PSN Service Restoration: What You Need To Know
If you've turned on your PS3 in the last day or so, you may have noticed that service to the Playstation Network is finally beginning to return.
NOTE: Click here for a detailed list of all the welcome back content being offered by Sony.
On Saturday evening, Sony released firmware update 3.61 for all PS3 users, a mandatory update that, in part, forces users to change their passwords upon the next sign-in to the network. Sony's Network Entertainment VP Eric Lempel has stated that the update is part of the "Welcome Back" process for Sony and is meant to prepare the devices for when the Network is back up and running in full, and likely contains the security updates that we have all heard about since hackers breached Sony's servers nearly a month ago.
That same evening, Sony began restoring phase 1 of their services on a region-to-region basis, as you can see in this shiny fluorescent map posted on their blog:
Service was gradually restored state-by-state, region-by-region, and it is presumed that most countries now have access to this aforementioned first phase, which includes:
- 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
The main item excluded from "phase 1" is the Playstation Store, something that will likely irk some players. The reason behind the delay for the PS Store is likely Sony trying to figure out how to implement the "Welcome Back" package, which is said to include free identity theft insurance for a year, 30 days (free or, if already a user, extra) of Playstation Plus, as well as two free games (out of a list of five), among, likely, others.
For now, if you hadn't already activated your online pass for a game such as Mortal Kombat, you won't be able to play until the store is back up. For Portal 2 players, however, Steam access will allow you to finally retrieve your PC copy of the game through the in-game store. For those patiently awaiting tomorrow's release of L.A. Noire, however, if you want to play your pre-order bonus DLC, you might have to wait a little longer.
The store is said to be awaiting the global return of the Network to go back online, so while it would be foolish to venture a guess, based on everything that's happened so far, the "deadline" for full restoration is May 31st, and the Store will likely be up before then. We'll update you with details once they are finally announced.
Other tidbits that might be worth noting:
- Yesterday, the Playstation Blog noted that Sony's servers were under heavy load with password reset requests, so they actually had to turn off the service again for 30 minutes. Service might be up and down due to this for the next few days.
- If you're in Japan, you might actually have to wait a little longer to play online on your PS3. According to reports, the Japanese government has not yet approved the restart for the country, citing concerns over whether Sony can actually prove that they've taken measures to prevent this from happening again.
- Sony Online Entertainment, the dim-witted half-cousin of the Playstation Network, has also announced their own welcome back package. The network for games such as DC Online Universe, Free Realms and Everquest has been down since May 2nd, suffering from a separate attack from PSN. The package will include 30 days of free play for each subscribed game, on top of every day missed since May 2nd, free in-game content and credits or coins, as well as double XP events, among other things.
- If you'd like to view Kazuo Hirai's announcement video for the relaunch, click here.
- Update 12:30PM: The Playstation Blog has released an FAQ with more details on the restoration, including the Infamous 2 beta, PSN and PS Plus content updates and how they will roll out, and much more. No official date for the store coming back or the Welcome Back package.
We'll keep you updated with any other information as it becomes available. For now, get to playing all those games that have been collecting dust for the last month!