and 19, and Sony therefore switched off the network in order to analyze and eliminate the security gap. At first it remained unclear whether credit card data had also been spied on and misused. From May 15, 2011, Sony began to restart the network in many parts of the world, including the USA and Germany, but not, for example, in Japan, because this was prohibited by the authorities there due to unfulfilled security promises.
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