While this is going to cost Sony a lot of money, I doubt it'll be considered as bad as the RROD. That went on for years and people are still getting it. Some people I know have had up to 5 360s die on them, to the point that they stopped sending them to MS and just bought a PS3. With something like a 40% fail rate, the RROD will go down in history as one of the biggest console hardware issues, if not the biggest.
In a year, people will hardly remember Sony went offline. If only because they'll be playing online games again. Its kind of hard to overlook the RROD when people are still getting them 6 years after the fact.