03 November 2009

PS3: Playstation Network

I've never used my PS3 to browse the web or purchase anything, but recently I inadvertently discovered what I consider to be a major bug in how Playstation Network accounts are managed. I say 'bug' but I suspect it's intentional, another example of some proprietary protection overkill by Sony.

What am I talking about? I purchased my PS3 when I was living in the United States so when I set up my PS3 user account I used my U.S. address. Now having relocated to Canada, I recently tried to update my information -- inexplicably, I am unable to update my address because Sony doesn't allow you to update the country of residence. Eh!?

After some cursory research, as far as I can gather Sony - unlike Nintendo with Nintendo Club - has no intention whatsoever of changing this policy.

Hmm... any work arounds? First I tried creating a new account/user with my current Canadian address. This worked fine. I could then transfer all my save games to my new user and delete the old account, right?

Not quite.

In this case a little paranoia paid off. Fortunately, prior to deleting my old account I decided to verify that I could use the save games with my new account. Kudos to Valkyria Chronicles, Assassin's Creed, Fallout 3, and Oblivion for letting gamers do this. A big disgusted boo to EA Sports NHL10 for not.

So... in order to not lose three completed seasons and the start of a fourth in NHL10 Be A Pro, I am forced to keep two user accounts on my PS3, one with my current address in Canada and the other with my previous address in the United States. Not a major fiasco by far, but definitely a major irritation for someone who very much prefers to avoid opening multiple accounts to the same service.

Anywhoo, I find myself blaming Sony more than EA Sports. All this hassle could have been easily avoided if Sony merely allowed people to update their country of residence.

I can only assume Sony designed it this way because different countries/regions have access to different content on the PS3, and Sony doesn't want PS3 owners changing their country of residence willy-nilly in order to access other regions' content.

Which is odd when I think about it, because I'd have thought more people purchasing downloads would result in more money for Sony. It's also odd because it seems a very crude and inadequate method. People can still create as many PS3 user accounts with international addresses as they have e-mail addresses.

This oddness, then, begs the question, "What's the point?" The only answer I can come up with is that this is merely another example of Sony being anal.

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