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Online problems plague holiday gamers

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(Credit: Nintendo)

"Ho Ho Ho!" turned into "No No No!" for tons of gamers over the Christmas holiday.

Several major online game networks experienced notable performance issues -- and outright crashes -- as a new influx of players jumped online.

Nintendo experienced the most severe outages. Users received errors when they tried to access the eShop from their Wii U, 3DS or 2DS systems, meaning they were prevented from not only downloading games, but other popular apps like YouTube and Netflix. Gamers were also unable to create new Nintendo Network IDs.

The company did announce when it expected to have things fixed, though the answer might not make players happy. The eShop will be offline until early Saturday morning to give the company time to correct the connectivity woes.

"We sincerely apologize for the connection problems in the Nintendo eShop," the company said in a statement on Facebook. "We understand this is taking longer than expected, but we can assure you that providing a solution is our top priority. We are determined to make sure everyone can enjoy all that Wii U and Nintendo 3DS have to offer. In an effort to manage the high volume of traffic and ultimately improve your experience, we are temporarily taking the Nintendo eShop services offline between the hours of 4 p.m. - 4 a.m. ET. Thank you so much for your continued patience. We will keep you updated."

Sony, too, experienced holiday problems, with some users reporting issues downloading and playing games along with disappearing friends lists. The company is still investigating the issues, but let players know it was on the case with a brief note posted Thursday afternoon.

"We have noticed various reports of connection issues with PSN including, but not limited to friends lists, game download, purchase, and login issues,” the company said. “We are aware of the issues and we appreciate your patience while we investigate."

Even the Steam store buckled under the weight of PC users hoping to get a holiday bargain. Steam was down for a significant portion of Christmas Day, which just happened to coincide with a promotion where users were able to download a free copy of the shooter Left 4 Dead 2. Valve eventually restored the service that evening.

Both Steam and the PlayStation Network are back up and running now.

Microsoft’s Xbox Live, meanwhile, ran smoothly during the holidays, with no reports of widespread outages.

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