After the lengthy downtime caused by a recent security breach, PSN users will finally be given access to a limited number of services this week. While Sony continues testing out its newest security measures, the following features will be restored:
- Restoration of Online game-play across the PlayStation®3 (PS3) and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) systems (This includes titles requiring online verification and downloaded games)
- Access to Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for PS3/PSP for existing subscribers
- Access to account management and password reset
- Access to download un-expired Movie Rentals on PS3, PSP and MediaGo
- Friends List
- Chat Functionality
The rest of PSN will come online later in the month, but a specific day hasn’t been announced yet. Sony has apologized for the downtime (but not our compromised privacy!) and as a way of thanking us for our patience—as if we had a choice—they are implementing a Welcome Back program. This program will include the following rewards:
- Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Specific details of this content will be announced in each region soon.
- All existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service. Current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service.
- Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers (in countries where the service is available) will receive 30 days free service.
So, to make up for the invasion of our privacy and the fact that Sony waited a week before announcing what private information was compromised, they offer us a free month of a service that will be completely useless once the trial runs out. If anything, it benefits them more than anyone else because it gives them a chance to try to hook new customers. The ambiguous free download sounds interesting, but we shouldn’t expect much more than a free movie rental or perhaps a premium theme. Sony’s response to this whole ordeal continues to disappoint, but at least people can finally play their games online again. And if we’re lucky, maybe our identities won’t get stolen. At the very least, Sony will be providing help with getting people set up for fraud protection.
For more information about this announcement and what we can expect, be sure to check out the PlayStation Blog.