Sony Announces 'Welcome Back' Program, Free Goodies For All

By Colin Tan on May 1, 2011, 2:13AM EDT

Sony announced tonight at a press conference in Tokyo that the company will be launching a Welcome Back program across PlayStation Network, giving out selected goods to users for free once the network is revived next week.

The program will give all users a month of PlayStation Plus for free, in turn offering "selected PlayStation entertainment content" for free download. Current PS Plus subscribers will receive an additional 30 days of service for free. Sony will announce the details for each region at a later date.

Music Unlimited subscribers will also receive another month of free service (where the service is available).

"This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry," said Kazuo Hirai, Sony Corp's No. 2.

"These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber-security. We take the security of our consumers' information very seriously and are committed to helping our consumers protect their personal data. In addition, the organization has worked around the clock to bring these services back online, and are doing so only after we had verified increased levels of security across our networks.

"Our global audience of PlayStation Network and Qriocity consumers was disrupted. We have learned lessons along the way about the valued relationship with our consumers, and to that end, we will be launching a customer appreciation program for registered consumers as a way of expressing our gratitude for their loyalty during this network downtime, as we work even harder to restore and regain their trust in us and our services."

A new firmware update will have to be downloaded once the network goes live next week and users will be prompted to change their passwords. Sony will be performing a phased rollout for some of its services by region, which include restoration of online play across PS3s and PSP, as well as access to Music Unlimited/Qriocity services.

The services that will be available include access to account management/password reset, access to download unexpired movie rentals, PlayStation Home, friends list and chat functionality.

Sony is currently working with Homeland Security and the FBI on tracking down the hacker(s) that attacked PlayStation Network.

Source: IGN

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