The past week and a half has been a rough ride for PS3 users, though it seems the end to PSN the outage is finally in sight.
Sony held a press conference in Tokyo earlier today in which they announced a slew of details about getting the service back online. Deputy President Kaz Hirai explained (later re-iterated on the PlayStation Blog) that the firm plans to bring back online play, Qriocity, account management and password reset, un-expired movie rentals, Home, the friends list and online chat in the first phase of restoration. The noticeable omission there being the PlayStation Store, which will hopefully soon follow. As far as we know this first phase will occur at the same time worldwide.
Also detailed was the added security Sony are bringing to PSN, something that will be of great interest to users after the company admitted personal user info had been stolen. Improvements include added automated software monitoring and configuration management, enhanced data protection and encryption, enhanced ability to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns, and additional firewalls. Is it enough to be able to trust the company with your personal details again?
Last, but most certainly not least, a ‘Welcome back’ program was announced. It’s basically Sony’s way of saying thank you to all those who have stuck out the downtime with a stiff upper lip. As of right now that means some (unspecified) free content from the Store that’s unique to each territory, 30 days of free PlayStation Plus membership (in other words, more free content from the Store) and free 30 day access to Qriocity, turning your PS3 into a streaming musical jukebox for a whole month.
Just how soon is soon? Earlier updates point to May 3rd being the very latest that services will resume, though don’t be surprised if they pop up earlier. Will PSN be welcomed back with open arms?