Sony Announces PlayStation “Welcome Back” Program

Kaz Harai took over a Japanese press conference to clear the air about the recent “intrusion” into the PlayStation Network, and announce a “welcome back” program for the service once it regains any sense of stability. The time frame for that is about a week for unspecified services (including Qriocity), and a month for everything to become whole again. The company is also “considering” covering the cost of any credit card replacement.

In the meantime, Harai announced details of what Sony will be doing to restore consumer trust. All users will be given free 30 day trials of Qriocity and PS Plus, and a free download of Sony’s choosing. In other words, you’re being given two promotional pieces and a piece of content you could already have.

While in reality Sony owes free customers nothing, pushing free paid services reeks of blatant self promotion, and even arrogance. People have been stung by not only the loss of PSN, but their personal information. Offering a free game is marginally helpful to those who might not have it; remember Microsoft made Undertow free after their disastrous 2008 holiday season. That wasn’t such a great apology for those that already owned it. Sony seems to be pulling the same thing, but if they truly wanted to “apologize,” they would plunk a $10 credit to anyone who had purchased a full game from PSN previously.