Gear Games Update: Sony’s Rollout Has PSP-Only Users Singing …

… but sadly the song of choice is ‘But not for me’.

Sony has announced their restoration plans, their ‘Welcome Back’ plans – which include the PSP incidentally – and other things. I will list those details in a bit.

But unless you have a PS3, you will NOT be doing anything anytime soon! How bad is it? Sony pretty much assumes that PSN = PS3, as noted in the header message on the PSN Blog

Thank you for your patience and encouragement over the last few weeks. As covered in the post from earlier today, you can now update the firmware on your PS3 and change your password. Kazuo Hirai just announced that we have begun the phased restoration by region of some of the services, starting with online multiplayer functionality.
Please note that these services will take a bit of time to be turned on and rolled out to the whole country. The process has begun and some states are being turned on now, so please be patient as we reach your city and state. We’ll be updating the map below as service comes online in individual states. It will take several hours to restore PSN throughout the entire country, so please keep checking back for the latest updates. In the meantime, now’s a great time to get your PS3’s firmware updated, which is required to get online.

Last PSP update? April 11th!

And after you’ve waited 72 hours for the ‘up to 24 hours’ reset message to come, and check the help site:

We’re currently experiencing an extremely heavy load of password resets, and so we recently had to turn off services for approximately 30 minutes to clear the queue.

As such, a large number of people are attempting to change their passwords at the same time, it’s taking longer than expected for all those emails to clear all of the ISPs.

If you’ve requested your password reset, please give it a bit of time to reach your email. Thanks for your patience as we work to get everyone back online.

So yesterday we get some details about the ‘Welcome Back’ offers:

This package will be made available to all existing registered PlayStation Network and Qriocity users in North America (U.S. and Canada), and will be made available shortly after we have fully restored the service. More specific details about these offers and eligibility requirements will be posted as the services go live.

All PlayStation Network customers can select two PS3 games from the following list. The games will be available for 30 days shortly after PlayStation Store is restored and can be kept forever.

Dead Nation
Super Stardust HD
Wipeout HD + Fury

For PSP owners, you will be eligible to download two PSP games from the following list. The games will be available for 30 days shortly after PlayStation Store is restored and can be kept forever.

LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
ModNation Racers
Pursuit Force
Killzone Liberation

Selection of “On Us” rental movie titles will be available to PlayStation Network customers over one weekend, where Video Service is available. Those titles will be announced soon.
30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non PlayStation Plus subscribers.
Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive an additional 60 days of free subscription.
Existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of free premium subscription.
Additional 30 days + Time Lost for existing members of Music Unlimited for Premium/BASIC subscription and existing free of charge Premium/BASIC members.
To welcome users Home, PlayStation Home will sees offering 100 free virtual items. Additional free content will be released soon, including the next addition to the Home personal Mansion space, and Ooblag’ s Alien Casino, an exclusively game.

Sounds like a decent deal, right? Well … yes and no. First off – Sony doesn’t OWE us ANYTHING. But once they start declaring a ‘Welcome Back’ program meant to compensate gamers for one of the most flagrant examples of systemic security apathy … we are allowed to scrutinize.

Here are the issues:
– Qriocity 30 days free – we just lost 30 days, so all we are getting is a reset. If you were at the end of the trial you get a small bonus, but for me (I started trial two days before outage) all it means is I don’t get charged yet.
– 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership – this is a DEMO! Make no mistake – you get to try out cool features like free games and cloud saves … but EVERYTHING goes POOF! unless you pay up at the end of 30 days. I haven’t seen details, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was set to auto-debit after 30 days like the Qriocity trial. SCAM!
– ‘Select Movies’ – remember, Sony owns a major studio. This is a potentially great offer, but let me cynical and assume that they will not offer anything of value.
– Free Games (General) – the whole notion of ‘pick from a list’ is flawed because those most likely to use a service are most likely to own the games you are offering. Some sites (GoG comes to mind) made a special case explicitly known to deal with this sort of thing … but as of now – if you own all of the games on offer you get nothing.
– Free Games (PS3) – I don’t own a PS3, but these are not a bad set of games, with a decent distribution from 2007 through late 2010. Two games from a selection of five seems reasonable … unless you own them all.
– Free Games (PSP) – Of the four games, one has good reviews, two are average and one was panned. Two of them are FIVE YEARS OLD. Two games from four – especially given the PSP’s anemic game releases over the last few years … is inadequate. I own them all on PSN … without trying very hard.

Don’t get me wrong – Sony owes us nothing, so anything is a bonus. However, let’s not pretend here – what they are doing is like having a guest arrive at your house for a holiday and state you have a gift … and then root around the house for something and wrap it up and make a big deal over how glorious and expensive it was!

Sony’s entire offer is a ‘re-gift’ of properties they have already sold through and made their profits. Which is fine as the content is new to many folks … let’s just not pretend that they are doing something they are not – I assume they are writing off the games at full retail, same for the movies and the subscription time. They will gain more in tax benefits than it costs them in any real terms.

I have decided I will email and ask for some other recourse since I own all of the PSP games. I will let you know where that gets me.

For now, let’s join Chet Baker and all non-PS3 users of Sony’s services in our common song!


Categories: Gaming, Rants and Raves