PlayStation site goes down for 'maintenance'

Sony has shuttered the PlayStation Network service to new users, hiding the sign-up form behind a notice warning that the site is down for 'maintenance' in a move which has some worried that the company has again been attacked.

While the majority of the PlayStation website is working fine, attempts to sign up for a new account lead to a holding page warning that the site is down for maintenance.

No such maintenance is scheduled, however, and thus far Sony is silent on precisely what the problem might be.

For many, the sudden closure of new sign-ups will bring back memories of the company's struggles against attackers from Anonymous and other groups, who broke the company's security and leaked credit card details for many of the company's customers.

Although there is little to suggest that the company has once again been breached, the longer the outage remains unexplained the more worried the company's many customers are likely to become.

We have reached out to Sony for an explanation, and will update as soon as we hear back.

UPDATE 10:01:

Still no word from Sony, but further investigations prove that it's still possible to sign up for a new PlayStation Network account when using a PlayStation 3 console. As a result, whatever outage is ocurring appears to be affecting the website alone, rather than the entire PlayStation Network.

UPDATE 14:06

A Sony spokesperson has confirmed that the outage relates to attacks, but denies that there has been any new intrusion. "Unfortunately, following the recent criminal intrusion of our networks, this facility [to create new accounts on the website] remains unavailable, and as such a PSN account can only be created on either a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable."