Sony has quietly announced that its Playstation Network will be taken offline for maintenance today, 18th August, between 0900 and 1100 PST, which happens to coincide with the company's conference in Gamescom 2009.
The event, held in Cologne, is expected to see the launch of a new slimmer version of Sony's flagship gaming console, the Playstation 3, as well as a number of other initiatives like price cuts and new games.
PSN users have been told that they won't be able to access the PlayStation Store, play online games and will likely see a maintenance page when attempting to access the PlayStation Network.
In addition, there are unconfirmed rumours that Sony will release a new firmware for existing PS3 consoles while Playstation Home is expected to be more "powerful and interactive" thanks to a new Home Development Kit 1.3 which will allow developers to create more complex home spaces for PS3 users.
Sony has already confirmed that it will be launching a new Video Store Service for the Playstation 3 and the company has already launched a Vizone, a free of charge music video streaming service which has attracted one million downloads in less than 8 weeks.
More than 420 exhibitors from 30 countries are expected at GamesCom which will also house the Game Developers Conference in Europe. Interestingly, taking down websites is Apple's signal that something big and momentous is about to happen fairly soon. Is Sony about to do the same thing?