After the longest downtime since Playstation's inception in 2006, subscribers received an email thanking them for their support and patience since Sony pulled the plug following a sophisticated hack in mid-April. Fingers were initially pointed at users of the anonymous message board, /b/, but were later disregarded as no troll face ever appeared. Statements of knowledge have been reported, but the identity of the true culprits who managed to access the system and jeopardize the names, addresses, passwords and credit card information of over 77 million Playstation accounts, has yet to be publicly identified.
In return for the anxiety users experienced from compromised personal information and the dilemma of finding a new hobby that might involve actually going outdoors, the package, valued around $100, allows users to download two games for either PS3 or PSP. The downloads include: Dead Nation, inFAMOUS, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD, Wipeout HD + Fury, ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force, and Killzone Liberation. The titles and free subscriptions are an appreciated truce token but, upon closer inspection, also appear to be a clever marketing ploy.
LittleBigPlanet and inFamous both conveniently have new sequels available in stores. It is unlikely that Sony would have thought that gamers, in a state of withdrawal, would quickly complete the full version and rush out to buy the sequel. That's insane, forget I mentioned it. Other gifts include free temporary subscriptions to billed services like Playstation Plus, offering updates and demos; 30 days of movie rentals and Music Unlimited and 100 Playstation Home items. Because everybody wants a Yankees cap for their avatar.
Sony is attempting to rebuild its reputation following a hack that cost them around $171M. Disgruntled users who found no reprieve from angrily tapping in forums, experienced customer service wait times of up to 127 hours. Lawsuits are beginning to trickle in. The initial crisis is over, but the loss of entertainment is serious business. With a projected profit of $857 million and a total asset value of $11.22 trillion, it is doubtful Sony executives will lose much sleep; but as I have tracks to master and worlds to build, I probably will.