The Playstation Network Is Back Online
PS3 users will be happy to hear that the Playstation Network is back online after an almost 4 week outage caused by a hacker attack. The network is being brought back in phases.
Kaz Hirai’s statement on the PSN’s return
As of now users can once again use the following services:
- Restoration of Online game-play across the PlayStation®3 (PS3) and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) systems
-This includes titles requiring online verification 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
- Friends List
- Chat Functionality
Also, a new firmware is now available. Upon installation , it forces users to change their password when they try to sign back in.
“We strongly recommend that all PSN account holders with PS3s update their systems to prepare for when PlayStation Network is back online,” said Eric Lempel, vice president of the Sony Network Entertainment, on the PlayStation Blog. “The release of this update is a critical step as we work to make PlayStation Network significantly more secure.”
The password can only be changed on your PS3, or a PS3 you have activated your account on. If you try to change your password on a different PS3, an email will be sent to you where you can change your password through Sony’s site.
“This e-mail will contain a link that will enable you to change your password,” Lempel said. “In this email, click on the link and follow the instructions to change your password. Once you have changed your password you can sign-in to your account using your new password.”
Sony claims that during the network’s downtime it has considerably enhanced its security. The company expects to have full functionality of PSN working by the end of May 2011.
Read more over at the Playstation Blog. Here’s some of the important info:
Q: What’s in the Welcome Back Program?
A: To start, all PSN members who had signed up before the outage (April 20, 2011) will be able to select two games for the PS3 system and two games for the PSP system.
For PS3 owners, go to the ‘Welcome Back’ section in the PlayStation Store, and select 2 titles from the following list:
- Dead Nation
- Super Stardust HD
- Wipeout HD + Fury
For PSP owners, go to the ‘Welcome Back’ section of PlayStation Store on your PSP system and select 2 titles from the following list:
- LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
- ModNation Racers
- Pursuit Force
- Killzone Liberation
Select your first game from “Game 1”, then return to the Welcome Back page and go to “Game 2” to select your second game out of the remaining choices available. This goes for both PS3 and PSP.
In addition, we’re giving access to our premium subscription service, PlayStation Plus, which includes games, huge discounts, exciting exclusives and added features like online storage and automatic downloads, to all PSN members for 30 days at no charge, requiring no long term commitment. As with the games above, go to the PlayStation Store and under the ‘Welcome Back’ section, select ‘PlayStation Plus: 30 Days Free’, and you’ll be given access to all of the benefits of PlayStation Plus. Note that this will not auto-renew and simply expires 30 days after activation.
Current Plus subscribers receive an extra 60 days added to their existing subscription at no charge. For current Plus subscribers, no action is needed as the 60 days are automatically added to your subscription.
PlayStation Network users will also get 100 virtual items in PlayStation Home as a show of appreciation for your patience while Home was inaccessible. Additional content is coming soon, including the next addition to the Home Mansion personal space, and Ooblag’s Alien Casino, an exclusive game.
A selection of “On Us” movie rentals are currently available to PlayStation Network customers this weekend only, where Video Service is available.
Finally, current Music Unlimited Premium subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of premium subscription plus days lost due to the outage.
Q: When will I have access to the Welcome Back Program?
A: The content offered as part of the Welcome Back Program is available for download today and will be available through July 3.
Q: I have both PS3 and PSP. Does this mean I will get 4 games all together?
A: Yes, as long as you were a PSN member before April 20, 2011, you’ll be able to receive up to 4 games based on the titles listed above; 2 on each platform.
Q: Are there any limitations to the PS3 and PSP games we are receiving as part of the Welcome Back Program?
A: These games are yours to keep.
Q: How long do I have to get into the PlayStation Store and receive my content for Welcome Back?
A: Access to the Welcome Back content will be expiring on July 3. Once this date has passed, the Welcome Back section in the PlayStation Store will be removed.
Q: When does the 30 days of my PlayStation Plus access expire?
A: Your PlayStation Plus 30-day access will expire 30 days from the date you activated it in PlayStation Store.
Q: When will (insert game here) be published?
A: Look forward to posts over the coming days that will show what content will be available at that point, or coming soon. We’re planning frequent store publishes offering lots of new content for everyone to enjoy.
Q: I’m getting 30 days of access to PlayStation Plus; can you refresh my memory on what I get with this service?
A: From the time you activate your 30 days of PlayStation Plus, you’ll be able to download games and game related content, purchase select store items at a discount, and have access to the exclusive features of Plus. You’ll also be able to get early access to any Plus exclusive Demos and priority Beta invitations that might be scheduled during your 30 days.
Q: Do I get to keep the games in PlayStation Plus forever?
A: Content that is free in PlayStation Plus will not be available after your PlayStation Plus time has expired. However, if you decide to join PlayStation Plus, you’ll have access to all of the content you downloaded during your 30 day access for as long as you are a subscriber.
Q: Do I get to keep any games or content I purchased with the PlayStation Plus discount?
A: Yes. Any content you purchase at a discount is yours to keep, regardless of your subscription status.
Q: Aside from the games and discounts; does PlayStation Plus offer anything else?
A: Yes! PlayStation Plus includes the Online Storage for Game Saves feature, allowing you to backup treasured game saves or access them from another PS3 system as long as you are a subscriber. In addition, you get the Automatic Download feature, which automatically updates your 10 most recently played games while the system is in stand-by mode so you don’t have to wait for updates before playing your games.
Q: What content will be in PlayStation Plus when I activate my 30 days?
A: PlayStation Plus content and discounts are regularly updated throughout the month. For up-to-date information on content within PlayStation Plus, please visit the Plus homepage.
Q: Where can I find the Welcome Back content in Home?
A: The 100 virtual items can be found in the kiosk in Home’s Central Plaza along with two personal spaces – Dragon’s Lair and the Mansion Garage. A new game – Ooblag’s Alien Casino – will be released soon (June 2011). This game will be free-to-play. As an added bonus, players that access the Ooblag Alien Casino space will be rewarded an active item version of the Ooblag game that can be played in your personal space(s).
Q: How do I access the content in the Welcome Back Program?
A: Follow the steps below to access the content in the Welcome Back Program:
1. Log on to PlayStation®Store
2. Click on the “Welcome Back” tab in the upper left menu
3. Select “Welcome Back Free PS3™ Game 1”
4. Within the category, click on the “Welcome Back Free PS3™ Game 1” product and “Get Now”
5. Select your free PS3™ game*, and “Download”*
6. Repeat steps 3-5 with “Welcome Back Free PS3™ Game 2”
7. Go to the XMB™ to play your free games.