The release of mandatory firmware update v. 3.61 - a PS3 update which makes a password change compulsory upon restoration of the PlayStation Network - has heralded the first realised steps of the PSN's return.
Sony announced in the early hours of the morning that PSN and Qriocity services would be restored in phrases, country by country, starting with the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East, with the return of online multiplayer the highest priority following the firmware update. Indeed, the first phase will look to address the following services:
- Sign-in for PlayStation®Network and Qriocity services, including the resetting of passwords
- Restoration of online game-play across PS3 and PSP
- Playback rental video content, if within rental period, of PlayStation Network Video Delivery Service on PS3, PSP and MediaGo
- Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity, for current subscribers, on PS3 and PC
- Access to 3rd party services such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and MLB.tv
- 'Friends' category on PS3, including Friends List, Chat Functionality, Trophy Comparison, etc
- PlayStation Home
Announcing the updated restoration plan, Sony's Kaz Hirai took the opportunity to thank PSN users everywhere for their patience during this trying period:
'I can't thank you enough for your patience and support during this time. We know even the most loyal customers have been frustrated by this process and are anxious to use their Sony products and services again. We are taking aggressive action at all levels to address the concerns that were raised by this incident, and are making consumer data protection a full time, company-wide commitment.
'While we understand the importance of getting our services back online, we did not rush to do so at the expense of extensively and aggressively testing our enhanced security measures. Our consumers' safety remains our number one priority.
'We want to assure our customers that their personal information is being protected with some of the best security technologies available today, so that everyone can feel comfortable enjoying all that PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have to offer.'
Those security updates now include 'Advanced Security Technology', 'Increased Levels of Encryption', 'Additional Firewalls' and 'Early Warning Systems'.
Sony has confirmed that it expects PSN services to have been fully rolled out once more by the end of May.
Hugs all round then? [PlayStation Blog]