Just hours after the hacker collective Anonymous threatened to take down the PlayStation Network and major Sony websites, the PSN — the service that allows PS3 gamers to compete online and download games — has been going on and offline. The official PlayStation blog and Sony's U.S. PlayStation site are also loading slowly, if at all.

An official PlayStation Twitter account noted just before 1pm ET today that: "PSN currently undergoing sporadic maintenance. Access to the PSN may be interrupted throughout the day. We apologize for any inconvenience." The service was down after that though appeared to be functioning again by 3:30 ET.

We've contacted Sony to find out if they believe these outages are due to Anonymous' attacks and, if not, what they're doing to prepare for them.

Anonymous says they plan to attack Sony to punish the company for suing hacker George Hotz who cracked the PS3's firmware. Hotz, also known as Geohot, is now embroiled in a legal and ethical conflict about whether he had a right to mess with Sony's tech or if they are protected by U.S. law to keep him out and can both shut him down and look through his Paypal records to see who may have been giving him financial support.