Sony is handing out free PlayStation Plus memberships to apologize to the fans.
Sony updated the PlayStation blog over the weekend and told players to expect the return of some PlayStation Network and Qriocity services sometime during the week. The returning services include:
- 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
The full service will be back online by the end of the month, and Sony is introducing the “Welcome Back” Appreciation Program to give users free content as a way of apologizing for the network’s downtime. Once the PSN is completely restored, fans can expect the following bonuses:
- 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.
Of course, the free stuff means nothing if the network’s security hasn’t been upgraded, and Sony has thankfully revealed some details about their plans moving forward. The new PSN will have:
- Added automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks
- Enhanced levels of data protection and encryption
- Enhanced ability to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns
- Implementation of additional firewalls
Sony will also have a new Chief Information Security Officer who will report directly to Shinji Hasejima, the Chief Information Officer of Sony Corporation. The new position will “add a new position of expertise in and accountability for customer data protection and supplement existing information security personnel.”
The security system, meanwhile, will be moved to a new data center in a different location that has been in development for the past few months. There will be a forced system update that will require all registered PSN users to change their account password and Sony is working with law-enforcement to track down those responsible for the attacks on the network.
Hopefully, the security updates will be enough to prevent something like this from happening again.