Update: Sony has updated the PlayStation Blog saying that "core stability" has returned. It's in the process of rolling out the suspended features, and should restore full service soon. Original story follows.
Belt and braces, that's the lesson here. Anticipating its PlayStation Network online service would be put under huge strain the day the PS4 launched, Sony disabled a couple of features. The idea was to streamline it, to lessen the burden on the servers. But it wasn't enough.
PSN went down, with gamers venting their frustration on the PSN forum. Sony has acknowledged the outage, and suspended another feature in the hope this'll do the trick.
"We are aware that users are experiencing some disruption to the PSN service," Sony announced on the PlayStation Blog. "To minimise the inconvenience we have suspended the 'redeem voucher' functionality while we investigate further." This means you can't redeem money cards or any kind of vouchers for the time being.
This is in addition to the two features Sony's already disabled. These were What's New (where you can see what your pals are up to on their PS4s) and the Content Information Screen (showing pals' progress through a game).
I've asked Sony when PSN will be fixed, and all the features reinstated, and will update this if I hear back.
PSN suffered similar woes when the PS4 went on sale in the US a couple of weeks ago. Sony referred to it as an "unprecedented influx of players onto PSN." It's not the only games company that's had problems with the online element. EA's servers suffered a meltdown when it launched SimCity, which you have to connect to the Internet to play. Rockstar's GTA V also needed patch after patch to get its online portion working.
With more games and consoles taking advantage of online play, this is a major problem. It's bad enough you have to download updates as soon as you unwrap your new toy, then if you can't get online as well... well it just goes to show, the more features you have, the more can go wrong.
What do you think of Sony's response? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.