Sony today announced the most encouraging details so far on when we can expect PSN to be up and running again. That's great news, but we were more enticed by this statement:
Our global audience of PlayStation Network and Qriocity consumers was disrupted. We have learned lessons along the way about the valued relationship with our consumers, and to that end, we will be launching a customer appreciation program for registered consumers as a way of expressing our gratitude for their loyalty during this network downtime, as we work even harder to restore and regain their trust in us and our services.
That sounds like free awesomeness. Click through to read the rest of the story and see what you're getting and how the PSN will be turned back on...
Ok, free stuff fist, as we're sure that's what's got your attention. A 'Welcome Back' programme will be sent out, tailored to each specific region. The main parts of the package will include:
- Selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Details per region TBC.
- 30 days free membership for PlayStation Plus for all existing PSN members. Anyone that is already a PS+ subscriber will get 30 days for free too.
- Current subscribers to the Qriocity Music Unlimited service will get 30 days free.
Additional offerings as a part of the 'Welcome Back' package will be revealed over the coming weeks as Sony concentrate on making sure the PSN is back to full strength.
Needless to say, PS3 gamers are going to be expecting some great free content. Hopefully Sony will deliver more than a few free PS1 games. The range on offer will have to be quite wide too, so regular customers won't be offered something they already have. Cough, God of War HD, please cough. It's good to see that they're putting some effort into rewarding our patience though and the 30 days of free membership to PS+ will be great to get an inside look at the programme, and will probably snag a fair few new subscribers.
Here's some details on the restoration of the PlayStation Network itself. The PSN will be restored in phases. The first rollout will include, but is not limited too:
- Restoration of Online game-play across the PS3 and PSP systems
- This includes titles requiring online verification (think DC Universe Online) 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
- PlayStation Home
- Friends List
- Chat Functionality
Sony have previously mentioned that your Trophies are safe and sound and will re-sync to the servers. I imagine Facebook might actually explode if we all sync them up there at the same time too.
Regarding the future security of the PSN, Sony had this to say:
Working closely with several outside security firms, the company has implemented significant security measures to further detect unauthorized activity and provide consumers with greater protection of their personal information. The company is also creating the position of Chief Information Security Officer, directly reporting to Shinji Hasejima, Chief Information Officer of Sony Corporation, to add a new position of expertise in and accountability for customer data protection and supplement existing information security personnel. The new security measures implemented include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Added automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks
- Enhanced levels of data protection and encryption
- Enhanced ability to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns
- Implementation of additional firewalls
The company also expedited an already planned move of the system to a new data centre in a different location that has been under construction and development for several months. In addition, PS3 will have a forced system software update that will require all registered PlayStation Network users to change their account passwords before being able to sign into the service. As an added layer of security, that password can only be changed on the same PS3 in which that account was activated, or through validated email confirmation, a critical step to help further protect customer data.
This all points towards a much more secure environment for the PSN. Remember though, be aware for any scams via email, post or telephone. On the plus side, your credit card details, while possibly taken, were heavily encrypted, especially the security code. We'll presume names, addresses and passwords won't be left lying around servers in text-from any more. We'll keep you updated on the PSN situation here at Dealspwn. Hell, you might even get to read our review of Socom at some point.