Sony details this week’s limited PSN and Qriocity return, ‘Welcome Back’ program


Sony boss Kaz Hirai stepped in front of a room full of journalists last night (by our clock in North America) to address the ongoing PlayStation Network and Qriocity service outage that has left 77 million people without access after their personal data was compromised by a hacker or hackers. Hirai laid out some of the company’s plans for relaunching the online services in his address, and those plans have now been further detailed in a PlayStation Blog update.

The online return is classified as a “phased restoration by region,” with gaming, music and video services to be turned on first. The first features you can expect to see return include “but [are] not limited to”: the return of online gameplay for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable games (including those that require online verification), access to Qriocity on the PS3/PSP for existing subscribers, account management and password reset features, access to unexpired movie rentals, PlayStation Home, friends lists and chat functionality. While gamers will certainly be happy to get back to playing online, the return of account management and password reset features are what everyone ought to be most excited about.

Network security has been updated as well, as Hirai mentioned in his address. The system’s data center will soon be moved to a new, more secure location, one that has apparently been under construction “for several months.” The PS3 will be getting a forced system update which will require all users to change their passwords. As an added layer of security, password changes will only be possible using the console the account was originally created on. If you’ve at any point gotten a new PS3, you’ll have to opt for validated e-mail confirmation instead.

Sony also detailed its “Welcome Back” Appreciation Program, a goodwill gift to customers that serves “as an expression of the company’s appreciation for [customers’] patience, support and continued loyalty.” The program is set to launch worldwide, but the fine points will vary by region. “Selected PlayStation entertainment content” will be free for download and all PSN subscribers will receive 30 days of free membership to the PlayStation Plus premium service. Existing PS Plus and Qriocity subscribers will receive 30 days of free service.

Sony plans to offer more with this “Welcome Back” program as well, to be “rolled out over the coming weeks” as additional services come back online. The company has also promised to “assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs” should credit card fraud become an issue. Details of this offering will be coming “shortly in each region” and will be implemented “at a local level.”

Movies & TV

One popular character won't be returning for 'John Wick 3: Parabellum'

The third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, John Wick 3: Parabellum, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Home Theater

PlayStation Vue adds more local channels, bringing the total to over 600

PlayStation Vue is Sony's answer to live TV without the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription. To help you understand the service, its plans, and numerous features, we've created this handy guide.
Movies & TV

Disney+ streaming service gets a new name, logo, and more confirmed content

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney+ compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as picking from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will update your OG Windows skills

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience.

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.

iPhone users are finding themselves randomly locked out of their Apple ID

According to posts on Reddit and Twitter, it looks like users on Reddit and Twitter having some issues with their Apple accounts. Specifically, it seems as though users are getting randomly locked out of their Apple IDs.