When the PlayStation Network was pulled on April 20, no one could have predicted how long the outage would last, least of all Sony. Now it's been down for over two weeks -- 16 days so far -- and it's looking increasingly like we'll continue to be out over the weekend. Sony assured that the network entered the final stages of internal testing last night. But if the company is hesitant to flip the switch just before the weekend (which would be understandable given the security headaches so far), we'll be looking at almost three straight weeks of PlayStation Network downtime.
Even in those 16 days so far, we've seen a flurry of news breaking on an almost daily basis. It's ironic at this point, but Sony has actually offered multiple targets to get the network back online, many of them too ambitious. First it was "a day or two" on April 21, which was obviously off. We didn't know at the time, but Sony was in the midst of hiring consulting firms to investigate the breach.
By April 26, Sony claimed to be aiming to have some services back online within a week. Then, in an update on April 30, we heard that services were to be restored this week. It's too early to call that final target as missed yet.
When the service does return, you can expect the Welcome Back program to begin, including a free month of PlayStation Plus, and so-far-undisclosed free content. You'll also be required to change your password, using the PlayStation 3 that is associated with the account, for good measure. This morning, Sony also outlined identity theft insurance for all affected users.