It's taken more than a month, but Sony has finally finished restoring all services in the PlayStation Network in North America and several other regions (though not its native Japan). The gaming giant informed the world via the U.S. PlayStation blog late Wednesday that everything would be back up and running as of Thursday, June 2nd. I received a press bulletin from Sony providing confirmation of this Thursday morning.
For my part, I can confirm that I have full access to all services, including the PlayStation Store. As I write this I'm redeeming codes and downloading content for all of the PlayStation 3 games I've been playing over the last five weeks without Store access, including DiRT 3 and L.A. Noire.
The PlayStation Network returns just in time for E3, the biggest video game conference in North America, which is slated to begin next week. This is fortunate, since Sony is promising a live broadcast of its media briefing-slated for 5:00 Pacific time on Monday, June 6th-via PlayStation Home, the console's virtual community.
However, while the PlayStation Store is up and teeming with a backlog of new games and content, there's still no news on exactly when players will have access to the "welcome back" goodies-free games, subscription services, and movies-that Sony provided details on a couple of weeks ago.
What's more, the full restoration of PlayStation Network services doesn't necessarily conclude this decidedly messy chapter in Sony's history. Expect fallout over the next year as the full extent of financial damage-the cost of addressing the data theft and subsequent security overhaul, plus lost online sales and subscriptions due to the network's down time-becomes apparent.
The impact that the debacle has had on customer trust and loyalty may take even longer to determine. Do consumers who have harshly criticized Sony in public forums over the past several weeks represent the majority of PlayStation users, or just a small, vocal minority?
Perhaps we can at least get a read on how Globe readers feel via the poll found in the sidebar.