I had some quick thoughts I figured I’d jot down here as I received my PlayStation 4, the first console I preordered since the Dreamcast on 9/9/99. (Still my reigning all-time favorite console, ever~!) When I got home from work, I swiftly unboxed, hooked up, and turned it on. I ooh‘ed and aah‘ed at the lovely new DualShock controller, which I have to say is the nicest controller I’ve ever used [read: to navigate around menus and use a virtual keyboard]. (Take note: Ouya, this is how to make a controller!)

However, after updating the system and trying to sign into PSN I was greeted with some extremely helpful errors:

“An error has occurred. (E-80E80034)”
“An error has occurred. (E-82F001F8)”
“The network connection has been lost. (NW-31453-6)”

I (patiently) tried over and over and finally received the error, and saw on PSN Status:

“Sony Entertainment Network is currently undergoing maintenance. (NP-35000-8)”.

The official @AskPlaystation Twitter account helpfully pointed out to people about 14 hours prior to when I first tried this, that there was a thread keeping everyone up-to-date on these error messages and PSN status. It also hasn’t been updated since 10am today.

Taking to the forums and Twitter, I noticed not the questioning of “Why does this always happen?” but more of “…this is to be expected, it’s a new console.”. But is this really to be expected, in this day and age of well-known, battle-tested, proven, high-scalability practices?

Are we to expect every new generation of console is just going to have some “TBE” downtime, while they get things right? How is it that Twitter pumps out 300QPS, with 150M active users, but some marginal influx of new users or people needing to upgrade their PSN accounts isn’t in the realm of possibility to Sony?

Remember in 2011 when Anonymous apparently took down PSN with a simple DDoS (or something similar), not for a few hours or a day, but for an entire MONTH! Was that not enough for some bigwig at Sony to say, “maaaaaaybe we should rethink our architecture…”? I think we should be defending less and questioning more, large companies’ inability to analyze and assess risk; lord only knows they have enough people employed around the globe to devote to this kind of thing.

There’s a reason we in the software world test multiple facets of the system and architecture powering it; not only our code, but load testing and things that Code As Craft could explain a million times better than I ever could.

As peoples’ patience wears thinner and thinner, with more technology and knowledge available to use, with automation and the notion of scaling architecture for the expected as well as the unexpected, how is it that we still put up with such poor design and execution? Are companies so strapped for time that they promise to get a new console out by a certain date that things like load-testing are shoved aside? I for one would much rather wait or be delayed and receive a diamond of a console, than a turd that needed to be polished into one for an undisclosed amount of time.

Or maybe I’m the crazy one, and this is why I haven’t preordered a console in 14 years…