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What is the PlayStation Network (PSN?)

What is the PlayStation Network (PSN?) MJJ Charts

If you have used a PlayStation console, you have probably heard the term PlayStation Network (or PSN for short). But what is PSN actually and what does it do?
2022-11-27, by ,

#Black Friday || #Gaming || #PlayStation ||

Table of contents:

Let's take a look at what the PlayStation Network is, some of the services it offers and what you should know about it as a PlayStation gamer.

What is the PlayStation Network?

In a nutshell, PlayStation Network is Sony's online gaming and media distribution service for PlayStation consoles and other devices. It allows anyone with a PlayStation account to access various services for their gaming systems. You can think of it as Sony's equivalent of Microsoft's Xbox Live network.

The many facets of PSN allow you to play online games on your PlayStation console, purchase digital games from PlayStation Store and much more. All of PlayStation's online features, such as Party Chat, Remote Play and Share Play, use the foundation of PlayStation Network to function.

As a result, there's no PlayStation Network website to visit - it's an infrastructure that powers many services. If there are any issues, take a look at the PlayStation Network status page to check for current known issues.

PlayStation Network history

PlayStation Network was first launched in November 2006 to coincide with the launch of PlayStation 3. Over time, it was expanded to support PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita and will also work with PlayStation 5. Sony's old PlayStation Portable (PSP) also worked with PSN until 2016.

Anyone can create a PSN account for free. When you do, you create a PSN ID, which identifies you on the network. Other players see your PSN ID when they play with you. Starting with PS4, you can also share your real name on your account with selected friends.

Notoriously, PSN suffered a major security breach in April 2011. Sony discovered that hackers had infiltrated the PlayStation Network and compromised the personal data of some 77 million PSN users.

In response, Sony took PSN offline for almost a month, meaning that no one could access the PlayStation Network to play online games or purchase digital games. After everything was resolved, the company offered everyone a free PlayStation Plus subscription and a handful of free games.

See also: PSN gift card Finland

PlayStation Network Services

Let's take a look at the many services under the PlayStation Network brand.

PlayStation Plus

PlayStation Plus is a premium subscription service with numerous benefits. More importantly, it is required for online multiplayer on PS4 and PS5 (PS3 offers free online play).

In addition, PlayStation Plus grants subscribers 'free' games every month. As long as you 'buy' them while they are free, you can keep them and play them as long as you remain a subscriber.

Complementing the benefits are extras such as bigger discounts during sales, automatic system updates and cloud storage for game saves. At $60 for a one-year subscription, PS Plus is a solid value for any regular PlayStation gamer.

The PlayStation Store

The PlayStation Store is Sony's digital shop for games, add-ons, profile avatars and the like. You can access it via your console or from the PlayStation Store web interface.

Like other digital shops, purchasing games via PS Store allows you to download them directly to your console instead of having to insert a physical disc. This is quite convenient, as new games are available immediately and you don't have to worry about changing game discs.

Anyone with a PSN account can access PlayStation Store.