Sony’s troubled Playstation Network has finally come back online after an absence of more than a month. Thanks to a group of hackers that targeted Sony’s service, users had been unable to use any of the online functions of their Playstation 3, and PSP consoles. Now that the PSN is working again, Sony has outlined a plan that will offer free games to users who were patient enough to wait for the problem to be fixed.
What are the freebies?
In a statement that was released yesterday, Sony announced that free games, and many other things would be coming to users of the PSN. The program is dubbed the “Welcome Back” program, and users in America and Europe will be the first to get the freebies. The Japanese government has banned Sony from turning the PSN back on in Japan until it can prove to the Japanese government that the Playstation Network is indeed safe.
Users will be able to choose two free games from a list that includes Dead Nation, inFamous, LittleBig Planet, Super Stardust HD, and Wipeout HD + Fury. PSP users will be able to choose 2 from a list that includes LittleBig Planet (PSP), ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force and Killzone Liberation.
Other freebies will include a selection of free movie rentals over one specific weekend that has not been named yet, a free 30 day membership to the Playstation Plus service, a 30 day trial to the Music Unlimited service, 100 free items in Playstation Home, and other free downloads that can be used in the Home service.
Users who are already subscribed to Music Unlimited, and Playstation Plus will receive an extra 30 and 60 days free respectively to those services.
It certainly seems like Sony is trying to make amends to its users over this whole debacle, but is it too little too late? There have been many stories over the past month that talk about PS3 users who have defected to the rival Xbox 360, in fact Xbox 360 sales have increased over 40% during the time of the PSN outage.
Sony has a lot of work to do in order to regain the trust of not only its user base, but also to its developer base too. Many game developers have lost a tremendous amount of income since the Playstation network was hacked, and even though online play is available again, the PSN store is still not active.
Will Sony be able to bounce back from this, or has the the hack caused permanent damage? Will defectors from the PS3 come back or will they stick with the rival Xbox 360? Only time will tell. I am sure that Sony are hoping that they can prove that all is well within the world of the Playstation Network especially as the company will be releasing the Sony Xperia Play, and the next generation handheld, the NGP later this year.
How do you feel about this? Have you lost faith in Sony and its lack of security? If you defected will you return to the folds of the PSN? Leave a comment below and tell us how you feel.
Joystiq, Sony Reveals Welcome Back Program, By Ben Gilbert