Skip to main content

Sony announces PSN Welcome Back program, includes free games

PlayStation Network logoAs the cogs of the massive PlayStation Network begin to slowly grind back into action, you might catch a whiff of an odd odour in the air. No, it’s not the smell of burning cobwebs being mangled in the machinery as it cranks into operation after a lengthy lay-off; it’s the smell of fear from executives at Sony as they look nervously toward the future.

No doubt there are two things on their minds just now. First, they’ll be sweating over the new security system, wondering if it’s strong enough to keep hackers out. And second, their knees may well be knocking as they wait to see how many PlayStation gamers have deserted them for pastures new.

Related Videos

On Monday, following a month-long outage of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services after a massive data breach in April, Sony began the process of restoring services.

Later in the day came a long-awaited post on Sony’s PlayStation blog giving information about the Welcome Back appreciation program for gamers who are seemingly so loyal that it would take a  lot more than the inconvenience of having their personal details stolen by hackers to shake their confidence in the gaming giant.

The appreciation program will be available “shortly after we have fully restored the service” and relates to PlayStation Network and Qriocity customers in North America. As part of the program, Sony is offering free games and movie rentals.

Two games can be chosen by PlayStation Network customers from a list of five (Dead Nation, inFAMOUS, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD, Wipeout HD + Fury) and will, according to the post, “be available for 30 days shortly after PlayStation Store is restored and can be kept forever.”

PSP owners can also choose two games, from: LittleBigPlanet (PSP), ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force and Killzone Liberation.

The post also lists other inducements designed to smooth things over with disgruntled users:

  • A selection of “On Us” rental movie titles will be available to PlayStation Network customers over one weekend, where Video Service is available.
  • 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non PlayStation Plus subscribers.
  • Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive an additional 60 days of free subscription.
  • Existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of free premium subscription.
  • Additional 30 days + time lost for existing members of Music Unlimited Premium/Basic subscription free of charge for existing Premium/Basic members.
  • To welcome users Home, PlayStation Home will be offering 100 free virtual items. Additional free content will be released soon, including the next addition to the Home Mansion personal space, and Ooblag’s Alien Casino, an exclusive game.

In the post, Sony gave thanks to a long list of publishers and development partners in helping it to put together the Welcome Back program. “We couldn’t have created such a compelling package without them!” the company said.

Welcome Back programs have also been put together for users in Europe and Latin America. Gamers in Japan, home to Sony, are still waiting for services to be restored while the Japanese electronics company tries to convince the government that its networks are now secure.

So, how about the Welcome Back program? Does it fall short of what you expected, or does it put a smile on your face as wide as the PlayStation console itself?

Editors' Recommendations

This Lenovo gaming laptop with an RTX 3070 Ti is $730 off right now
Playing a game on the Lenovo Legion Slim 7i gaming laptop.

There's no getting around it: An expensive gaming laptop is going to cost a lot. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't find ways to save some money. Lenovo, for instance, has tons of great gaming laptop deals that cut triple-digits off their best devices. Right now you can get the Lenovo Legion 7i for $2,000 thanks to a $730 discount. While it's still expensive, a price cut that big is basically like getting the graphics card for free. Read on and we'll tell you other ways this laptop is worth that kind of cash.

Why you should buy the Lenovo Legion 7i gaming laptop
With the best gaming laptops, you won't have to check the minimum requirements of games that you buy or pre-order because you're sure that your machine can handle it. That's one of the perks of the seventh-generation Lenovo Legion 7i, as it's equipped with 16GB of RAM -- which our guide on how much RAM do you need says is enough for most gamers -- alongside the 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card. With these specifications, not only will you be able to play the best PC games at their highest settings, but you'll also be ready for the titles that are releasing soon.

Read more
Minecraft Legends: Release date, trailers, gameplay, and more
Minecraft Legends artwork featuring dozens of characters on a blue and red background.

Minecraft Legends is yet another Minecraft spinoff in development by Mojang. The action strategy game was first revealed during the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase 2022 and is now almost upon us.

From gameplay and release date to trailer information and more, here’s everything we know about the upcoming Minecraft Legends.
Release date

Read more
Best Buy is having a clearance sale on gaming laptops — from $580
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 2023 front view showing display and keyboard deck.

For gamers who are planning to buy a new gaming laptop, we've got good news for you -- Best Buy just launched a host of gaming laptop deals involving products by some of the top computing brands such as HP, MSI, and Asus. We're not expecting these offers to last long, so to help you make a quick decision, we've rounded up some of the best bargains that are still available in the retailer's ongoing clearance sale.
HP Victus Gaming Laptop -- $580, was $800

The HP Victus gaming laptop appears in our list of the best gaming laptops as a great budget option, because you'll be able to play the best PC games with its 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, and 8GB of RAM -- though you may have to choose the lowest settings for some of the more demanding titles. The gaming laptop features a 15.6-inch screen with Full HD resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate, and a 512GB SSD with Windows 11 Home pre-installed.

Read more