Phased Restoration Of PSN Begins

A new PlayStation 3 firmware update has been released by Sony. This marks the first step to the phased restoration of PlayStation Network and Qriocity services that are going to start resuming later today.

PSN users will be asked to change their password once the PlayStation Network is restored. Hence, updating to firmware version 3.61 is mandatory for users once the PSN is back online.

The announcement was made on the PS Blog which tells you what you need to do once you’re logged into PSN:

If using a PS3, your password can only be changed on your own PS3 (or a PS3 on which your PSN account was activated), as an added layer of security. If you have never downloaded any content using your account on the system, an email will be sent to the registered sign-in ID (email address) associated with your account when you first attempt to sign-in to PSN. This e-mail will contain a link that will enable you to change your password. In this email, click on the link and follow the instructions to change your password. Once you have changed your password you can sign-in to your account using your new password.

According to Sony, the restoration will be on a country by country basis beginning in America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.

The first phase of restored services for North America and Europe will include:

  1. Sign-in for PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, including the resetting of passwords.
  2. Restoration of online gameplay across PlayStation 3 and PSP.
  3. Playback rental video content, if within rental period, of PlayStation Store Video Store on PS3, PSP and Media Go.
  4. Q Music Unlimited, for current subscribers, on PS3 and PC.
  5. Access to third party services such as VidZone and MUBI.
  6. ‘Friends’ category on PS3, including Friends List, Chat Functionality, Trophy Comparison, etc.
  7. PlayStation Home.
  8. Increased Security Measures

This past couple of weeks, Sony has been working close with security firms to strengthen their security. The PSN was bombed with a hack attack almost three weeks ago which resulted in Sony shutting down their PlayStation Network.

Sony has stated now that considerable enhancements have been made to their data security. That includes updating and adding advanced security technologies, additional software monitoring, penetration and vulnerability testing, and increased levels of encryption along with additional firewalls.

Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s executive deputy president said in the press release:

I’d like to send my sincere regret for the inconvenience this incident has caused you, and want to thank you all for the kind patience you’ve shown as we worked through the restoration process.

I can’t thank you enough for your patience and support during this time. We know even the most loyal customers have been frustrated by this process and are anxious to use their Sony products and services again. We are taking aggressive action at all levels to address the concerns that were raised by this incident, and are making consumer data protection a full time, company-wide commitment.