Despite the fact that the PlayStation Network has been slowly undergoing restoration, the Japanese gaming world has yet to see the online side of the PlayStation 3 since the hack in late April forced Sony to shutter their service. One would assume that, given the system’s rampant popularity in the nation of Japan, they would have been among the first to see traces of the return of the PSN.
That’s not the case. Japan has decided to restrain Sony from turning the online portion of the PS3 on until the government is satisfied that the network is safe and that consumers are given reason to trust Sony. The news came as part of a press release that cited Kazushige Nobutani, Director of the Media and Content Industry department at the Ministry of Economy, in expanding upon the reasoning for the disallowance for the PSN.
As Nobutani explains, Japan is waiting for Sony to satisfy to issues before they allow the network to be reactivated. First, Japan wants to see Sony put preventative measures in place. The government wants to see what Sony’s doing to ensure that the personal information of its users is safe and secure. Second, Japan wants to see what Sony is doing to rebuild consumer trust and confidence.
While readers from places like the US and Europe may be positively baffled by the fact that a government would restrict the availability of an online network, this is something that makes total sense for a nation like Japan. In fact, having lived there for only a few months, I’ve noticed that the government takes consumer protection very seriously.
One has to assume that Japanese gamers remain frustrated with the lack of online content. Consider how those of us now with access to portions of the PSN felt a week ago. Now imagine if we knew that the rest of the world had access to the service while we were still stuck without it. That’s an odd notion.
Still, the Japanese government is right for assuming the worst in this situation. Sony’s security baffle has not done much to prove that the company takes consumer safety seriously. While the PSN may be perfect safe now, you can’t really blame Japan for being wary.