The online gaming networks for Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox consoles - hot gifts this Christmas - were disrupted for a second day Friday in what hackers said was a coordinated attack.
The disruption started Christmas Day, PlayStation and Xbox said on their Twitter feeds, adding that they were working to restore service.
A message posted to the Xbox status page early Friday upgraded service to "limited" - a sign that support teams were making inroads in fixing the problem.
A new Twitter user going by the name "Lizard Squad" took credit for the disruption, claiming it had the "nation on strings." The name is the same used by a group of hackers that has targeted Sony in the past, though it was not possible to verify the Twitter account's authenticity. The account did not return request for comment and only became active Wednesday.
Sony this month was hit by a sophisticated hacking attack that stole massive amounts of data from its servers. The US has blamed North Korea for the attack, with the reclusive state seen as furious at the release of a Sony movie comedy, "The Interview," which parodies leader Kim Jong-Un.
After initially canceling the December 25 release of "The Interview," Sony backtracked and brought it out in a few US theatres and made it available online - including through the Xbox console and, soon, the PlayStation.
Sony's @PlayStation Twitter account said Friday: "We're aware that some users are having issues logging into PSN - engineers are investigating." Its @AskPlayStation Twitter account wrote early Friday, a day after the difficulties began: "Our engineers are continuing to work hard to resolve the network issues users have experienced today. Thanks for your continued patience!"
Analysts said a direct connection with the Sony Pictures attack was unlikely, and that the latest hack was probably the work of fame-seeking amateurs.
"The timing suggests that this is an attack that we can put in the category of adolescents who are looking for a bit of glory," said Pierre Samson of the European Circle Security and Information Systems.
"There is a very small probability that there was a direct link with the attack on Sony Pictures, you can order an attack to online services fairly easily with few resources." He said thousands of similar hacks are launched daily, although they are not always effective.