We hope you weren't planning to play many games online on Christmas. Xbox users in North America and Europe are having difficulties logging into Xbox Live today, and PlayStation owners are suffering similar problems. Some Internet troublemakers are claiming they knocked both offline. Bah humbug to this.
While most of our team are away from their consoles today, one of our reporters in California has been unable to connect their PS4 to any online services. No PlayStation Store. No multiplayer gaming. No screencap-sharing. Nothing. Logging into Xbox Live seems like a no-go as well. Even Xbox.com is chugging.
Here's Microsoft's Xbox Live status page, as of 1:45pm ET today:
As for Sony's PlayStation Network?
It's unclear if these issues are due to the Christmas rush of people turning on new consoles and all trying to get them online or if these outages and slowdowns are the result of attacks. One group, Lizard Squad, has claimed responsibility for the Xbox and PSN outages today. They teased plans to do this for days, despite a rival group, The Finest, claiming they'd be able to stop them.
Back in September, Lizard Squad appeared to be responsible for diverting an American Airlines flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley through a fake bomb scare.
We've reached out to reps from Sony and Microsoft to find out more about the outages, who they think is responsible and when they expect service to be restored. If they get back to us, we'll update the story.
One bright spot: Nintendo's online services appear to be working just fine. (And, no, that doesn't mean we're blaming Wario.)
Update - 8:15pm ET: A Microsoft spokesperson got back to us with the following brief statement: "We are aware some users are unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Our teams are working to resolve the issue. Visit xbox.com/support for status updates." We asked if they could give us any information about what caused the outage, to which they responded that they "do not share details about the root cause of specific issues."
Update - 11:15pm ET: While we've heard from some gamers who say they were able to connect to Xbox Live today, that service appears to currently be down for Xbox One. We have been able to connect to Live on an Xbox 360. This is the most recent status report from Microsoft:
We still cannot connect to PSN on PS4. We can on PS3.
Lizard Squad claims to have stopped the attacks two hours ago:
With any luck, things will be back to normal soon.
Update: 11:30pm ET: To make things even stranger, it appears that, if Lizard Squad was involved, they may have been basically paid to stop the continued attacks by Mega/Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom:
And, with that, Lizard Squad thanks Dotcom, hyped his company and said they were going dark. We tested an Xbox One and PS4 in NYC right after and neither can get back online yet.