Sony’s PlayStation 3 online services stop functioning for several hours, disconnecting users from their usual online activity.

PlayStation 3 owners were distressed to find their systems suddenly disconnecting from PlayStation Network earlier today. Sony of Japan has commented on the outages, promising a fast restoration of the service and providing the fix many hours later.

PlayStation Network is the service allowing all currently supported Sony game systems to download games and updates, as well as interact with game communities, play online and connect to external services such as YouTube. Its outage was distressing for many users who still make frequent use of their PS3 systems.

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While no English Sony social media has commented on the situation, the Japanese Ask PlayStation account issued a statement promising to look into the errors, followed by another post several hours later confirming the issue was resolved. The turnaround on the fix was relatively fast, but this is expected considering Sony’s track record of restoring services within hours of the issues beginning. Sony’s history with PSN has been somewhat shaky since the massive data breach in 2011, but it stays consistent in bringing the service back up quickly during unexpected outages.

The Japanese Ask PSN account confirmed that the failure has been resolved in a Twitter post, and the Japanese account being the only official Sony source to comment suggests that this outage was not widespread enough in North American or European territory to warrant a statement in either. It is also possible that they wanted to avoid spreading the news, as Sony’s fanbase has a history of making jokes at the PlayStation Network maintenance team’s expense when a service outage happens. The gaming community can be brutal when servers go down, which is undoubtedly frustrating to the server administrators trying their best to keep the service stable.

Sony and its PlayStation Network are no stranger to unexpected downtime, as just last month a major PSN outage prevented PlayStation console owners from accessing their systems’ online features. This issue, however, appears to be much more isolated than the last, only affecting PS3 users. Fortunately for PS3 owners, Sony’s restoration of the service was fast and effective.

Sony has demonstrated in the past that it would prefer to shut down its older systems’ online connectivity entirely, as demonstrated when they announced the shutdown of several legacy systems’ online services. These services are now confirmed to continue for now in response to fan backlash, but the initial announcement proves that Sony finds it more economically viable to shut them down. The current outage, however, is most likely the result of a simple server crash, rather than an act of malice from Sony.

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