PSN working after hiccups, says Sony

After a large number of users resetting their passwords caused the PlayStation Network to be taken offline, the company says the service is now back up to speed. Sony also provides details on coming game releases and free downloads.

Sony said today most PlayStation Network services are working now. For real, this time.

On Saturday, Sony announced that after almost four weeks its entire portfolio of online games, game forums, and Web sites would go back online . After service resumed in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East, however, heavy traffic on the network caused it to be inaccessible again . Sony said it had to "turn the service off for 30 minutes in order to clear the queue" of too many password resets submitted at once.

But today most things are back to normal, said Sony Social Media Manager Jeff Rubenstein in a blog post. That includes signing in to PSN and Qriocity, the ability to reset passwords, playing online with the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable, and watching unexpired video rentals. Third-party services like Vudu, Hulu Plus, MLB.TV, and Netflix are accessible now, as well as Friends Lists, chat, trophies, in-game leaderboards, and PlayStation Home.

For those still waiting to receive their new passwords following the reset, Rubenstein asked customers to be patient.

"Please note that the very large number of requests has caused certain ISPs to slow the rate at which recipients get e-mails from us. Please be patient as the systems work through the backlog," he wrote.

The service had been offline for nearly four weeks after several of Sony's servers were attacked between April 17 and April 19, leading to the exposure of the personal data of more than 100 million customers who signed up for PlayStation Network, Qriocity, and Sony Online. The company has said repeatedly that there is no evidence that credit card information was stolen.

Sony said today that games that were scheduled to be released on PSN during the four-week period that the network was inaccessible will eventually be added. Instead of once per week as usual, Sony says it will post new games "multiple times per week" to catch up on the backlog of unreleased games once the PlayStation Store is back online. Sony has said previously it expects that to return by May 31.

The company had announced on May 5 a free identity theft monitoring program for customers, and said today that specific details of how to enroll are still forthcoming.

Also today Sony said PSN customers will get to choose a free video game to download. PS3 owners can choose from a list that includes Dead Nation, inFAMOUS, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD, and Wipeout HD + Fury, all titles that would normally cost between $10 and $20. PSP owners can choose one free game from among LittleBigPlanet (PSP), ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force, and Killzone Liberation. The offer lasts for 30 days once the PlayStation Store returns, but once downloaded the game can be kept forever.

Once the PlayStation Store comes online over an unspecified weekend there will be "a selection" of free movies to rent. Current PlayStation Plus subscribers will get 60 days free tacked on to the subscription they've already paid for, nonsubscribers get 30 days free of PS Plus. Music Unlimited by Qriocity Premium Trial subscribers will get 30 days free of premium service, Premium and Basic level subscribers will get 30 days free plus the same amount of time lost while the service was inaccessible. PlayStation Home will offer users 100 free virtual items as compensation.

The company said it is also working with the gamemakers behind popular titles SOCOM 4 and Call of Duty to offer in-game bonuses as compensation.

Rubenstein did not mention when Sony's home country of Japan and other Asian countries will resume PSN service.

Updated at 2:33 p.m. PT with details on compensation for customers.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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