Sony’s admission that its PlayStation Network and Qriocity on-demand TV service have been compromised by a lone computer hacker is “a significant short-term blow” for the company, Michael French, editor-in-chief of games trade magazine MCV tells me. It is believed to be one of the biggest-ever security breaches of the Internet. Qriocity, which launched in the U.S. in April 2010, uses the same log-in details as PlayStation Network, says Informa analyst Andrew Ladbrook. Sony’s on-demand movie service has been rolled out to Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. “It will affect people’s download purchases in the long-term. This is a big setback for the service,” says Ladbrook. Around 800,000 pieces of content – including Hollywood movies – are downloaded each day via PlayStation. Around 20 million people use PlayStation online in the U.S, either playing games or watching films. Sony has sold 14 million PlayStation 3 consoles in the U.S. It has taken a week for Sony, which is part of Sony Corp, to come clean and admit to its 77 million PlayStation Network users worldwide that the online network has been hacked. Credit card details may have been stolen. Sony learned of the breach on April 19 and immediately shut down the network. Users have been badgering Sony for details for the past week. The Japanese tech giant said that “an illegal and unauthorised person” has obtained people’s names, addresses, email address, passwords and more. Apart from company embarrassment, the upshot is that network users will be urged to change passwords. The big question now is what this lone hacker will do with all the information that has been illegally obtained?

Get Deadline news and alerts sent to your inbox.