Last night, Sony’s Playstation blog updated with news from SCE President Kazou Hiari that the Playstation Network was finally ready to return. We heard rumblings of the service being restored. Hours earlier, the company pushed firmware update 3.61 to Playstation 3s in preparation for the network’s rollout. Version 3.61 brought no new functionality but merely prompted users to change their login password when the network was finally restored in their area. Beginning around 10pm EST, Sony started it’s first phase of putting the network back online. New England states from Maine to New York were first to get hooked up as servers around the country began to proliferate the various bit and bytes necessary to resurrect Sony’s mighty service.
It felt a bit like election night as fans watched for updates on the Playstation Blog, eager to see their states get filled in on the map. Next came the southeastern U.S. and California, followed by the rest of the east coast, and beyond. Like a child on Christmas Day, I sat cross-legged in front of the television, trying to login as I waited for the network to reach Philadelphia. Finally, around 1:30AM my Playstation 3 prompted me to change my password. PSN, it’s good to have you back.
Twenty-four days since its network was hacked and subsequently taken down, Sony restored partial online functionality to its online infrastructure. The key features are there such as online gameplay, voice chat, friends lists, Trophy syncing, as well as Home & Qriosity services. Missing most notably from PSN is the Playstation Store which is still down. No word yet on when the digital storefront will return but Sony fans eager to get back online will no doubt welcome this development. It’s been a wild three weeks. Who’s up for some Portal 2 co-op?