The Playstation Network is slowly coming back, and with its revival comes all those delectable freebies that have been promised as an incentive to win back consumer trust. It's been a rough ride for Sony, one in which many (including yours truly) have called out the company on the way in which they handled the breach, but while we're still battling with ill-feelings toward the company, here's the scoop on the goodies:
All PlayStation Network customers can select two PS3 games from the following list. The games will be available for 30 days shortly after PlayStation Store is restored and can be kept forever.
- Dead Nation
- Super Stardust HD
- Wipeout HD + Fury
- For PSP owners, you will be eligible to download two PSP games from the following list. The games will be available for 30 days shortly after PlayStation Store is restored and can be kept forever.
- LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
- ModNation Racers
- Pursuit Force
- Killzone Liberation
- A selection of "On Us" rental movie titles will be available to PlayStation Network customers over one weekend, where Video Service is available. Those titles will be announced soon.
- 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non PlayStation Plus subscribers.
- Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive an additional 60 days of free subscription.
- Existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of free premium subscription.
- Additional 30 days + time lost for existing members of Music Unlimited Premium/Basic subscription free of charge for existing Premium/Basic members.
- To welcome users Home, PlayStation Home will be offering 100 free virtual items. Additional free content will be released soon, including the next addition to the Home Mansion personal space, and Ooblag's Alien Casino, an exclusive game.
No word on when PSN users will be able to get their hands on the goodies; Sony is simply saying that access will be granted "shortly after services are fully restored." I've yet to be able to sign on through my PSP -- greeted not by the dated, yet comforting look of the Playstation Store, but with a bothersome "this service is currently undergoing maintenance" message -- though i have been able to log on through my PC, allowing me to go through the mandatory process of changing my password via a link sent to the email address to which my account is tied-- those whose accounts are tied to their PS3 will have an easier time, skipping the email bit, with updating their account information.
Read more after the jump!
I'll give Sony some credit; two free games -- surprisingly good ones, rather than the dreck I had anticipated - is more than I expected, never mind some of the extra offers listed above. The company is also offering a cost-free, one-year enrollment in "identity theft protection programs, such as cyber monitoring or insurance," as mentioned by Kaz Hirani in a recently posted video. It's a nice gesture, though Reuter's "Prism Money" has an interesting counter-point that bears reading.
At the end of the day, beyond the inconvenience of the PSN outage and Sony's subsequent attempt to win back consumer trust, it's all about security, and no amount of goodies can shake that feeling. I thought they dealt with the immediate aftermath in a rather unsettling way. Sony maintains, according to their timeline, that consumers were informed as soon as possible after the company discovered that credit card data may have been compromised. Even assuming that's true, it in no way justifies the days-long media blackout, during which time identity thieves could have exploited the data in a way that would have been not only detrimental to consumers, but a PR blunder for Sony. As I mentioned in an article shortly after the story began to seep out, Sony got lucky - this time. What I'd like in the long run is not only high-level encryption and ample firewalls, but for the company to cast aside their narrow interests - "possible identity theft" never looks good in print - and simply treat us like adults. We're all aware of the inherent risk of doing business online - for every clever security expert there is an even more clever hacker - but it goes without saying that whenever there is a breach such as this, a timely warning is in order, whether or not the company is sure that credit card data has in fact been comprimised. If it comes down to a company jumping the gun or giving the impression that they are being lax in their duty to the consumer, I'll take the former any day.