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PlayStation Network is back online: Here's how to rejoin the PS3 party

Heeeerrre's Sony! The Sony PlayStation Network is back online -- but it's still beset with problems. Here's what you need to do to rejoin Sony's online gaming services.

Heeeerrre's Sony! The Sony PlayStation Network is back online -- but it's still beset with problems as returning users overwhelm the service. Here's the latest on what's happening and what you need to do to rejoin Sony's online gaming services.

Sony fed some 50ps into the meter and fired up the PlayStation Network in the US, UK, Ireland and the Middle East on Sunday, but had to turn everything off again when the service was overwhelmed by users changing their passwords. Still, what's another half hour when you've been waiting nearly a month?

Europe, Australia and New Zealand and South America followed, with Japan and Asia further down the list. The service buckled under the weight of users required by Sony to update their firmware and change their passwords.

A change will do you good

To get online you need a mandatory new PS3 system update, version 3.61, and you have to change your password. Sony has issued instructions on changing passwords for PS3 owners and PSP owners (who must change their password on a PC or PS3). Here are some detailed instructions. Don't click the 'Forgot your password' button too many times, as you'll be locked out after the third click. Our chums over at GameSpot were able to get online straight away, so there's hope you won't have to wait long.

Sony also claims that ISPs are taking their time clearing the backlog of password reset emails. Basically, if you can't get online we suggest you make like an eskimo and chill, and update your details when the rush has settled down.

PlayStation Notwork

Sony's online services have been closed for business since 20 April, when personal and financial details of more than 100 million people were half-inched by cunning hackers. Sony hopes to fully restore Sony Online Entertainment, PlayStation Network and Qriocity by the end of May.

In the meantime, the European PlayStation Twitter feed is twitter.com/PlayStationEU, but don't expect real-time updates. While you're waiting, there are plenty of other options in our guide to other things you can do, or have your say on the whole sorry mess in our survey.

Are you  back online? And what's next once you do get back in? Let us know in the comments or our Facebook wall.