Sony announces a Playstation 4 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain limited edition console for Asia. The console color matches Snake’s red bionic arm and has a golden connector. The DualShock 4 controller is the same color as Snake’s gun and has the logo of his unit.
The Lizard Squad claims responsibility for a cyber attack that affects the online connectivity of PlayStation users. Catherine Jensen, Sony’s vice president of Consumer Experience:
The video game industry has been experiencing high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay. Multiple networks, including PSN, have been affected over the last 48 hours. PSN engineers are working hard to restore full network access and online gameplay as quickly as possible. If you received a PlayStation console over the holidays and have been unable to log onto the network, know that this problem is temporary and is not caused by your game console.
Sony announces a limited theatrical release of The Interview on Christmas Day. The movie will be shown in several hundred independent theaters across the United States. Chairman and CEO of Sony Entertainment, Michael Lynton:
We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day. At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience.
Sony releases a statement regarding the possibility of The Interview being released via a platform alternative to movie theaters. Their statement comes after President Obama criticized them for canceling the film.
[We are] actively surveying alternatives to enable us to release the movie on a different platform. It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.
Sony hires Judy Smith, famous for being the inspiration behind the Olivia Pope character on ABC’s Scandal. Smith’s crisis management firm has worked with clients such as Monica Lewinsky, Wesley Snipes, and Michael Vick.
BitTorrent talks to Sony about releasing The Interview on their new, paid service. The company works as a peer-to-peer file-sharing network, with millions of users running the software to share files, making it nearly impossible for hackers to keep up with the quantity. Chief content officer at BitTorrent Matt Mason:
This is a way for Sony to not only deliver the film in a real way, but get out on the side of the hacker community. This is an issue that’s bigger than The Interview, bigger than the Sony hack — it’s really about free speech.
North Korea denies that it was involved in the Sony hack. North Korea calls for a joint investigation into the incident with the United States. North Korean spokesman:
We propose to conduct a joint investigation with the U.S. in response to groundless slander being perpetrated by the U.S. by mobilizing public opinion. If the U.S. refuses to accept our proposal for a joint investigation and continues to talk about some kind of response by dragging us into the case, it must remember there will be grave consequences.
The president of the Directors Guild of America, Paris Barclay, releases a statement criticizing Sony’s decision to cancel The Interview and indicates he would like to see it distributed.
As the events of the past weeks have made painfully clear, we are now living in an age in which the Internet can enable a few remote cyber criminals to hold an entire industry hostage. This unprecedented situation demonstrates that even basic rights such as freedom of expression can quickly fall prey to those who would misuse and abuse the Internet to steal from, intimidate and terrorize our industry and our nation, and stands as an excruciating illustration of the heightened need for the federal government to increase its efforts to protect our society against cyber crimes, terrorism and all of its implications.
We hope that instead of the “chilling effect” on controversial content, this incident becomes a rallying point for all of us who care about freedom of expression to come together and champion this inalienable right. We stand by our director members Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and hope that a way can be found to distribute the film by some means, to demonstrate that our industry is not cowed by extremists of any type.
Sony Pictures blame movie theatres for the decision to pull The Interview.
The decision not to move forward with the December 25 theatrical release of The Interview was made as a result of the majority of the nation’s theater owners choosing not to screen the film. This was their decision. Let us be clear – the only decision that we have made with respect to release of the film was not to release it on Christmas Day in theaters, after the theater owners declined to show it. Without theaters, we could not release it in the theaters on Christmas Day. We had no choice.
Sony hackers send an email to Sony calling its decision to cancel the release of The Interview “wise”. Hackers tell Sony not to release the movie in any form.
Very wise to cancel ‘the interview’ it will be very useful for you. We ensure the purity of your data and as long as you make no more trouble. Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy.
Penn joins George Clooney, Judd Apatow, Aaron Sorkin and Barack Obama in criticizing Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview, believing the action to set a disturbing precedent.
The damage we do to ourselves typically outweighs the harm caused by outside threats or actions. Then by caving to the outside threat, we make our nightmares real. The decision to pull The Interview is historic. It’s a case of putting short term interests ahead of the long term. If we don’t get the world on board to see that this is a game changer, if this hacking doesn’t frighten the Chinese and the Russians, we’re in for a very different world, a very different country, community, and a very different culture.
Marketing posters for the canceled Sony Pictures film The Interview are now on eBay, selling for as much as $550 as speculators capitalize on the cancellation. Unfortunately for buyers, movie poster expert Rudy Franchi says most of that value will be lost within a year.
A year from now, you wouldn’t be able to get more than $15, maybe $20 for them. These things have no intrinsic value to begin with.
The controversial death scene of the Kim Jong Un character in the canceled movie The Interview is leaked to the public.
U.S. investigators believe that the Sony hackers accessed Sony’s computer system by stealing the computer credentials of a top administrator. White House press secretary Josh Earnest:
There is evidence to indicate that we have seen destructive activity with malicious intent that was initiated by a sophisticated actor.
Clooney claims that he and his agent Bryan Lourd presented a petition to the powerful people in Hollywood to sign in support of Sony not submitting to the Sony hacker’s demands, but no one would sign it.
It was a large number of people. It was sent to basically the heads of every place. They told Bryan Lourd, “I can’t sign this.” What? How can you not sign this? I’m not going to name anyone, that’s not what I’m here to do, but nobody signed the letter, which I’ll read to you right now.
On November 24 of this year, Sony Pictures was notified that it was the victim of a cyber attack, the effects of which is the most chilling and devastating of any cyber attack in the history of our country. Personal information including Social Security numbers, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers and the full texts of emails of tens of thousands of Sony employees was leaked online in an effort to scare and terrorize these workers. The hackers have made both demands and threats. The demand that Sony halt the release of its upcoming comedy The Interview, a satirical film about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Their threats vary from personal—you better behave wisely—to threatening physical harm—not only you but your family is in danger. North Korea has not claimed credit for the attack but has praised the act, calling it a righteous deed and promising merciless measures if the film is released. Meanwhile the hackers insist in their statement that what they’ve done so far is only a small part of our further plan. This is not just an attack on Sony. It involves every studio, every network, every business and every individual in this country. That is why we fully support Sony’s decision not to submit to these hackers’ demands. We know that to give in to these criminals now will open the door for any group that would threaten freedom of expression, privacy and personal liberty. We hope these hackers are brought to justice but until they are, we will not stand in fear. We will stand together.
Sony cancels the Christmas Day release of The Interview after the five largest North American cinema chains pull the movie in response to the Sony hacker’s threats. Sony:
We have decided not to move forward with the planned Dec. 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theatre-goers.
Sony says it has no plans to release The Interview in the future. Sony deletes any mention of the movie from its website. Sony statement:
Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film.
Sony is being sued by former employees Michael Corona and Christina Mathis, whose social security numbers were made public by the Sony Hackers. The suit alleges that Sony didn’t do enough to protect is employees personal information against a cyber attack. The suit reads:
At its core, the story of ‘what went wrong’ at Sony boils down to two inexcusable problems: (1) Sony failed to secure its computer systems, servers, and databases …despite weaknesses that it has known about for years, because Sony made a ‘business decision to accept the risk’ of losses associated with being hacked; and (2) Sony subsequently failed to protect timely confidential information of its current and former employees from law-breaking hackers who (a) found these security weaknesses, (b) obtained confidential information of Sony’s current and former employees stored on Sony’s network, (c) warned Sony that it would publicly disseminate this information, and (d) repeatedly followed through by publicly disseminating portions of the information that they claim to have obtained from Sony’s network through multiple dumps of internal data from Sony’s Network.
Sony announces that Playstation TV will launch in North America in less than a month. There will be almost 700 games available to play on launch day. PS TV can play many PlayStation Vita games (either through downloading or inserting the actual game card) in addition to digital PlayStation One and PSP games. Through Remote Play, it can be used to stream PlayStation 4 games from one PS4 console in your home onto a separate television that the PS TV is connected to.
Sony announces that PlayStation 4 sales have exceeded 10 million units, and that over 30 million games have been sold for the platform. The company thanks the players for helping them reach this milestone:
PlayStation Nation: Thank you! We just announced that the PlayStation 4 has sold through more than 10 million units worldwide –- and more than 30 million PS4 games have been sold –- since its launch less than nine months ago. It’s a remarkable milestone that reinforces PS4’s record-breaking pace and the movement it has created among players globally in defining next generation gaming.
A trailer for the PlayStation 4 version of Minecraft is shown at the 2014 E3 conference. Old saves from the PlayStation 3 version will be compatible with this update, but people who bought the PS3 version of Minecraft will have to pay a small fee to get the PS4 version. New features in the PS4 version include 36 times larger worlds, new controls, and a four panel split screen for multiplayer.
It is announced that for the first time in 8 years, Sony sells more consoles than Nintendo. In the 2013 fiscal year, 18.7 million Sony consoles including the Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita are sold compared to 16.31 million Nintendo consoles like the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.