Playstation Network Finally Up and Running!
On June 6, Playstation informed me via email that my Playstation Network account was finally back online. (Playstation Network’s website indicates they were back online June 2, but I didn’t receive email notification until June 6.) This, after having been completely grounded since the network site was hacked on April 18th; it had been out of commission for 45 days.
An Olive Branch to Disgruntled PSN Users . . .
I was really happy to hear that the network was back online–primarily because my son has not been able to download some of the content for a PS3 game I…I mean, the Easter Bunny…had gotten him for Easter. It was even more exciting to see the Big Beefy Olive Branch (bet you never realized olive branches could be meaty, did you?) that the Playstation Network was extending to “welcome us back”: 2 Free PS3 games, 2 Free PSP games, 30 days of free membership in the Playstation Plus subscription service, and a year of free identity theft protection.
Hey–a free game is a free game, and I think it’s awesome that Playstation Network is giving two to each of it’s members. You can’t up the number of free games to four if you also happen to own a PSP–which not all members do. But I do wish Sony had been able to cough up a better variety of titles for us to choose from.
The “big titles” being offered for free are Little Big Planet, which came out October 2008, and Infamous, which came out in May 2009. Both games are excellent, and very highly rated–but they’re also pretty old releases–and my family already owns both of them.
The other titles Playstation Network is offering are WipEout HD Bundle, a combat spacecraft racing game; Dead Nation–a zombie-killing adventure; and SuperStardust, a kind of 3-D game of the old Asteroids game reminiscent of the old game from Atari. These games look like they would provide some casual fun gameplay, but they’re really more like brighter, fancier versions of games that were coming out ten years ago. In other words, they’re not very sophisticated–certainly nothing like many of today’s most popular hits like Assassin’s Creed or Fable III.
Are the Free Games Offered Any Good, or Sucky-ish?
As I said, free is free–and anything free is good in my book. And it’s also understandable that Playstation Network is trying to contain its costs as it searches for ways to take the sting out of PSN users’ recent negative experience. At the same time, I suspect that most families may only get limited use out of the games Playstation Network is offering for free.
Now, the 30 days of free Playstation Plus service will be cool. On the downside, the value for 30 days of Playstation Plus service is only $4 per month when a 12-month subscription is purchased, so this isn’t really very valuable, dollar-wise. On the other hand, this particular freebie will get you even MORE FREEBIES, because Playstation Plus members are able to download free games and mini-games. So I know my boy will have awesome fun trying this subscription out.
A Strange Coincidence: PSN Members Offered Freebies the Same Day PS Vita is Announced
On Monday, June 6, Sony officially announced the release of the Playstation Vita, Sony’s newest handheld portable gaming system, at the E-3 Expo in Los Angeles, California. I received my “olive branch” email from Playstation Network earlier that same day.
I doubt that Sony’s sole reason for offering freebies to PSN members was to quell negative feelings toward the PS Vita–but I’m guessing it was part of it. It’s logical that Sony to do whatever is necessary to keep from losing customers to the other gaming systems (and networks) by failing to show appropriate remorse. This being said, Sony could do worse than make disgruntled PSN users a bit happier before users hear about the Vita–and transfer their negative feelings to Sony’s newest gaming product.
The Playstation Vita is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com. It’s available in two versions: the PlayStation Vita – WiFi and the PlayStation Vita – 3G/WiFi. (Keep in mind that, to use the 3G (Internet) feature of the PS Vita without a Wi-Fi hotspot, users must subscribe to an AT&T cellular data plan–and pay the going rates.)
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