As Tom Petty would say, the waiting is the hardest part. Despite assurances that Sony was entering the final stages of network testing last week, PlayStation Network restoration will still take "at least a few more days" according to the latest post on the PlayStation Blog.
I know you all want to know exactly when the services will be restored. At this time, I can’t give you an exact date, as it will likely be at least a few more days. We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work through this process.
The "final stages" point made us think that restoration was imminent, and when Sony opted not to flip the switch over the weekend we presumed it was to make sure they were fully staffed when it went back online. Now the network outage is verging on the edge of three weeks. An erroneous report recently stated that Sony had set a new deadline for May 31, but it was apparently a misunderstanding.
Meanwhile, the fallout from this continues to mount. On top of upset fans, lawsuits, subpoenas, and Congressional inquiries, developers are starting to bristle as well. Capcom recently spoke frankly about money loss from the extended downtime. During last night's Activision earnings call, the company referenced "loss of high-margin revenue" and expressed hope that PSN will be restored before the planned launch of the Black Ops map pack.
Whenever the network is restored, you can look forward to some free swag. Though Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) hasn't announced its make-good plans, Sony Europe detailed their own. It will include two downloadable PlayStation 3 games out of a choice of five, and two PSP games out of four.