After being down nearly a month—26 days—Sony announced that their PlayStation Network gaming service, as well as their Qriocity music service and Sony Online Entertainment services are back online.
“I’d like to send my sincere apologies for the inconvenience the service outage has caused you, and wanted to thank you for all the patience you’ve shown as we work through this restoration process,” said Sony executive Kaz Hirai in a video statement.
It’s been a tough month for Sony. Services first went down back on April 20th, and in the days that followed, Sony admitted that they had been hacked and that 77 million accounts and their data, including personal information and credit card numbers, had been exposed. On May 2nd, Sony Online Entertainment, the development and publishing division best known for creating massively multiplayer online games, was also compromised, exposing 24.6 million more accounts. Sony still faces high profile class-action lawsuits internationally, in addition to multiple government inquiries.
Hirai noted that Sony has overhauled their network implemented advanced security technology, increased levels of encryption, additional firewalls, and an early warning detection system to prevent a situation like this in the future, but no specifics are known. All PlayStation 3 customers will be required to apply a mandatory security patch to their PlayStation 3 and to reset their password to get access to online play, music, and third-party services. Full restoration of services, such as the PlayStation Store and purchasing through Qriocity, is scheduled to be restored by the end of May.
One exception is Sony’s home country of Japan, where services remain offline. The Japanese government is preventing Sony from relaunching services in the country until it provides further information on what measures it has taken since the incident and what it’s doing to protect consumers.
Sony released details about their “Welcome Back” program to reward consumers in North America. Consumers will be able to select from a list of games for free download, as well as receive 30 days of free premium services, along with offering free identity protection services . “We know you’ve invested in Sony… and we would do everything we can to regain your trust and confidence,” said Hirai.
You can view Kaz Hirai’s complete video here.