The PlayStation Network, Sony's online service for PlayStation 3 and PSP, is due to finally be fully restored this week, over a month after it was hacked and taken offline. While this certainly isn't the first time Sony has made promises regarding the return of PSN, this time it's confident enough to issue a proper flashy press release and everything.
This will see the PlayStation Store return at long last, along with the usual PSN functionality and certain parts of the Qriocity music service. It won't happen quite everywhere, though; Sony says "the Americas, Europe/PAL territories and Asia, excluding Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea" can expect their service by the end of the week.
To say sorry for all the troubles, Sony's offering users a "Welcome Back" pack with two free games from a selection including inFamous and LittleBigPlanet, 30 free days of PlayStation Plus membership, and other gubbins. You can also sign up for a free year of identity theft protection, to make up for unsavoury types making off with your personal details in the hack.
The PSN was partially restored in mid-May, bringing back online multiplayer, friends lists, PlayStation Home and other features--but, crucially, no PlayStation Store. As well as obviously meaning you can't buy downloadable games, this also has stopped users from redeeming bonus DLC codes or, as with Mortal Kombat, buying the pass needed for used copies to play online.
Sony had said all throughout May that the PlayStation Network would be fully restored by the end of the month, but last week amended that estimate to include "even if we're late on that, it'll only be by a matter of days." But by the end of this week, definitely, this time, honestly.
"We have been conducting additional testing and further security verification of our commerce functions in order to bring the PlayStation Network completely back online so that our fans can again enjoy the first class entertainment experience they have come to love," said Sony executive deputy president Kazuo Hirai in today's announcement. "We appreciate the patience and support shown during this time."