PlayStation Network To Resume This Week, Sony Introduce “Welcome Back” Program

By Ishaan . April 30, 2011 . 11:10pm


Sony held a press conference in Tokyo, Sunday afternoon, addressing the recent attack on the PlayStation Network. Speaking with journalists at the event, Sony representatives conducted a presentation regarding the issue and followed up with a Q&A session.


Sony representatives stated that there is still no evidence of credit card information having been stolen, but advised customers to keep an eye on their credit card statements all the same.


Sony Computer Entertainment CEO, Kaz Hirai, revealed that there are about 10 million credit cards registered with the PlayStation Network. Information on credit cards, Sony claimed, was in fact stored in a separate location on the system and was encrypted. Passwords, however, were not encrypted, but were “hashed”.


When asked by a Nikkei reporter what Sony felt the reasons behind the attack were, Hirai replied that, while there was some speculation as to the reason behind the attack, Sony are “not in a position to say one way or another.” Hirai added: “Even though we have some information, it is within the realm of speculation.”


Sony are also creating the position of a “Chief Information Security Officer,” reporting directly to Shinji Hasejima, Chief Information Officer of Sony Corporation, to ensure future accountability for customer data protection. Additionally, Sony say they have expedited the move of the PlayStation Network system to a new data centre that has been in development for “several months”.


The PlayStation Network online gaming service will resume this week, while other services such as the ability to purchase games will be brought online within the month of May. PlayStation 3 users will need to download a firmware update and change their password before logging in to the PlayStation Network once it goes back up. As an added security measure, Sony say, that password can only be changed on the same PS3 on which that specific account was activated, or through a validated email confirmation.


Sony also touched upon details of a “Welcome Back” program to compensate PlayStation Network users for the inconvenience. From Sony’s press release regarding the re-launch of the PlayStation Network service, the program will include:


  • Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Specific details of this content will be announced in each region soon.
  • All existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service. Current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service.
  • Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers (in countries where the service is available) will receive 30 days free service.


We’ll have more news as Sony make it available in the coming days and weeks.

Read more stories about & & & on Siliconera.

  • malek86

    PSN+ content (except discounted items) is only available until you are subscribed, so it’s essentially free advertising for them. In fact, I’m 100% sure the next update will be incredibly beefy, to try and convince people to keep their subscription.

    Well, it’s pretty much what I expected though.

    • Chow

      Yeah, what I didn’t understand before subscribing to Plus is that any game provided for Free will always be in your downloads list as long as you’re a subscriber. You just have to make sure you’re vigilant and get them before they’re taken off the list before it renews to new items.

    • Excellent compensation (more interested in trying it out to see if I wanna become a PS+ member).

  • d19xx

    Other than the welcome back program, they said nothing new. No promise of bigger, better things. meh

    • Sigh.

      “Sony are also creating the position of a “Chief Information Security Officer,” reporting directly to Shinji Hasejima, Chief Information Officer of Sony Corporation, to ensure future accountability for customer data protection.”

      • UGH Ishaan this is so sad, I mean they aren’t even sending girls directly to my house to fellate me? Geez that’s the least they could do for losing information that’s PUBLIC RECORD and keeping my CC info secure.


        • Best comment this month!!! xD

        • badmoogle

          I think some of these hackers really need the girls.

          • Personally I need them, though that’s not to read that I’m one of these guys…I’m not haxxor enough for that stunt~ xd

    • malek86

      Well, they promised they would take security more seriously from now. That’s a start.

      On the other hand, they kind of admitted their previous sytem was crap, so that doesn’t bode too well for their image. Now they can be easily defined as “that typical company who only does things properly once the situation gets out of hand”.

      • Come on isnt “crap” an hyperbole, some information was still kept secure so it didnt totally fail.

        • malek86

          Kind of a difficult situation there. It all has to do with how stakeholders view you. A retailer or small manufacturer might be excused, but a company like Sony is expected to push the envelope when it comes to technology and services. To have them admit that their previous efforts weren’t enough says something about them being a reactive company instead of a proactive one, which the investors might not like.

          In short, saying “we’ll do better from now on” means you weren’t doing your best before. And these big corporations are expected to do their best all the time – they have no obligation to go further than what the law says, but they are still socially expected to.

          If this were the 80’s you would be right, but we’ve come a long way since then.

  • PrinceHeir

    “Play of online titles and titles that require PlayStation Network login”

    wait wait wait

    does this mean we have to .be online whenever we’re playing a PSN game? hopefully this is only 1 time use and once your online(for verification) you can play the game offline throughout. i know games like bionic rearmed 2 requires online play(which the XBLA doesn’t)

    god damn you hackers for fucking up PSN. they better have my Parasite Eve II on PSN. sucks i have to wait for 2 weeks in order to buy Arcana Heart 3.

    oh it is also mentioned we have to change our password as part of the agreement

    • PersonaSpace

      There are a couple titles that require the system to be connected. If I’m correct its certain capcom titles for sure. But no, it’s not a giant blanket of every PSN game needs to be connected online.

    • malek86

      Some PSN titles require you to be connected, due to some people abusing the whole “game-sharing” thing. Nothing to do with the hackers, it’s been like that for a long time now.

    • zweii

      There are only two games that do and both of them are capcom PSN games aside from DC online, of course.

  • Eddie

    Thats a huge low for anonymous to go and release personal information on the sony execs and their family… I didn’t really expect much for psn users that didn’t pay but it seems like Sony is doing better as far as damage control goes. So far so good with my credit card. Hopefully things continue to go up from here for sony and their user base.

    • I hope you do know that anonymous includes you and everyone else who browses the internet, not just people from *chans…

      • Eddie

        I know that they don’t know who any individuals in the group are. (Or individual) And I realize if I was to say I’m not Anonymous there would be no way of you knowing that… BUt for the sake if saying it, I’m not part of the hacking group that are known as Anonymous. I’m just a gamer who has wanted to download the El Shaddai demo, and play Street Fighter for a long time. =.=

        • There is no “group” called Anonymous. Anonymous is a blanket term for anyone who posts with an Anonymous handle. The idea of them being a secret group of underground hackers was originally just a joke making fun of Fox News not knowing what they were talking about. Now some of them take it seriously, but you should note that when you see people doing something as part of the “group” Anonymous, it’s usually always different people with no connection to other people who have used that name.

          • Eddie

            I refer to any hackers that attack any companies in the gaming industry as anonymous because even though they may not be related or have a connection with one another, they all tend to have somewhat similar motives even if some take it to far. As far as the whole underground hacker fox joke goes I had no idea about it, but thats pretty fitting seeing as fox news is a joke. Hackers that have been hacking sony tend to refer to themselves as a hacker community or just a community. But I see certain hackers different from others. For instance WikiLeaks is something I support, because I do believe major unethical behavior should be exposed. As far as the hackers that tamper with people’s personal information and do meaningless acts; I refer to those hackers as anonymous, to differentiate from those whose work actually has a meaning.

    • Bruce

      Even if they released anything , it would only be the hash codes .
      They still have to decrypt ALL the codes they got and that takes a ridiculous amount of time depending on the strength of the password .

      The point of this was to show they can hack Sony , their objective is done and nothing would be released ! .

      • Eddie

        Yeah I figured that was their point, hopefully Sony and the FBI make their point.

      • “The point of this was to show they can hack Sony”

        “Only so that Sony will fix the PSN just so they can hack it again,” right?

  • maxchain

    A Month of Plus? That’s something that should be handed out to say “Welcome to your new console,” not “Sorry we broke absolutely everybody’s trust.” I would’ve shot for at least half a year; biting the bullet to hand out a few more free games could potentially go a long way toward tapering the backlash.

    • A Free Month of PLUS AND Free games from each region (not to mention people with multiple region accounts get multiple free games) is pretty good. 6 months is really long

  • Chow

    Well, it’s good exposure/publicity for the service(s), so Sony will also win from providing this gift. I, for one, have really been enjoying Playstation Plus in the month or so that I had the service.

  • heartless141

    well i hope they buff up the japanese PS+ a bit, seriously, there has been nothing but crappy PSX games discount there, >_> i want that stuffs on US store as well!

  • And this is why you shouldn’t own a PS3. (I’m JOKING, people.)

  • Free content will probably be something that is published by sony themselves. Doubt any 3rd party would strike a deal with sony after losing a week and a half worth possible sale from psn.

    God dammit i hate typing on an android phone.

    • malek86

      Aksys must be particularly unhappy. They went the DD-only route for Arcana 3, and a day after release, this happens. It’s bad enough that download games usually sell best in their first couple weeks, but now they’ll also have to deal with all the other releases that will be piled up on the first day the PSN comes live again.

      • Why would they be unhappy? They can essentially do a “rerelease”. The game will still be on the front of the store (when it resumes), (though how were they even advertising the game, the people online that wanted it most likely are still waiting for it and not going to wait?0

        • You do know that every game developer/publisher who sell games through PSN are missing a week and a half worth of revenues right especially one that only relies on PSN sales. Also it’s not like Sony is allowing these people to host their game on PSN for free. Hahahahahaha….*die down

          • So you are saying that SONY will not compensate developers/publishers? If they are going the distance to provide this for end users, then they most likely have something for those companies as well. So I do not see what is funny here.

          • Even if Sony were to compensate the developer/publisher in same ways, they still lost a week and a half worth of revenue. Think of it as this, you won’t get those missing days back.

          • neo_firenze

            I don’t think losing a week and a half of revenue is as significant as you make it out to be. As malek correctly noted, most of the sales for downloaded games come in the first couple weeks. But as Tsunayoshi correctly replied, why is that such a big deal when this is effectively just a delay of a couple weeks? They’re not LOSING a week and a half of revenue, they’re getting those launch sales delayed by a couple weeks. Same as a retail game that gets pushed back a couple weeks.

            The more realistic concern here is wondering how many people will be reluctant to buy from PSN after it comes back up. I suspect there will be some people who will be afraid of PSN – not that it’s a rational fear. If anything, with PSN right now under so much scrutiny is probably more going to be more secure than any online purchase you can make. It’s kind of like when you hear a restaurant or store has an e coli outbreak or something – people might be wary of it afterwards, but in all honesty that’s probably the one restaurant that is LEAST likely to give you food poisoning in the wake of such an outbreak since they’re so on guard.

          • You’re specifically talking about Aksys, I’m talking about developer/publisher who sell their content through PSN. Now let’s talk about Aksys, as malek said this happen a day after they released Arcana 3. They already got their “launch day” sale because PSN wasn’t down at that time but the day after, it happen. From the day PSN went down till the day before PSN reopen, they aren’t making any more money which mean they are losing out in possible sale during that time.

            I’ll leave this here I just found it a couple of minutes ago.

          • malek86

            It’s not just a matter of lost time. When the servers get back up, the front page of the store will be littered with stuff that comes out all at once… and I have trouble believing that Sony will give them the front page again, when they have so much else to do (think especially about whatever content they need to hand out for the PSN apology thing – I’m sure that will be on front).

            So yeah, they essentially only got about a day on the front page, even though most stuff gets a week. And what’s worse, like you said, some people will become wary of PSN for a while… and there’s no retail copy to make up for that.

          • @malek86 I thought developers last week said Sony would help them with promo, so I doubt stuff that launched the week of the outage wont be on the front page.


  • z_merquise

    It’s good to hear that PSN would be back online. It’s a real pain in the a$$ especially for people who got more sensitive information like credit cards but I haven’t read any reports of theft so far.

    Moving forward, this would help Sony to improve everything in their PSN.

    So about this 30-day free trial for Playstation Plus, some games are free for Plus subscribers but if the trial expired can that game still be playable?

    • Nope, unless you bought the game at a discount, but iirc, if you delete said game, you have to buy it again without it being discounted.

    • malek86

      “So about this 30-day free trial for Playstation Plus, some games are free for Plus subscribers but if the trial expired can that game still be playable?”

      Nope. Can’t have everything in life. But you get to keep whatever you paid for, even if discounted (the deal would be that the PSN+ subscription cost covers that). Everything free is deactivated when you are not subscribed anymore. I’m not sure if this works for DLCs as well, though.

      • Aoshi00

        For things you bought at a discount as a plus member, you get to keep those, like avatar bundles, DLC, discounted PSX games/import games, discounted PSN d/lable games, etc.. but for some of the free stuffs like free Minis, free PSX classics, new Qore magazine episodes, those are only accessible as long as you stay subscribed… of course the free avatars or themes are yours to keep too.

        So I’m going to see a Plus next to everyone on my friend’s list now lol..

        Giving regular users a free month of Plus, extending Plus users for another month, and some freebies, that’s pretty good, don’t think we can ask for more..

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Understood, but Sony is still deciding for the customer. These free months of services that normally come with a charge had better continue only if I CHOOSE to do so; it is not incumbent on me to cancel something I did not sign up for. I certainly don’t see much in the way of a ‘cost of doing business’ to Sony for this particular action, it won’t take many folks continuing with + to make up for assorted costs.

          • malek86

            I’m going to tell you right away that PSN+ (and maybe Qriocity) apparently auto-renew if you don’t cancel them, and if you have a credit card or at least some funds left. That’s what I heard, at least.

            Then again, since this is supposed to be a special offer, Sony might make it so that the subscriptions don’t automatically renew, just this time.

            If not, just don’t forget to turn off auto-renewal from account management as soon as the PSN comes up again.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            I’d figured as much. I sees a new round of Sony issues coming at the end of this month as folks start questioning phantom charges. It’s just extending the raw deal all this turned out to be and will only hurt the brand more.

            Just setting up a PSN account one time where you check it rarely or never go back to it again can not be that unusual a situation. Further, how will those who have multiple accounts be affected?

            This has customer headache for no good reason attached everywhere.

          • malek86

            It’s possible. AFAIK, Microsoft uses the same trick with the first free month of Gold – if you have a credit card in the account, it will automatically renew. It won’t even tell you anything, mind. And with XBL it’s even worse because you need to actually phone Microsoft to cancel the subscription.

            But I hope Sony will not be as dastardly. I’m still gonna check as soon as possible, though.

            “Further, how will those who have multiple accounts be affected?”

            Who knows. Like I said, I trust they know what the heck they would be putting themselves into, if they did that. So I think it’s not gonna auto-renew this time.

  • So, from what I understand from this is…
    -PSN back online this week/by the end of the month
    -PSN+ free for a month
    -We had security(so not 100% our fault)
    -PSN back online SOMETIME THIS MONTH
    -“anonymous” still has your info
    -You have a paid service free for a month with the catch that anything free we give you is gone unless you subscribe, everything you buy sorta remains in limbo
    -We had security, just not good security(like a rent a cop instead of a vault)
    -WE ARE NOW BIG BROTHER MONITORING YOU(even more than before)

    PS: in their EULA, it states that you guys are screwed in case anything happens to your console or PSN in general…

    • malek86

      “PS: in their EULA, it states that you guys are screwed in case anything happens to your console or PSN in general…”

      Yeah, well, we are in the 21st century. Companies now are expected to have not just economic and legal responsibilities, but also ethical ones.

      I don’t think anyone expected them to shrug off and say “but we did tell you it wasn’t our problem, so neeer”. They would have been pretty stupid if they did that.

      • Quite true, but I think with them pretty much admitting it was partially their fault(hence tighter security coming soon, free 1 month PSN+, so on), shows they are responsible beyond their EULA. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lawsuit follows in the wake of this…

    • PSN is back online by the end of this week. PS STORE is back online something this month.

      You can can keep some stuff from the PS Plus, like Qore and DLC if I recall and anything bought at a discount.

      The pro that everyone keeps forgetting is that in addition to PS+: Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download.

  • Guest

    I can has Arcana Heart 3?

  • urbanscholar

    Yes, yes its good they have addressed this in the medai and all that jazz. So…how much longer do I have to wait until I can play BlazBlue online? I’m going through some bad withdrawals here.

  • That feel when free Arcana Heart 3.

  • They should freaking let people from outside the US buy freaking psn cards from amazon, i dont see where the problem is -_- all they do is send the pass… Now i dont feel that well asking my father to put his US’s card info on psn

    • malek86

      I always buy them from Ebay. They are quite cheap, especially with the strong Euro. I’d like to say that I don’t care anymore, now that I’ve given up on the PS3/360 for the PC, but the truth is that I’ll still need to use the PSN for some PSP games.

      • Why you are giving up? Because of all this? D: but there are still great games waiting to be played! Just dont use online stuff anymore.

        Umm, i have never used Ebay, if they are cheaper than play asia, i might give it a try

        • malek86

          Nope, it’s unrelated. I just wanted to go back to PC gaming. I decided on that many weeks ago, before the problem happened.

          • Oh ok, sadly there arent as many games as before on the PC now D:, and the only thing i dont like when it comes for gaming on PC, is that how the game does really depends on the system capabilities (ram, video card, etc) In consoles, there is no need to bother about that

    • I dont understand. Just use your father’s US card on Amazon to get the digital code?

      • My dad doesn’t wants to put that card on Amazon, it was hard enough to convince him to use it directly on the ps3…. (and it was the day before this happened haha..)

    • amagidyne

      Play-Asia has them too. They’re how I’ve been funding my JP account.

      • I dont really want to pay 28$ for a 20$ card when is possible to get it for 20$ -_-.

        For the Jp one i would do it though :P, no other way to get money on the jpsn account

  • Whether this whole hack epidemic was Sony’s fault or not, it’s nice to see that they’re apologizing, working to fix the problem, and TRYING to compensate players for lost time. No one’s safe from hackers, and the victim could’ve just as easily been Microsoft or anyone else.

    Bottom line: Thanks, Sony.

  • kupomogli

    Quick. Someone make a video of the PSN with the Welcome Back, Kotter theme song.

    Anyways. I’m just glad PSN is back up. I started up a new character on Sacred 2 with a friend of mine but haven’t been able to play it since.

  • I didn’t know that free psn plus games go away after your subscription is up. That’s more like renting don’t ya think? Well, good thing I brought Arcana Heart 3 to keep me occupied. I was hesitant about it because I already spent $60 on Portal 2 but if I waited an extra payday I wouldn’t even be able to buy it.

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