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MAY 2011 NEWS

May 31, 2011

    PS3 Review
    Playstation Move Heroes is a game focused on a younger audience, but also makes use of the Playstation Move controller. Michael has played through the game and gives us his full thoughts on this Nihilistic developed title. Is it any good? Read on to find out...

    PSN Outage News
    Well it's not quite here yet, but Sony have announced details of the Playstation Store resumption. In short, the Playstation Store and services should be returned to full functionality by the end of the week - and with E3 kicking off next week this is something Sony must get going.

      SONY AND SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCE FULL RESTORATION OF PLAYSTATION®NETWORK SERVICES
      Tokyo, May 31, 2011 – Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announced today that Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI, the company) will fully restore all PlayStation®Network services in the Americas, Europe/PAL territories and Asia, excluding Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea by the end of this week.

      The company will also resume Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™ for PlayStation®3 (PS3®), PSP® (PlayStation®Portable), VAIO and other PCs. Details for Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea as well as the remaining services on Qriocity will be announced as they become available.

      The company implemented considerable security enhancements to the network infrastructure, as well as conducted testing of the payment process and commerce functions. The first phase of PlayStation Network and Qriocity restoration began on May 15 in the Americas and Europe/PAL territories, followed by Japan and Asian countries and regions on May 28, when the company brought partial services back online. With this partial restoration users were able to access to some of the services such as online game play, account management, friend lists and chat functionality were restored. The full restoration of PlayStation Network as well as part of services to become available on Qriocity will include:
      • Full functionality on PlayStation®Store
      • In-game commerce
      • Ability to redeem vouchers and codes
      • Full functionality on Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for PS3, PSP, VAIO and other PCs
      • Full functionality on Media Go

      Customers will be able to purchase and download games and video content from the PlayStation®Store on PS3 or PSP. In addition, consumers will have full access to Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity through PS3, PSP, VAIO and other PC’s. Service restoration of Video on Demand powered by Qriocity™ and Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for a variety of network-enabled Sony devices will be announced later.

      "We have been conducting additional testing and further security verification of our commerce functions in order to bring the PlayStation Network completely back online so that our fans can again enjoy the first class entertainment experience they have come to love," said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. "We appreciate the patience and support shown during this time."

      The company will be offering customers a “Welcome Back” package of services and premium content to all registered PlayStation Network* and Qriocity account services. The details of this program will continue to be detailed regionally.

      * Only available for those countries with access to PlayStation®Store.

May 29, 2011

    Blu-Ray Review
    Human Planet is something you don't want to miss. Humans cover our entire planet, and this BBC documentary, which comes on three Blu-Ray discs, is an engrossing, gorgeous look at our entire planet and how humans have adapted to survive the best, and worst, of mother nature. A review.

May 28, 2011

    PS3 News
    Electronic Arts have announced a free map pack for their brilliant game Dead Space 2 is set for release on the Playstation Store on June 4th (assuming the store is back). The Dead Space 2: Outbreak Map Pack introduces two all-new multiplayer maps, The Academy and The Concourse. The premise for both maps is simple, help the human team escape or use the Necromoprhs to stop them. The Academy map takes place in the elementary school on the Sprawl, where the human team has to work together to activate the decontamination system. In the Concourse map, the human team will need to evade the Necromorph incursion in the mall and send a distress signal to the rescue ship outside.

May 26, 2011

    PS3 News
    Red Faction: Armageddon is one of our most anticipated titles in the short term and the developers have unveiled a "new cheat called 'Sketch Mode', that allows you to play the game as if someone sketched the level and explosions out in front of you." Check it out..

May 24, 2011

    PS3 Review
    AFL Live may not have a year after the title, but this latest release includes all the 2011 teams, players and stats. Resident AFL fan Michael has taken the game through its paces and gives us his full opinion. Check out his review now...

    PS3 News
    We'll have our review soon, but if you're looking to get yourself a copy of L.A. Noire - and we highly recommend it - we strongly suggest you get to the shops rather quickly. Plenty of stores including EB Games and BIG W are either sold out, or very close to being so.

    According to online reports the bad news continues for Sony with 8500 account details stolen from their Greek website. This relates to Sony's corporate website, and not the Playstation Network which is a good thing.

    On a related topic rumours are rife that with the latest Firmware release for PSP today, and expected PSN outages later today/tomorrow, the Playstation Store may be back online in the next day or two. Fingers crossed.

    First Person Shooter fans listen up! Activision have today released the first trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and, to put it bluntly, it looks stunning. Here it is...

May 23, 2011

    Blu-Ray Review
    Little Fockers was released in cinemas late last year and didn't quite have the impact of the first two movies. Still with the Fockers returning for a third outing and with the principal cast back there was potential. We enjoyed the movie, but does it live up to expectations?

May 21, 2011

    PS3 News
    No doubt that id Software will have a hit in their upcoming game RAGE, and publishers Bethesda have just released a rather amusing trailer which show NBA star Blake Griffin trying to get into the game. Check it out...

    PS3 Preview
    Duke Nuke Forever is real - we guarantee it. Yes Duke Nukem is returning and with this game having been in development for 14 years now the wait seems like, well, forever. Hail to the King, baby!

May 19, 2011

    Blu-Ray Review
    Expendables Inferno Edition is a Blu-Ray release we were extremely keen to get our hands on. While we reviewed the original Expendables Blu-Ray this "double dip" includes a phenomenal documentary well worth your time. Here's our review...

May 17, 2011

    PS3 Review
    WWE All Stars is the latest game from THQ and is an all-new wrestling title which was developed, not by Yukes who do the Smackdown Vs Raw titles, but by THQ in San Diego. It offers something different from the usual WWE titles so fans may want to take a look. While Michael isn't a wrestling fan we forced him to review this game at gunpoint (almost). Anyway here's his review.

    PSN Outage/Restoration News
    Well we got the Playstation Network back online yesterday and today Sony have detailed the Welcome back package which includes a choice of some pretty nice games indeed - you will be able to download two games when the Playstation Store comes online in a few days (we hope). The games include LittleBigPlanet, inFamous, Dead Nation, Wipeout HD/Fury and Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty. There are minor differences for American (Super Stardust HD instead of Quest for Booty). Anyway here's the full press release...

      Details Of The Welcome Back Programme For SCEE Users
      Posted on 16 May by Nick Caplin – Head of Communications, SCEE

      Now that certain PSN services have been restored and you’re once again enjoying online gaming, it seems a good time to confirm what is being offered as part of the Welcome Back programme.

      Once we restore PlayStation Store, which will be just a little while longer, you will have the opportunity to claim your Welcome Back gifts. Please note that the Welcome Back programme is only available for those countries with access to PlayStation Store*.

      All existing PlayStation Network members will be able to access the following from PlayStation Store*:

      Two PS3 games from the following list:
      LittleBigPlanet
      Infamous*
      Wipeout HD/Fury
      Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty
      Dead Nation*

      For those with PSP accounts, you will also be eligible to download two PSP games from the following list: LittleBigPlanet PSP
      ModNation PSP
      Pursuit Force
      Killzone Liberation*

      - 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non PS Plus subscribers*

      - Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will be given 60 days free subscription.

      - For existing Music Unlimited subscribers, you will be given 30 days free subscription.

      - We are working on a Welcome Back offer in PlayStation Home and will share that when it is confirmed.

      I would like to thank all of the developers and publishers involved in this programme for their support in making this happen. We certainly couldn’t have done it without you.

      You will be able to access this content once PlayStation Store comes back online and we are doing everything we can to make that happen as soon as possible.

      Thank you for your support and keep checking back on the blog for more information.
      1.For eligibility for the welcome back programme consumers must be an account holder on 20 April 2011. Specific details about these offers and eligibility requirements will be posted as the services go live. All existing PSN registrants have 30 days from when the welcome back programme goes live to redeem their content. 2.For the German market, InFamous and Dead Nation will be replace with Super Stardust HD and Hustle Kings in the selection of PS3 games. 3.For the German market, Pursuit Force and Killzone Liberation will be replaced with Everybody’s Golf 2 and Buzz Junior Jungle Party in the selection of PSP games. Killzone Liberation will not offer online gameplay functionality. 4.Access to the 30 days free PS Plus subscription is only available for those countries where PS Plus is offered. You will have access to the PS Plus content planned for May for 30 days. Access to the free games and exclusive features finishes at the end of the 30-day subscription period. Anything you buy with exclusive discounts, dynamic themes and premium avatars are yours to keep forever.

May 16, 2011

    PSN Outage/Restoration News
    Huzzah! At approximately 6am Australian EST our glorious nation saw the Playstation Network turned back on. Shame it was a work/school day for most, but having said that the network was a little patch due to the demand for the morning at least. When you sign back in you'll be prompted to change your password, and if your account was created on a different system you will be e-mailed. Time to get this massive backlog of reviews rolling so expect a busy few weeks on the site...

May 15, 2011

    PSN Outage/Restoration News
    Big news today with Sony releasing Firmware 3.61 for the Playstation 3, and you can download and install that right now. This prepares your system for the PSN being switched back on which is happening right now. Before you get too excited Sony have been, this afternoon and as at 4.15pm today turning on East Coast and West Coast American servers and those in Puerto Rico first, however other territories including Central America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand will roll out very soon (possibly within hours). When your PS3 does connect back to the network you will be prompted to enter a new password however should the PS3 not be the one the account was created on you will be sent an e-mail to change your password on a different website.

    Furthermore Kazuo Hirai has released a video outlining the changes to the network, and provides a few more details about the service restoration. You can see the video below:

May 14, 2011

    PS3 News
    Sega has confirmed they will be releasing Vintage Collection 3 on the PSN late this year or in earl2 012. The bundle includes Revenge of Shinobi, Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Wonder Boy in Monster World, Alex Kidd in Miracle World and Super Hang-On with Wonder Boy in Monster World IV receiving the first ever English port. Vintage Collection 2 is due out on PSN in June and includes Altered Beast, Comix Zone, Gunstar Heroes, Phantasy Star 2, Shinobi, Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles.

    a leaked internal document from GameStop has posted some dates for some major upcoming titles, although the validity can't be assured. Of interest to is Dead Rising 2: Off The Record for October 31, Aliens Colonial Marines for November 12, Tomb Raider for December 13, and Metal Gear Solid: Rising for November 12, 2012. Time will tell if these dates turn out to be true - especially as the Aliens title has been non-existent for some time now.

    Industry News
    Of course we all know that Sony's Playstation Network has been hacked, Sony Online Entertainment has been hacked as well, and now we can add Square-Enix to the list with the company confirming that while no credit card details have been stolen, 25,000 e-mail addresses have been stolen as well as "up to" 350 job resumes. The e-mail addresses had no account information attached to them, but "They were site registration email addresses provided to us for users to receive product information updates".

    PSN Outage News
    While gamers are still waiting for the Playstation Network to come back online the good news, if rumours are to be believed, is that the Playstation Network is back online for some developers in various territories around the globe. Developers will no doubt be testing the new, more secure, network with Sony, and the hundreds of titles available and we can only hope, all going well, the PSN will indeed be back online within days.

May 13, 2011

    PS3 News
    After a torrid month for Sony and indeed PS3/PSP gamers the company has outed some great news for gamers by confirming Starhawk is currently in development. The game, which is a sequel to the very popular Warhawk is being developed by LightBox Interactive with the assistance of SCEA Santa Monica. This sequel will not only have a major focus on multiplayer, but also include a single player campaign.

May 12, 2011

    PS3 News
    Ubisoft has confirmed in their financial report that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will not be released until 2012, and specifically January to March next year.

    Rumoured for some time it has now been confirmed that Hitman: Absolution will be released in 2012. Furthermore a movie will be released next year as well, no word if Tim Olyphant will reprise his role as Agent 47 but we hope so.

    Blu-Ray Review
    Takers probably isn't a movie that would be at the top of your shopping list but this heist movie starring Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Chris Brown, and Hayden Christensen is a fairly decent couple of hours. We provide you with the Blu-Ray review...

May 10, 2011

    Industry News
    Well this is fantastic news for Australian gamers, especially for myself living on the glorious Gold Coast. Electronics Boutique Australia has announced they will be holding the EB Games Expo on October 15 and 16, with tickets to go on sale on June 2nd. This event will allow companies to demo upcoming games, also have the World Cyber Games Australian Final, Cosplay Judging and Motorcross events among so much more. Tickets are $29.95 per session, or $31.95 at the gate on the day. Strictly Limited VIP Experiences will be available, providing access to a red carpet entry, priority seating and express access to selected games! Additional VIP Pass features will be announced in the near future. There's not much on the site yet but keep an eye on www.ebexpo.com.au for updates in the coming weeks.

May 9, 2011

    PS3 News
    Ubisoft has confirmed that it has scrapped plans for Rayman Origins being a downloadable release - but the good news is that the 2D platformer, which allows for 4-player co-op will now see a full retail release (is this an indication of companies shying away from PSN in the short term? We suspect so...)

    PS3 Preview
    Red Faction Armageddon is due out in a month from tomorrow and while we loved the previous game, Guerrilla, this latest release looks set to redefine the FPS and the levels of destruction in video games. We've taken a look at what to expect.

    PSN Outage News
    According to this article on Bloomberg Sony are still on target to have all PSN services back online by May 31. Now before you jump up and down Sony have stated that they will be bringing components back online in stages with online gameplay, messaging due to return any day now (which brings us to the next part from earlier today)...

    Indeed today has seen the release of yet another update and apology from Sony. Nothing too big here other then the news that we'll be waiting a few more days for the Playstation Network to come back online.

      Service Restoration Update
      Posted on 7 May by Nick Caplin – Head of Communications, SCEE

      As you may know, we’ve begun the process of restoring the service through internal testing of the new system. We’re still working to confirm the security of the network infrastructure, as well as working with a variety of outside entities to confirm with them of the security of the system. Verifying the system security is vital for the process of restoration. Additional comprehensive system checks and testing are still required, and we must complete that process before bringing the systems online.

      As you’ve heard us say, our utmost priorities are the security of the network and ensuring your data is safe. We won’t restore the services until we can test the system’s strength in these respects.

      When we held the press conference in Japan last week, based on what we knew, we expected to have the services online within a week. We were unaware of the extent of the attack on Sony Online Entertainment servers, and we are taking this opportunity to conduct further testing of the incredibly complex system. We know many of you are wanting to play games online, chat with your friends and enjoy all of the services PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have to offer, and trust me when I say we’re doing everything we can to make it happen. We will update you with more information as soon as we have it. We apologize for the delay and inconvenience of this network outage.

May 7, 2011

    Blu-Ray Review
    RED, which stands for Retired Extremely Dangerous, was one of the surprise cinematic released in 2010 with a stellar box office. Given the cast includes Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Karl Urban, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren this is one of the strongest ensemble casts we've seen to date. The Blu-Ray is out now and we certainly recommend it.

    PSN Outage News
    Yes folks, another day, another release from Sony updating some information... There's more text in these releases then a Final Fantasy RPG... Well, not quite, but... The good news this time is confirmation from SCEE that gamers will receive two free games (from a list of five) on PS3 which is a nice gesture.

      SCEE's Identity Theft Protection Offering
      Posted on 6 May by Nick Caplin – Head of Communications, SCEE

      Both Kazuo Hirai and Sir Howard Stringer have stated that we will be offering identity theft protection for those affected by the malicious attack on PlayStation Network and many of you may have seen the details of the service available in North America.

      As I have explained previously, creating a similar offering for the many countries within the SCEE region is a very complicated process. Each country has a different way of handling identity theft; some offer relatively sophisticated services whilst others are much more modest.

      We are currently in the process of identifying how we manage this situation and once the programme is ready to launch, we will provide details of exactly which services are available in each country and explain how to sign up. We hope to do this early next week.

      Also, look out for more information on the rest of our Welcome Back programme, including which free content you will be eligible for. We will be offering PSN users the opportunity to select two PS3 games from a list of five, as well as offering PSP users the opportunity to choose two games from a list of four. We will let you know exactly what games are available very soon.

      Please be assured that we are continuing to work around the clock to have some PlayStation Network and Qriocity services restored and will provide you with specific details shortly.

May 6, 2011

    PSN Outage News
    With the Playstation Network still down Sir Howard Stringer has released a letter detailing some more information and indicates the network will be back in a few days. Happy reading...

      Dear Friends,

      I know this has been a frustrating time for all of you.

      Let me assure you that the resources of this company have been focused on investigating the entire nature and impact of the cyber-attack we’ve all experienced and on fixing it. We are absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible and rewarding you for your patience. We will settle for nothing less.

      To date, there is no confirmed evidence any credit card or personal information has been misused, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. We are also moving ahead with plans to help protect our customers from identity theft around the world. A program for U.S. PlayStation Network and Qriocity customers that includes a $1 million identity theft insurance policy per user was launched earlier today and announcements for other regions will be coming soon.

      As we have announced, we will be offering a “Welcome Back” package to our customers once our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are up and running. This will include, among other benefits, a month of free PlayStation Plus membership for all PSN customers, as well as an extension of subscriptions for PlayStation Plus and Music Unlimited customers to make up for time lost.

      As a company we — and I — apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack. Under the leadership of Kazuo Hirai, we have teams working around the clock and around the world to restore your access to those services as quickly, and as safely, as possible.

      I know some believe we should have notified our customers earlier than we did. It’s a fair question. As soon as we discovered the potential scope of the intrusion, we shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and hired some of the best technical experts in the field to determine what happened. I wish we could have gotten the answers we needed sooner, but forensic analysis is a complex, time-consuming process. Hackers, after all, do their best to cover their tracks, and it took some time for our experts to find those tracks and begin to identify what personal information had — or had not — been taken.

      As a result of what we discovered we notified you of the breach. Our investigation is ongoing, and we are upgrading our security so that if attacks like this happen again, our defenses will be even stronger.

      In the last few months, Sony has faced a terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But now we are facing a very man-made event – a criminal attack on us — and on you — and we are working with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies around the world to apprehend those responsible.

      In the coming days, we will restore service to the networks and welcome you back to the fun. I wanted to personally reach out and let you know that we are committed to serving you to the very best of our ability, protecting your information better than ever, and getting you back to what you signed up for – all the games and great entertainment experiences that you expect from Sony.

      With best regards,
      Howard Stringer

May 4, 2011

    PS3 News
    Sony Computer Entertainment has confirmed that Motorstorm: Apocalypse will be released in New Zealand on May 5th following it's delay from the original March 17 release date after the horrific February 22nd Christchurch Earthquake. It's a pretty decent game too so make sure you check out our review which went online today.

    So Battle: Los Angeles was apparently a pretty average movie - we didn't personally check it out ourselves, but heard mixed reports from friends - but you may want to pick up the Blu-Ray. Why? Well Sony (in America at least) is going to include a demo of Resistance 3 on the disc. We've e-mailed Sony Pictures Australia to confirm if the demo will be on our version too. Fingers crossed...

    Blu-Ray News
    It is one of the most anticipated Blu-Ray releases this year, if not forever, and Fox are about to unleash all the details about the box set due in September. At 11pm Wednesday night (Australian EST) all will be revealed right here.

    PS3 Review
    Motorstorm Apocalypse is a game which is bittersweet following the disasters in New Zealand and Japan. Indeed following delays the game is only releasing in these territories, and America, this week and we've just finished our review for you to check out. In short; another great game in the franchise.

May 3, 2011

    Site Update News
    Some people have asked me why am I simply pasting full press releases for all the PSN, and now SOE, security breaches. The reason is simple; it's important that everyone has the full details of the events, and what Sony is doing so out paraphrasing would only muddle their text.

    PS3 News
    Electronic Arts has announced that Need for Speed The Run which is scheduled for release on November 17. The game will use DICE's Frostbite 2 Engine which has powered the Battlefield titles.

    Personal & PSN Outage News
    Well I'm back from a bit over a week off down in Melbourne and of course the big news has been the PSN downtime which we have managed to cover while away. Hopefully some services will start going back online in a matter of days and we can only emphasise enough that you keep an eye on your credit cards, and change passwords if your PSN password was used elsewhere. Sony have posted a bit more of a clarification on their Blog site today...

      PlayStation Network Security Update

      On Tuesday, April 26 we shared that some information that was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. Once again, we’d like to apologize to the many users who were inconvenienced and worried abut this situation.

      We want to state this again given the increase in speculation about credit card information being used fraudulently. One report indicated that a group tried to sell millions of credit card numbers back to Sony. To my knowledge there is no truth to this report of a list, or that Sony was offered an opportunity to purchase the list.

      One other point to clarify is from this weekend’s press conference. While the passwords that were stored were not “encrypted,” they were transformed using a cryptographic hash function. There is a difference between these two types of security measures which is why we said the passwords had not been encrypted. But I want to be very clear that the passwords were not stored in our database in cleartext form. For a description of the difference between encryption and hashing, follow this link.

      To reiterate a few other security measures for your information: Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well. To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports.

      We continue to work with law enforcement and forensic experts to identify the criminals behind the attack. Once again, we apologize for causing users concern over this matter.

      Our objective is to increase security so our customers can safely and confidently play games and use our network and media services. We will continue to provide updates as we have them.

    Sony Online Entertainment Hacking News
    Well it's not over with Sony Online Entertainment confirming they were also hacked recently with around 12,700 non-US credit or debit card numbers stolen (this compares to potentially, but not confirmed 10 million from Sony Playstation Network), while SOE confirmed this includes some 24.6 million accounts. Here's the press release in full...

      Sony Online Entertainment Issues Security Press Release

      Some of you may have heard today about an announcement from Sony Online Entertainment confirming that they were also victims of a malicious hack. As this could affect those of you with SOE accounts, they have asked us to post their press release on the blog, which should answer some of your questions.

      Sony Online Entertainment Announces Theft of Data from Its Systems

      Breach believed to stem from initial criminal hack of SOE.

      Tokyo, May 3, 2011 - Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment announced today that their ongoing investigation of illegal intrusions into Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE, the company) systems revealed yesterday morning (May 2, Tokyo time) that hackers may have stolen SOE customer information on April 16th and 17th, 2011 (PDT). SOE is based in San Diego, California, U.S.A.

      This information, which was discovered by engineers and security consultants reviewing SOE systems, showed that personal information from approximately 24.6 million SOE accounts may have been stolen, as well as certain information from an outdated database from 2007. The information from the outdated database that may have been stolen includes approximately 12,700 non-U.S. credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates (but not credit card security codes), and about 10,700 direct debit records of certain customers in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain.

      With the current outage of the PlayStation® Network and Qriocity™ services and the ongoing investigation into the recent attacks, SOE had also undertaken an intensive investigation into its system. Upon discovery of this additional information, the company promptly shut down all servers related to SOE services while continuing to review and upgrade all of its online security systems in the face of these unprecedented cyber-attacks.

      On May 1, Sony apologized to its customers for the inconvenience caused by its network services outages. The company is working with the FBI and continuing its own full investigation while working to restore all services.

      Sony is making this disclosure as quickly as possible after the discovery of the theft, and the company has posted information on its website and will send e-mails to all consumers whose data may have been stolen.

      The personal information of the approximately 24.6 million SOE accounts that was illegally obtained, to the extent it had been provided to SOE, is as follows:

        • name
        • address
        • e-mail address
        • birthdate
        • gender
        • phone number
        • login name
        • hashed password

      In addition to the information above, the 10,700 direct debit records from accounts in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain, include:

        • bank account number
        • customer name
        • account name
        • customer address

      SOE will grant customers 30 days of additional time on their subscriptions, in addition to compensating them one day for each day the system is down. It is also in the process of outlining a “make good” plan for its PlayStation®3 MMOs (DC Universe Online and Free Realms). More information will be released this week.

      Additionally, the company is committed to helping its customers protect their personal data and will provide a complimentary offering to assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs. The implementation will be at a local level and further details will be made available shortly in each region.

      Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) has been a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games since 1999. Best known for its blockbuster hits and franchises, including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, PlanetSide®, Free Realms®, Clone Wars Adventures™, and DC Universe Online™, SOE creates, develops and provides compelling online entertainment for virtually all platforms, including the PlayStation®3 Computer Entertainment System, Personal Computer, mobile and social networks. SOE is building on its proven legacy and pioneering the future of the interactive entertainment space through creative development and inspired gameplay design for audiences of all ages. To learn more, visit www.soe.com.

May 1, 2011

    PSN Outage News
    Well Sony has finally released some details about the expected return for Playstation Services, and also the compensation for PSN users. As well as a 30 day subscription to PlayStation Plus gamers can expect several other bonuses which will be region specific, and announced soon.

      SOME PLAYSTATION NETWORK AND QRIOCITY SERVICES TO BE AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

      Phased Global Rollout of Services to Begin Regionally; System Security Enhanced to Provide Greater Protection of Personal Information.

      Tokyo, May 1, 2011 – Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) and Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI, the company) announced they will shortly begin a phased restoration by region of PlayStation®Network and Qriocity™ services, beginning with gaming, music and video services to be turned on. The company also announced both a series of immediate steps to enhance security across the network and a new customer appreciation program to thank its customers for their patience and loyalty.

      Following a criminal cyber-attack on the company’s data-center located in San Diego, California, U.S.A., SNEI quickly turned off the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, engaged multiple expert information security firms over the course of several days and conducted an extensive audit of the system. Since then, the company has implemented a variety of new security measures to provide greater protection of personal information. SNEI and its third-party experts have conducted extensive tests to verify the security strength of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. With these measures in place, SCE and SNEI plan to start a phased rollout by region of the services shortly. The initial phase of the rollout will include, but is not limited to, the following:

        • Restoration of Online game-play across the PlayStation®3 (PS3) and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) systems
        • This includes titles requiring online verification and downloaded games
        • Access to Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for PS3/PSP for existing subscribers
        • Access to account management and password reset
        • Access to download un-expired Movie Rentals on PS3, PSP and MediaGo
        • PlayStation®Home
        • Friends List
        • Chat Functionality

      Working closely with several outside security firms, the company has implemented significant security measures to further detect unauthorized activity and provide consumers with greater protection of their personal information. The company is also creating the position of Chief Information Security Officer, directly reporting to Shinji Hasejima, Chief Information Officer of Sony Corporation, to add a new position of expertise in and accountability for customer data protection and supplement existing information security personnel. The new security measures implemented include, but are not limited to, the following:

        • Added automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks
        • Enhanced levels of data protection and encryption
        • Enhanced ability to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns
        • Implementation of additional firewalls

      The company also expedited an already planned move of the system to a new data center in a different location that has been under construction and development for several months. In addition, PS3 will have a forced system software update that will require all registered PlayStation Network users to change their account passwords before being able to sign into the service. As an added layer of security, that password can only be changed on the same PS3 in which that account was activated, or through validated email confirmation, a critical step to help further protect customer data.

      The company is conducting a thorough and on-going investigation and working with law enforcement to track down and prosecute those responsible for the illegal intrusion.

      "This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry. These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber-security. We take the security of our consumers’ information very seriously and are committed to helping our consumers protect their personal data. In addition, the organization has worked around the clock to bring these services back online, and are doing so only after we had verified increased levels of security across our networks,” said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. “Our global audience of PlayStation Network and Qriocity consumers was disrupted. We have learned lessons along the way about the valued relationship with our consumers, and to that end, we will be launching a customer appreciation program for registered consumers as a way of expressing our gratitude for their loyalty during this network downtime, as we work even harder to restore and regain their trust in us and our services."

      Complimentary Offering and “Welcome Back” Appreciation Program

      While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, the company is committed to helping its customers protect their personal data and will provide a complimentary offering to assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs. The implementation will be at a local level and further details will be made available shortly in each region.

      The company will also rollout the PlayStation Network and Qriocity “Welcome Back” program, to be offered worldwide, which will be tailored to specific markets to provide our consumers with a selection of service options and premium content as an expression of the company’s appreciation for their patience, support and continued loyalty.

        • Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Specific details of this content will be announced in each region soon.
        • All existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service. Current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service.
        • Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers (in countries where the service is available) will receive 30 days free service.

      Additional "Welcome Back" entertainment and service offerings will be rolled out over the coming weeks as the company returns the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services to the quality standard users have grown to enjoy and strive to exceed those exceptions.

      SNEI will continue to reinforce and verify security for transactions before resuming the PlayStation®Store and other Qriocity operations, scheduled for this month.

      For more information about the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services intrusion and restoration, please visit http://blog.us.playstation.com or http://blog.eu.playstation.com/

      About Sony Corporation

      Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $78 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/

      About Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

      Recognized as the global leader and company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufactures, distributes and markets the PlayStation® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and the PlayStation®3 (PS3®) system. PlayStation has revolutionized home entertainment by introducing advanced 3D graphic processing, and PlayStation 2 further enhances the PlayStation legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP is a handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games, with high-quality full-motion video, and high-fidelity stereo audio. PS3 is an advanced computer system, incorporating the state-of-the-art Cell processor with super computer like power. SCEI, along with its subsidiary divisions Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., and Sony Computer Entertainment Korea Inc. develops, publishes, markets and distributes software, and manages the third party licensing programs for these platforms in the respective markets worldwide. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, SCEI is an independent business unit of the Sony Group.


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