Now that the PlayStation Store has been restored Sony have released the Welcome Back pack for all PSN account holders who held an account before it went down during April. The Welcome Back pack includes free PS3 games, PSP games, PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Home, Qriocity Music Unlimited, and 3 free Movies. Sony will also be offering a years free identity theft protection insurance policy soon. We decided, as so many of you are finding the Welcome Back pack confusing, to create this post to help you all.
First, lets look in detail at whats available to you:
- If you have a PS3 you can choose two PS3 games from a list of five to have for free, forever. The games will be downloaded to your PS3.
- If you have a PSP you can choose two PSP games from a list of four to have for free, forever. Again, the games will be downloaded to your PSP. This means if you have a PS3 and a PSP you get four free games in total.
- Everyone will receive 30 days of PlayStation Plus for free. If you’re an existing PS+ member then you will receive 60 days of Plus for free.
- Everyone will receive 3 movie rentals from the PlayStation Store for free.
- Qriocity Music Unlimited customers will receive 30 days for free.
- Everyone will receive free PlayStation Home items. Details of which will be made available soon.
- Everyone will receive a free insurance policy (T&C’s apply, more details available soon).
Sony have detailed the “Welcome Back” programme that they will be offering to all gamers in the Sony Computer Entertainment Europe region following the recent PlayStation Network down time due to attacks by hackers.
The “Welcome Back” programme offerings will not become available until the PlayStation Store is returned which is part of phase two of the restoration of the PlayStation Network. Sony have not given an estimated date of when the Store returns but it is expected to be within a week. Also, the programme is only available for those who held PlayStation Network accounts before the 20th April 2011.
Each user will be able to choose 2 of the following PS3 games to have for free, forever. The games will be downloaded from the PlayStation Store to the users hard drive.
- Wipeout HD/Fury
- Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty
- Dead Nation*
*For German gamers, InFamous and Dead Nation is not available and therefore Super Stardust HD and Hustle Kings will be offered instead.
Anyone who owns a PSP will be able to download two of the following games for free (so if you have a PS3 and a PSP you’ll be getting 4 free games!).
- LittleBigPlanet PSP
- ModNation PSP
- Pursuit Force*
- Killzone Liberation*
*For German gamers, Killzone Liberation and Pursuit Force is not available and therefore Everybody’s Golf 2 and Buzz Junior Jungle Party will be offered instead.
All non-PlayStation Plus members will receive one month of PlayStation Plus for free. All existing PlayStation Plus members will receive two months of PlayStation Plus, added to their subscription, for free.
All existing Music Unlimited subscribers will receive one month for free.
All PlayStation Network users will also receive free PlayStation Home content. Details of which are not available just yet.
Sony have started returning the PlayStation Network across the world. Almost all of the services features including online gaming, access to the friends lists, trophies and messaging are now available in many regions of the world including the US, UK and Europe.
Sony will be returning the remaining features of the service, such as the PlayStation Store, within the coming days as part of phase two of the restoration of the service.
The ‘Welcome Back’ pack which will include free downloadable content and a subscription to PlayStation Plus for one month amongst other freebies will become available once the PlayStation Store is back up and running.
For more information be sure to check the Official PlayStation Blog frequently.
Howard Stringer, the chairman, president and CEO of Sony Corporation, has today released a letter to PlayStation Network users which be read below or over at the PlayStation Blog.
Also today, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), announced that they are working towards offering European gamers a free Identity Protection Scheme similar to what has been announced for the United States.
Finally, Sony have announced that they have begun the final stages of internal testing on the new PlayStation Network infrastructure, which is “an important step towards restoring PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.”
It has been confirmed that Guerrilla Games, who develops the Killzone franchise, will not be developing the new Killzone recently announced for Sony’s upcoming next-gen handheld, the NGP / PSP2. Instead, Sony’s Cambridge studio (MediEvil, LittleBigPlanet portable, TV Superstars) will be developing the game.
Senior producer Steven Ter Heide told Gamerzines that “we’ll still oversee it because the universe is something we’ve built up, we know the war and the rules that have been established, but they’re driving the development.”
No release date for Killzone on the NGP has been given yet.