The European PSN is a depressing joke.

Posted by Vandal (96 posts) -

I cannot be the only one who is currently disappointed and frustrated with Sony Europe and the European PSN. There have been repeated cases of games and dlc not being released on schedule, with little to no statements or information from Sony. The following examples are only my experiences from the past month or so, there are many other similar stories with games that I don't have direct experience with.

Firstly, I want to bring up the CS:GO fiasco. Here is a fairly high-profile game that was released and available for all announced platforms except the European PSN 6 weeks ago. I find it highly unlikely this is Valve's fault as the game had no problems being released everywhere else on time. Since the failure to release the game, Sony Europe has said nothing official about the game. Nowt. Not even a statement saying it failed to be released. As frustrating as this delay and lack of communication is, nobody is entitled to the game and nothing has been lost......

Then comes Telltale's : The Walking Dead. Here the first episode (along with the season pass) did get released on the European PSN on time. However the second and third episodes were both two weeks late. Once again, I find it highly unlikely this is Telltale's fault as the second and third episodes were released everywhere else when scheduled to. As usual, Sony did not announce their failure to provide the episodes, provide a reason, or provide a revised release date. The big difference here is that many people, myself included, were entitled to receive the episodes as they had already purchased the season pass, with specific dates set for some of the future episodes. At the very least they were entitled to some information on their absent purchase.

I have seen the argument that the delays might be due to stricter QA process and translation to different languages. I fail to see why, if Microsoft are be able to test, translate and release software on time, why Sony Europe cannot. This brings me to the incident that not only makes the concept of a 'strict QA process' laughable, but was also the tipping point in souring my view of Sony.

Alundra is a PS1 game that was brought to the PSN in late 2007 in Japan and late 2010 in North America. It eventually got released in August this year in Europe. Being a fan of the game I purchased it immediately only to find the game was running slow. The FMVs, the main menu, the music, everything was running too slowly. Even though I had not played the game in over 10 years, I was aware of this issue WITHIN 15 SECONDS of launching the game from the XMB. I quickly found the game was running at 50 htz when it should have been running at 60 htz. I find it hard to believe a 'strict QA process' of a PS1 port could allow this though. After speaking with technical support (premium rate number) and confirming it was a software issue, I asked for a refund. Refunds have to go through another department that I am not allowed to speak to. A week later I get an e-mail saying I have been given Playstation Wallet credit, and not a refund as I asked and am entitled to under UK law (check edit). I understand it was a small amount, but when you have millions of customers, these 'small amounts' can become very large amounts very quickly. This is no doubt why they deliberately obstruct refunds by using premium rate phone numbers, denying contact with vital departments and providing store credit instead of a refund.

The European PSN is constantly failing to provide a comparable service to either the American PSN or the European X-Box marketplace, and Sony's decision to ignore any problems let alone provide any information, will only frustrate users and drive them away. I want to use my PS3, I prefer (mostly) to use my PS3 over my 360 or PC. I've bought all of Sony's consoles (bar the Vita), sometimes twice. But due to reasons stated above, Sony won't be receiving any of my money for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, I have other avenues that provide the same content, I feel sorry for other PS3 users that don't.

P.S. I understand Australia/Australasia get a similar raw deal.

EDIT : Thanks to dekkadekkadekka for pointing out that is seems very ambiguous as to whether a downloaded game is a good or a service and therefore covered by the Sale of Goods Act.

#1 Edited by Vandal (96 posts) -

I cannot be the only one who is currently disappointed and frustrated with Sony Europe and the European PSN. There have been repeated cases of games and dlc not being released on schedule, with little to no statements or information from Sony. The following examples are only my experiences from the past month or so, there are many other similar stories with games that I don't have direct experience with.

Firstly, I want to bring up the CS:GO fiasco. Here is a fairly high-profile game that was released and available for all announced platforms except the European PSN 6 weeks ago. I find it highly unlikely this is Valve's fault as the game had no problems being released everywhere else on time. Since the failure to release the game, Sony Europe has said nothing official about the game. Nowt. Not even a statement saying it failed to be released. As frustrating as this delay and lack of communication is, nobody is entitled to the game and nothing has been lost......

Then comes Telltale's : The Walking Dead. Here the first episode (along with the season pass) did get released on the European PSN on time. However the second and third episodes were both two weeks late. Once again, I find it highly unlikely this is Telltale's fault as the second and third episodes were released everywhere else when scheduled to. As usual, Sony did not announce their failure to provide the episodes, provide a reason, or provide a revised release date. The big difference here is that many people, myself included, were entitled to receive the episodes as they had already purchased the season pass, with specific dates set for some of the future episodes. At the very least they were entitled to some information on their absent purchase.

I have seen the argument that the delays might be due to stricter QA process and translation to different languages. I fail to see why, if Microsoft are be able to test, translate and release software on time, why Sony Europe cannot. This brings me to the incident that not only makes the concept of a 'strict QA process' laughable, but was also the tipping point in souring my view of Sony.

Alundra is a PS1 game that was brought to the PSN in late 2007 in Japan and late 2010 in North America. It eventually got released in August this year in Europe. Being a fan of the game I purchased it immediately only to find the game was running slow. The FMVs, the main menu, the music, everything was running too slowly. Even though I had not played the game in over 10 years, I was aware of this issue WITHIN 15 SECONDS of launching the game from the XMB. I quickly found the game was running at 50 htz when it should have been running at 60 htz. I find it hard to believe a 'strict QA process' of a PS1 port could allow this though. After speaking with technical support (premium rate number) and confirming it was a software issue, I asked for a refund. Refunds have to go through another department that I am not allowed to speak to. A week later I get an e-mail saying I have been given Playstation Wallet credit, and not a refund as I asked and am entitled to under UK law (check edit). I understand it was a small amount, but when you have millions of customers, these 'small amounts' can become very large amounts very quickly. This is no doubt why they deliberately obstruct refunds by using premium rate phone numbers, denying contact with vital departments and providing store credit instead of a refund.

The European PSN is constantly failing to provide a comparable service to either the American PSN or the European X-Box marketplace, and Sony's decision to ignore any problems let alone provide any information, will only frustrate users and drive them away. I want to use my PS3, I prefer (mostly) to use my PS3 over my 360 or PC. I've bought all of Sony's consoles (bar the Vita), sometimes twice. But due to reasons stated above, Sony won't be receiving any of my money for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, I have other avenues that provide the same content, I feel sorry for other PS3 users that don't.

P.S. I understand Australia/Australasia get a similar raw deal.

EDIT : Thanks to dekkadekkadekka for pointing out that is seems very ambiguous as to whether a downloaded game is a good or a service and therefore covered by the Sale of Goods Act.

#2 Posted by Meltac (2009 posts) -

That may be, but we get better PS+ deals and games imo. 

#3 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

European PSN is pretty shit.

The selection and service is laughable compared to what's available elsewhere. We haven't even gotten Dyad yet and PS2 downloadable games like Persona 3 aren't available.

It's also slow as shit compared to the 360 and Wii when it comes to downloads, even after I set my PC to be a proxy for it to speed it up.

#4 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (743 posts) -

@Vandal said:

A week later I get an e-mail saying I have been given Playstation Wallet credit, and not a refund as I asked and am entitled to under UK law.

Actually, under UK law, you are not entitled to a refund.

Surprised? I was too when I looked it up: http://www.oft.gov.uk/business-advice/treating-customers-fairly/dshome/dsrexplained/ - Click the header "Your customers’ rights to cancel under the DSRs - What if...?" and you'll get:

You should ensure that all the written information is given to the customer before the download starts, that the customer has agreed to early provision of services and that they understand that, as soon as the download starts, they will not be entitled to cancel.

I was researching this in relation to Steam, which now has a disclaimer on the store page. I'm sure that Sony has similar in its store EULA.

#5 Posted by Vandal (96 posts) -

@Meltac: I agree, especially recently. However, PS+ exclusive content has also been missing release dates and I'd have much more of a problem if this was going on when I was paying a subscription based on that content.

#6 Posted by mwng (956 posts) -

I spent my PS+ budget on a PS2, since the EU downloadable PS2 game selection is so poor. Wait... so they still got my money. Curses!

Also why is Valkyria Chronicles 2 still £27.99.

#7 Posted by Vandal (96 posts) -

@dekkadekkadekka: Cheers for the link, I have only glanced over it but are you sure that applies to faulty goods. I didn't see any reference to faulty goods, so I'm unsure why the Sales of Goods Act would not still apply. Admittedly I have no law experience.

#8 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

@TeflonBilly said:

European PSN is pretty shit.

The selection and service is laughable compared to what's available elsewhere. We haven't even gotten Dyad yet and PS2 downloadable games like Persona 3 aren't available.

It's also slow as shit compared to the 360 and Wii when it comes to downloads, even after I set my PC to be a proxy for it to speed it up.

America can download Persona 3 from PSN? Jesus.

#9 Posted by MachoFantastico (4890 posts) -

While we do get generally better PSN+ games, the PSN store as been an absolute joke for ages now. Can't help but think if I ran it as poorly as they do, I'd be fired.

Guess the PSN+ games are a way to make up for it.

#10 Posted by bybeach (5009 posts) -

@Vandal: It has been my belief after my PS3 failled that they (Sony Whatever their overarching Playstation dept is called)) try to run things that way then just the PSN in Europe....

#11 Posted by Vandal (96 posts) -

@mwng: I generally find the titles released via digital distribution are priced equal to or less than I'd expect. However the UMD/Bluray titles that get PSN releases at later dates tend to be ridiculously over priced. I think MW3 just got released on PSN for £48. Madness.

#12 Posted by crisping (7 posts) -

From what I understand Sony's European QA department are way more thorough than the US department. This first came up when that HD remake of Street Fighter 2 came out ages after the US version. Luckily it's pretty easy to set up a US account and buy prepaid PSN cards. Not that that gives them an excuse, but at least it's an option.

#13 Posted by Grissefar (2830 posts) -

Anybody, as well as their mother, can buy US PSN codesonline. No need to put up with shit from the European store if you don't want to.

#14 Edited by dekkadekkadekka (743 posts) -

@Vandal: Under the heading "Your customers’ rights to cancel under the DSRs." Under this heading you have:

"Downloads of electronic books or music from a website, or the purchase of ring tones and screen savers for mobile phones are likely, in our view, to be seen as services rather than goods as the customer does not receive physical goods. The rights to cancel these items are the same as those that apply to services."

Then further down you have:

"For services

  • If you give your customer the required written information on or before the day the contract is concluded , their cancellation rights will last for seven working days, counting from the day after the contract was concluded."

The mouseover text on states:

"A contract is concluded when the consumer becomes bound to buy something and the business becomes bound to supply it."

You could interpret this as "when you click confirm purchase and the download starts, the contract is concluded" and therefore there's no right to a refund.

The law as it stands right now is a fucking mess. As this article: http://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/download-refund-disappointing-faulty-app-store-itunes-android-market/ states, these laws are 10 (now 11) years old, and don't really cover issues with poor downloads. Right now it seems to be up to the seller as to whether or not they allow refunds. So while you're not entitled to one, it might be worth asking anyway. As in your case, you at least got store credit back.

Oh I should probably point out that I am clearly not a lawmans.

#15 Posted by Vandal (96 posts) -

@bybeach: If you mean the missed releases, it doesn't seem to happen anywhere near as much in the US and Japan. If you mean the attitude of never admitting fault then yes, those are likely order from Sony Japan.

#16 Posted by Evikull (60 posts) -

Yeah, I've noticed that the EU PSN is kind of terrible. I think the last time I even looked at the store was during that 'Welcome Back' programme.

At least it's easy enough to make alternative accounts, if needed.

@Jack268 said:

America can download Persona 3 from PSN? Jesus.

I think that's more to do with publishing than PSN. After all, publishing rights to Persona in Europe are all over the god damn place.

#17 Posted by Omega (836 posts) -

If I'm not mistaken you guys have Fear Effect and Fear Effect 2 on your PS1 Classics. I wish we had those games, but still no sign of them. Each service has its pros and cons and sometimes it feels like the North American PSN gets the shaft.

#18 Posted by DelroyLindo (387 posts) -
#19 Posted by mwng (956 posts) -

@DelroyLindo: Thanks for trying to help, but I realize I neglected to mention I have a Vita and not a PSP.

#20 Posted by Vandal (96 posts) -

@dekkadekkadekka:

"Downloads of electronic books or music from a website, or the purchase of ring tones and screen savers for mobile phones are likely, in our view, to be seen as services rather than goods as the customer does not receive physical goods. The rights to cancel these items are the same as those that apply to services."

It doesn't specifically mentions games (I kid (sort of)), or other forms of generic digital media for that matter, which kinds of points out how touch it is.

Also,

"For services

  • If you give your customer the required written information on or before the day the contract is concluded , their cancellation rights will last for seven working days, counting from the day after the contract was concluded."

The mouseover text on states:

"A contract is concluded when the consumer becomes bound to buy something and the business becomes bound to supply it."

I would very much doubt the contract can include "We can provide you with faulty software and not be obligated to refund or replace it". Even if it did you could argue it conflicts with a pre-existing law (Sales of Goods Act) and is therefore nullified.

Either way it does seem to be a mess and I'm not bothered about the money really, more the attitude. Cheers for the info, I thought the situation was fairly clear legally but it's actually ambiguous as hell.

#21 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (743 posts) -

@Vandal: Without turning this into a persistent back and forth the Sale of Goods Act wouldn't apply to downloads as these could be considered services. There is a Supply of Goods and Services Act (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1982/29/part/II) but this was from 1982 (!!)

But yeah, ambiguous as all hell.

#22 Edited by Vandal (96 posts) -

@Grissefar: @NoMuiscFound: I am aware of the possibility of opening a US account however I'm fairly sure it's against Sony's terms and can cause one, if not both of your accounts to be disabled. Unlikely maybe, but I decided not to mention it because as far as Sony is concerned that it not a valid option.

#23 Edited by bybeach (5009 posts) -

@Vandal said:

@bybeach: If you mean the missed releases, it doesn't seem to happen anywhere near as much in the US and Japan. If you mean the attitude of never admitting fault then yes, those are likely order from Sony Japan.

Not to distract from the topic, yes something like the latter. I have noticed it seems that Europe has to often wait longest for releases it would seem. I've never understood the bias because I thought the Playstation and it's adjoined PSN/Europe to be more dominant than it's competitor.

#24 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (743 posts) -

I didn't even answer the main thrust of the OP.

Yeah, EU releases can be terrible, but Plus has been paying off for a while now. This month we'll be getting Bulletstorm, Resident Evil 5 Gold and Hell Yeah! all for the subscription price.

#25 Posted by Vandal (96 posts) -

@dekkadekkadekka: Should be getting, but seriously, apart from absent releases, I have nothing but good things to say about PS+ recently in Europe.

#26 Posted by Petiew (1362 posts) -

Don't all or at least the majority of EU PS1 games run in 50Hz? I was watching a video of Chocobo Hot and Cold on a US copy of FF9 a while back and it was running noticeably faster and smoother than my own copy.

#27 Posted by AlexW00d (6450 posts) -

Pretty sure PAL games of old ran at 50hz, so the PAL version of a PS1 game is gonna run at 50hz. I think anyway.

#28 Posted by crisping (7 posts) -

@Vandal: Nah, you're fine. I've had a UK, US and Japanese account for at least three years now with no problems. And they're pretty damn obvious ones two (my username with US or JP on the end) so I'm sure Sony could lock them down if they cared.

#29 Posted by Vandal (96 posts) -

@Petiew: @AlexW00d: Yes I think the majority might, I tested it with FF7 which runs at the same speed as my actual PS1 copy of the game. Alundra however, specifically says in the download information that it requires a 60 htz TV, but the software seems to tell the PS3 to output at 50 htz. I did confirm all of this with Sony technical support, so I'm fairly sure it's a software issue.

#30 Posted by Vandal (96 posts) -

@NoMuiscFound: Yea, I would expect it not to be an issue but as I said, didn't mention as Sony says don't. As it is, it's hardly worth the hassle for me as I can just turn on my PC or 360 and get the content from my standard accounts there. I would just prefer the PS3 to be the simplest.

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