The PlayStation Network debacle is nearing a close, as today American gamers can finally access the PlayStation Store, the final piece of the slowly unwinding network reboot. Servers for Asian countries still have security protocol to go through, but should be back soon.
Sony has flooded the store with content, including emulated retro games from the under appreciated NEC TurboGrafx-16, a demo for the anticipated InFamous 2, and additional weaponry for the recent shooter SOCOM 4. Players are obviously eager to access the Store after the month-long outage, running server bandwdith into the ground, causing delays and slow loading. SCEA's Nick Caplin promises "improvements in speed as the day progresses." In other words, be patient.
The one thing missing are the promised items from the Welcome Back program, Sony's means of giving back to the community after hackers prevented online access. Sony is currently planning a second update to Store functionality on June 3rd, which could mean the freebies will be available then. If not, the industry's yearly momentous occasion will begin next week, E3 kicking off in Los Angeles. Sony will likely reveal their new handheld console, rumored to be called Vita, and surely address any concerns over the outage and its repercussions.
If you think the server speed is atrocious now, just wait until everyone has access to four free games.