Now that the infamous PlayStation Network outage is all taken care of and the PlayStation Network is up and running again, Sony has launched its 'Welcome Back' program into the PlayStation Store.
Details of the program were made available in the middle half of last month, but Sony had to wait until the PlayStation Store was fully online before implementing the program. Much respect is due to Sony for getting the Welcome Back program online so quickly; the PlayStation Store came online only a couple days ago.
So what exactly is the Welcome Back Program? Sony has offered up a really great Q&A on their official blog, which you can check out below.
Q: What’s in the Welcome Back Program?
A: To start, all PSN members who had signed up before the outage (April 20, 2011) will be able to select two games for the PS3 and two games for the PSP systems.
For PS3 owners, go to the ‘Welcome Back’ section in the PlayStation Store, and select 2 titles from the following list:
- Dead Nation
- Super Stardust HD
- Wipeout HD + Fury
For PSP owners, go to the ‘Welcome Back’ section of PlayStation Store on your PSP system and select 2 titles from the following list:
- LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
- ModNation Racers
- Pursuit Force
- Killzone Liberation
Select your first game from “Game 1”, then return to the Welcome Back page and go to “Game 2” to select your second game out of the remaining choices available. This goes for both PS3 and PSP.
In addition, we’re giving access to our premium subscription service, PlayStation Plus, which includes games, huge discounts, exciting exclusives and added features like online storage and automatic downloads, to all PSN members for 30 days at no charge, requiring no long term commitment. As with the games above, go to the PlayStation Store and under the ‘Welcome Back’ section, select ‘PlayStation Plus: 30 Days Free’, and you’ll be given access to all of the benefits of PlayStation Plus. Note that this will not auto-renew and simply expires 30 days after activation.
Current Plus subscribers receive an extra 60 days added to their existing subscription at no charge. For current Plus subscribers, no action is needed as the 60 days are automatically added to your subscription.
PlayStation Network users will also get 100 virtual items in PlayStation Home as a show of appreciation for your patience while Home was inaccessible. Additional content is coming soon, including the next addition to the Home Mansion personal space, and Ooblag’s Alien Casino, an exclusive game.
A selection of “On Us” movie rentals are currently available to PlayStation Network customers this weekend only, where Video Service is available.
Finally, current Music Unlimited Premium subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of premium subscription plus days lost due to the outage.
Q: When will I have access to the Welcome Back Program?
A: The content offered as part of the Welcome Back Program is available for download today and will be available through July 3.
Q: I have both PS3 and PSP. Does this mean I will get 4 games all together?
A: Yes, as long as you were a PSN member before April 20, 2011, you’ll be able to receive up to 4 games based on the titles listed above; 2 on each platform.
Q: Are there any limitations to the PS3 and PSP games we are receiving as part of the Welcome Back Program?
A: None. These games are yours to keep.
Q: How long do I have to get into the PlayStation Store and receive my content for Welcome Back?
A: Access to the Welcome Back content will be expiring on July 3. Once this date has passed, the Welcome Back section in the PlayStation Store will be removed.
Q: When does the 30 days of my PlayStation Plus access expire?
A: Your PlayStation Plus 30-day access will expire 30 days from the date you activated it in PlayStation Store.
Q: When will (insert game here) be published?
A: Look forward to posts over the coming days that will show what content will be available at that point, or coming soon. We’re planning frequent store publishes offering lots of new content for everyone to enjoy.
Q: I’m getting 30 days of access to PlayStation Plus; can you refresh my memory on what I get with this service?
A: From the time you activate your 30 days of PlayStation Plus, you’ll be able to download games and game related content, purchase select store items at a discount, and have access to the exclusive features of Plus. You’ll also be able to get early access to any Plus exclusive Demos and priority Beta invitations that might be scheduled during your 30 days.
Q: Do I get to keep the games in PlayStation Plus forever?
A: Content that is free in PlayStation Plus will not be available after your PlayStation Plus time has expired. However, if you decide to join PlayStation Plus, you’ll have access to all of the content you downloaded during your 30 day access for as long as you are a subscriber.
Q: Do I get to keep any games or content I purchased with the PlayStation Plus discount?
A: Yes. Any content you purchase at a discount is yours to keep, regardless of your subscription status.
Q: Aside from the games and discounts; does PlayStation Plus offer anything else?
A: Yes! PlayStation Plus includes the Online Storage for Game Saves feature, allowing you to backup treasured game saves or access them from another PS3. In addition, you get the Automatic Download feature, which automatically updates your 10 most recently played games while the system is in stand-by mode so you don’t have to wait for updates before playing your games.
Q: What content will be in PlayStation Plus when I activate my 30 days?
A: PlayStation Plus content and discounts are regularly updated throughout the month. For up-to-date information on content within PlayStation Plus, please visit the Plus homepage.
Q: Where can I find the Welcome Back content in Home?
A: The 100 virtual items can be found in the kiosk in Home’s Central Plaza along with two personal spaces – Dragon’s Lair and the Mansion Garage. A new game – Ooblag’s Alien Casino – will be released soon (June 2011). This game will be 100% free-to-play. As an added bonus, players that access the Ooblag Alien Casino space will be rewarded an active item version of the Ooblag game that can be played in your personal space(s).
Definitely something there for everyone, whether you're a PlayStation Home addict or just looking to get in on some of the great PlayStation Plus deals going on right now.
One thing to think about, for all you PlayStation users who haven't cashed in on the deal yet, inFamous 2 is due out later this year so if you haven't had a chance to play through the first one, now may be a great time to grab it for free.
Any questions about the program should be directed to the PlayStation Blog, where Sony is doing its best to help out on all fronts.