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PSN down for 18 hours maintenance, back Friday 8am

The PlayStation Network is going down for a mammoth 18 hours of maintenance.

Having PSN trouble? Don't panic! Sony's PlayStation Network is undergoing maintenance today from 2pm, and is scheduled to come back online at 8am tomorrow.

The timing is a tad inconvenient, especially for PS3 gamers in the UK, and will leave some folks feeling cheesed off. Several services are expected to be borked during the mammoth 18-hour maintenance session, which will encompass all of Thursday evening -- prime gaming time.

In a post on its European community page, Sony said that during the period the PlayStation Store would be affected on both PC and console, as well as customer account management and registration.

Home, the 3D social area/platform/thingy, will also be down for the duration.

It's not clear whether your online gaming will be badly affected. The US PlayStation blog says most online play will be spared, and if you were already signed in when the maintenance period begins you should be able to stay signed in.

If you try and sign in between 2pm today and 8am tomorrow however, it's possible you'll find yourself butting up against the maintenance notification page. At which point it could be time to break out some offline games, or go bother your friend who owns an Xbox 360.

Trophy hunters needn't fret, as you'll still be able to collect in-game trophies during the downtime -- they'll be added to your profile once the PlayStation Network is back online.

Sony hasn't said what exactly it is that needs maintaining, but rest assured we'll let you know if it turns out to be anything noteworthy.

Are you deprived of precious PSN? Do you think it's fair for Sony to interfere with services for 18 hours at a time? Feel free to vent in the comments, or on our always-open Facebook wall.