After getting the PlayStation Store back online, Sony has now officially deployed its Welcome Back offer for PlayStation Network users that were affected by the outage experienced by the service for many weeks after a hacker attack.Sony worked diligently to restore PSN to a functional and more secure state, and only a few days ago did it manage to get back one of the most important parts of the network, the PlayStation Store.
Now, with the digital marketplace being fully operational, Sony has kicked off its special Welcome Back program, which sees PSN users affected by outage receive free games for their PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles, as well as a free 30-day membership into the PlayStation Plus program and much more.
The Welcome Back program is available to all PSN users who had their accounts registered before the outage (April 20,2011). They must now go to the PlayStation Store and select the special Welcome Back section of the service.
In North America, it consists of the following PlayStation 3 games: Dead Nation, Infamous, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD, and WipeOut HD + Fury. PSP owners can get LittleBigPlanet for the PSP, ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force or Killzone Liberation.
In Europe, the PlayStation 3 offer sees Super Stardust HD be replaced with Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty, while the rest of the games and the PSP offer remains the same. Things are a bit more tricky for German users, who see Infamous and Dead Nation from the PS3 offer be switched out with Super Stardust HD and Hustle Kings, while on the PSP side, Pursuit Force and Killzone Liberation are replaced with Everybody’s Golf 2 and Buzz Junior Jungle Party.
“Follow the steps below to access the content in the Welcome Back Program:
1. Log on to PlayStation Store
2. Click on the “Welcome Back” tab in the upper left menu
3. Select “Welcome Back Free PS3™ Game 1”
4. Within the category, click on the “Welcome Back Free PS3™ Game 1” product and “Get Now”
5. Select your free PS3 game*, and “Download”
6. Repeat steps 3-5 with “Welcome Back Free PS3™ Game 2”
7. Go to the XMB (the PlayStation menu) to play your free games.”
Sony also warns that some users might experience problems, largely due to the surge in traffic, so another route is also explained on the PlayStation Blog.
"This is an issue we’re working on resolving, however for the time being, you can still get to that content by going to the XMB and under the PlayStation Network column, go to Account Management>Transaction Management>Services List>SCEA Promotion. You should be able to access the content in the option you selected here."
If you’re still experiencing errors, don’t worry, as Sony will keep the Welcome Back program online until July 3.
Sony is also offering non PlayStation Plus subscribers a free membership into the program for 30 days, while existing members will see 60 free days be added to their subscription, in North America, and a total of 70 free days in Europe.
In order to take advantage of the offer, non-PS Plus members need to select the “PlayStation Plus: 30 Days Free” option in the Welcome Back section of the PlayStation Store. The offer won’t auto-renew unless you decide to buy a regular PS Plus subscription.
PlayStation Home users are also getting 100 virtual items in the online social service.
Users of the movie rental service are going to see a selection of “On Us” titles appear, which can be viewed completely free.
Last but not least, current Music Unlimited Premium subscription members are set to receive an additional 30 days of subscription.
What do you think of Sony’s Welcome Back program? Is it enough to make up for the PlayStation Network outage or should the Japanese company try to implement even more great offers? Share your thoughts below.