Sony explains 'Welcome Back' program, free games revealed

By on May 16, 2011, 6:46 PM

With the PlayStation Network partially restored, Sony has shared further details about the compensation package promised a few weeks ago. Hoping to sooth gamers' flaring tempers, the company is offering a handful of games on the PlayStation 3 or PSP as well as subscriptions to premium services.

All PSN users will have 30 days to pick two PS3 games from a list of five: Dead Nation, Infamous, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD, and Wipeout HD + Fury. A similar offer stands for PSP owners, who can pick two of the following: LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force, and KillZone Liberation.

In addition to the games, Sony will provide a selection of free movie rentals for one weekend, but it hasn't announced what flicks will be offered. The company is also serving up 30 days of free PlayStation Plus membership for non-subscribers, while existing members will receive an extra 60 days of free time.

Likewise, Music Unlimited Premium Trial members will receive 30 days of subscription, while existing Music Unlimited Premium/Basic users can expect both the 30-day gratuity on top of the time lost during the outage. Sony also mentioned free PlayStation Home virtual items, including an exclusive game.

The PlayStation Network was taken offline on April 20 after hackers breached Sony's security and obtained a wealth of sensitive user information. While no person or group has taken credit for the attack, Sony blamed Anonymous in an eight-page statement to the US Congress earlier this month.

Many customers were outraged when they learned about Sony's reckless security practices, filing at least one class-action suit. Others sought greener pastures, trading their PS3 for an Xbox 360. For those of you who remained patient: is Sony's "Welcome Back" program enough to let bygones be bygones?




User Comments: 43

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That's quite a bit of free offerings for a 3-week outage and really only impacted online gaming. If I were a PS3 owner, I'd be satisfied. Until it happens again...

Emil said:

TomSEA said:

That's quite a bit of free offerings for a 3-week outage and really only impacted online gaming. If I were a PS3 owner, I'd be satisfied. Until it happens again...

I don't know... it wasn't just an outage. There were credit cards and other credentials stolen.

catburst said:

im fine with it

PinothyJ said:

For all those PSN users out there I highly recommend Wipeout HD (especially since it comes with the Fury expansion which has the same amount of content as the original release). Whilst it has the mother of all learning curves and is incredibly punishing for any player that does not strive for perfection, it is also very rewarding and a graphical masterpiece.

I hope this is worldwide and not just NA...

EDIT: I just had a look on the blog and AU will be getting EU's selection of games which is as follows: LittleBigPlanet; Infamous*; Wipeout HD/Fury; Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty; and Dead Nation* - the asterisked games unavailable for the poor angry Germans (replaced with Super Stardust HD and Hustle Kings respectively).

Guest said:

I am 100% sold with this freebies!!!

blimp01 said:

Never heard of any of those games haha

Mizzou Mizzou said:

For all those PSN users out there I highly recommend Wipeout HD (especially since it comes with the Fury expansion which has the same amount of content as the original release). Whilst it has the mother of all learning curves and is incredibly punishing for any player that does not strive for perfection, it is also very rewarding and a graphical masterpiece.

I'll definitely give Wipeout HD a go, wish Ratchet and Clank was available in the US ... not sure yet which one of the others to pick.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

I can only select the two games I don't have and i am unimpressed...this is what my credit card info and private info is worth to you Sony?

PinothyJ said:

blimp01 said:

Never heard of any of those games haha

Dead Nation is a zombie killing game that is like if you combined MacGuiver with GTA with Left 4 Dead; inFamous is a kick-**** game where you play a modern-day superhero doing kick-**** super-heroey things; Wipeout is a classic PS series (briefly had appearances in a few other formats) which pits you behind the controls of an Anti-gravity craft - with weapons - that you race around very amazing looking tracks; LittleBigPlanet is a cute little game that allows you to create cute little games for other people to play and enjoy (it is far more complicated and enjoyable than that); Super Stardust is an asteroids game if I remember correctly; Ratchet and Clank is a cute adventure game walking in the footsteps of titles like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro (although, unlike these titles, the series has gotten better with each title); and Hustle Kings is a pool game if my memory serves me correctly.

The MC scores are as follows: Dead Nation: 77; inFamous: 85; Wipeout HD: 87 and 89 for the Fury expansion; LittleBigPlanet: 95; Super Stardust HD: 85; Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty: 76; and Hustle Kings: 81. Whilst MC scores should never be taken as Gospel, it is at least a good indication that Sony didn't just lump the bargain bin warmers on to our laps.

...

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'll take the free games, but I'm still buying a 360. I'll just keep the ps3 as a blu-ray player.

PinothyJ said:

I don't know... it wasn't just an outage. There were credit cards and other credentials stolen.

I just checked and most of my information was old and thus outdated - here's to laziness winning the day again!

*raises a glass*...

Tanstar said:

blimp01 said:

Never heard of any of those games haha

Sometimes you shouldn't hide under a rock.

Guest said:

If you're going to buy halo reach, and play online - careful! We eat up NOOBs in matchmaking.

...kidding.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"I don't know... it wasn't just an outage. There were credit cards and other credentials stolen."

True. I guess if I'd had to cancel my credit card over this I'd be pretty ticked off. Still, I think that's quite a bit of swag being offered for the inconvenience.

bchen88c said:

inFAMOUS and Wipeout HD seems to be what im going to be DLing-a friend highly reccomended the former, and ill take pinothyj's word on the latter =p

PinothyJ said:

"I don't know... it wasn't just an outage. There were credit cards and other credentials stolen."

True. I guess if I'd had to cancel my credit card over this I'd be pretty ticked off. Still, I think that's quite a bit of swag being offered for the inconvenience.

I'm not terribly worried about my card's details though as the Credit companies as the second most aggressive company type, so if your card is used for fraudulent practices, not only will they fight nail and tooth to get it all back to normal for you, but you are covered by law (at least in Australia, up to $100,000 I believe, of which is covered by government insurance anyway) on top of that as well.

{shrugs}...

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

Damn, I already have all of the PS3 freebies

PinothyJ said:

inFAMOUS and Wipeout HD seems to be what im going to be DLing-a friend highly reccomended the former, and ill take pinothyj's word on the latter =p

Some gameplay:

GameTrailers (720p): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxVB5wIqms4

Playstation (1080p): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGNbrQM5e54

Darkdrium777 (720p): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJo63xhF4NM

The FPS seems choppy in those videos and blurry in the latter video (he is playing it on Phantom which is the fastest speed class - 793km/h top speed). I can assure you this is definitely not the case with the game itself as it sits on a perfect 60 fps for the entire time.

You have to be convinced by now...

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Damn, I already have all of the PS3 freebies

Bum deal, what did you think of Infamous ... I don't have any of them. Probably ought to send them an email, who knows they might do something for you.

PinothyJ said:

Damn, I already have all of the PS3 freebies

I take that quote and answer with a quote from Nick Caplin:

I'm really sorry tha there is nothing there that you want. We've tried really hard to put together a list of high quality BD games, rather than simply offering cheaper PSN titles. The average metacritic rating for these games is over 84%, so these are high quality games. Unfortunately with a user base of 77m people, it is really hard to offer something for everyone.

Also:

You'll get two games for each platform

And:

The free games are yours to keep. It is only some of the content you get through PS Plus that will expire at the end of the month.

All good...

Guest said:

Oh crap, I have to take my ps3 out of the garbage bin to get these freebies before the garbage truck comes tomorrow.

PinothyJ said:

Oh crap, I have to take my ps3 out of the garbage bin to get these freebies before the garbage truck comes tomorrow.

Wth, Guest, that doesn't even make sense, PS3 is one of the best BluRay players on the market...

mccartercar said:

EXCellR8 said:

Damn, I already have all of the PS3 freebies

Sell the two that will bring the most money and choose those as their replacements.

gobbybobby said:

Im happy to be playing my PS3 online again but I don't think the welcome back package is that great at all.

Cota Cota said:

EXCellR8 said:

Damn, I already have all of the PS3 freebies

*Nelsons style* Ha! Ha! x'D

Getting back to the post, poor sony (not really) this is yet one more fact integrated to their "How did we lost money selling this poop", list.. just to think how much Rice Krispies i could get whit all the money lost on that PS3, makes me cry.

Im a sad panda now (not for sony tho, only for the Rice Krispies)

BlueNoser said:

No gifts for users with capped broadband I want me some coupons or mail me my gifts

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Interesting lack of Sony bashing now eh?

...I'm not surprised with freebies like them though. I'm gunna go for Wipeout HD me thinks.

Royalgok said:

Matthew, you forgot to mention that this offer is currently applicable to US & Canada only.

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

All I can say to sony is:

so long and thanks for all the fish

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

stewi0001 said:

All I can say to sony is:

so long and thanks for all the fish

haha just watched that

PinothyJ said:

royalgok said:

Matthew, you forgot to mention that this offer is currently applicable to US & Canada only.

I think my many posts in this very section state otherwise :|...

Royalgok said:

pinothyj said:

I think my many posts in this very section state otherwise :|...

Yeah. Even the heading on the linked article says it's only for North America :/

[link]

Royalgok said:

OK let me make myself clear. I think this PARTICULAR set of games is for NA only

zillion said:

Im going to get Wipeout...FINALLY!!!!! been thinking og that game ever since ps1.......Hail mary!!!

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Is this available yet? I checked and couldnt seem to find out where to download?

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well, as disappointed as I was with Sony's handling of the entire fiasco (how long it took to acknowledge, how little security was on customer data, etc)... I'm sure I'll be taking advantage of the 2 free games for my PSP. Honestly, as bad as the whole thing was, it still wouldn't have been enough to drive me away from my PSP to a DS or other portable gaming/media options similar to it right now. My only forays into PSN shopping were always done with a pre-paid card, so none of my real data was ever in their system to begin with, so I suppose it doesn't sting as much for me as it does for many others who had more exposure in the hack. Probably why my attitude is much more meh than outrage.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Is this available yet? I checked and couldnt seem to find out where to download?

Probably won't be available until Sony gets the Playstation Store back online, checked last night and it was still under maintenance.

Guest said:

PinothyJ "Wth, Guest, that doesn't even make sense, PS3 is one of the best BluRay players on the market... " replying to guest "Oh crap, I have to take my ps3 out of the garbage bin to get these freebies before the garbage truck comes tomorrow."

I guess sarcasm doesn't come through too well online. My PS3 was never in the garbage bin btw.

Guest said:

Hell yes SONY you rock..! Sweet freebies, cant wait to dive in...keep em coming!

PinothyJ said:

royalgok said:

OK let me make myself clear. I think this PARTICULAR set of games is for NA only

Again, ready my previous comments! :|

The games available to EU, AE, AU, GB, IE and NZ have already been covered in my previous post as well as other details from the EU representative; and for the record, the games are the same bar Super Stardust HD (which has been replaces with Ratchet and Clank which is a better, more accessible game, imo), with exception of countries with strict violence censorship.

Sigh...

Royalgok said:

pinothyj said:

royalgok said:

OK let me make myself clear. I think this PARTICULAR set of games is for NA only

Again, ready my previous comments! :|

The games available to EU, AE, AU, GB, IE and NZ have already been covered in my previous post as well as other details from the EU representative; and for the record, the games are the same bar Super Stardust HD (which has been replaces with Ratchet and Clank which is a better, more accessible game, imo), with exception of countries with strict violence censorship.

Sigh...

I see. Thanks for clearing that up

Guest said:

ps3 one of the best blu-ray players on the market...dude are you serious...its so noisy its as if someone's hoovering in my room...the interface is dull and as far as sound or picture quality is concerned is just average...useful as its also a gaming machine but average as a whole.

rnldrc22 said:

It looks very good to me.

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