As sure as day follows night, this Christmas saw a batch of major online service problems as servers were presumably crushed by the weight of thousands of giftees trying to activate new hardware and software for the very first time. It's far from the first time this has happened, and it's not always mere overload that causes these events: last Christmas, for instance, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live made headlines when they were maliciously brought offline.
Here's where we are so far today:
Although Roku's boxes are the perfect size for (big) stocking stuffers, they didn't do much good this morning — our own Andrew Hawkins found out the hard way that he was unable to configure a family member's gift when he plugged it in. Initially, Channel Store, My Feed, and "other services" were affected, the company said, before declaring the issue resolved a little after 1PM Eastern Time.
PSN may have more battle scars than just about any service in the world, thanks in large part to its epic multi-week security breach and outage in 2011. And today isn't its best day, either: the service has been having trouble with new account validations and password resets, which makes it tough to take full advantage of that PS4 you just unwrapped. Seeing how consoles are always one of the more popular holiday gift items, this is a tough pill to swallow — but longtime gamers know better than to rely on online multiplayer on a major holiday. It just always seems to end in tears.
We're aware that new PSN account validation and Password reset emails are delayed. Thanks for your patience as we resolve this issue.— Ask PlayStation (@AskPlayStation) December 25, 2015
At the moment, Valve's popular Steam gaming platform seems to be suffering the most catastrophic problem of the day. It's still unclear exactly what's happening, but users are being directed to the wrong account pages, allowing them to see other users' personal data. It's far, far too early to call this a hack, but whatever is going on, it's not good. We're tracking the story here.
Notably missing: Xbox Live
Props to Xbox Live, which has a penchant for going down at the most inopportune times. (I can personally attest to this phenomenon, and I'm pretty sure our Tom Warren can, too.) As far as we can tell, it's stayed up today. Let's hope we didn't just jinx it.