PSN's 'Welcome Back' Customer Appreciation Program

With the Playstation Network apparently back and here to stay, albeit currently limited, Sony is finally getting down to brass tacks and telling us all what it is going to do to get back in our good graces. To that end, they have released the details of what they are calling the "Welcome Back" customer appreciation program.

The Details

First, all existing Playstation Network members will have access to two free PS3 games from the following list. They will be available for download for 30 after the Playstation Store is restored and are yours forever.

* Dead Nation
* LittleBigPlanet
* Super Stardust HD
* Wipeout HD + Fury

PSP owners can download two PSP games from the list below with the same requisites as above.

* LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
* ModNation Racers
* Pursuit Force
* Killzone Liberation

Sony has also offered up a whole raft of other freebies to help patch up our relationship with them.

* A selection of "On Us" rental movies will be available to PSN users for one weekend, where Video Service is available. Titles to be released soon.

* Non-Playstation Plus users will receive 30 days free membership to Playstation Plus

* Current Playstation Plus members will receive an additional 60 days of free membership

* Current Music Unlimited Premium Trial members will get an additional 30 days of membership for free

* Current Music Unlimited Premium/Basic members will receive an additional free 30 days + time lost

* Playstation Home will also be offering 100 virtual items for free. More free content will be coming soon, including the next addition to the Home Mansion personal space and an exclusive game called Ooblag's Alien Casino.

Will It Be Enough?

All this sounds great, but what will users say? Many will hold on to their outrage and claim that the damage done can never be repaired. Others, however, will say, "Hey, it's a free service. I was a little put-out, but the freebies will make up for my temporary disappointment."

The bare bones argument over temporarily being unable to play online with your friends is really only scratching the surface, however. The real concern lies with the personal information that was stolen from PSN users, which is what really caused the outage in the first place. Can anything make up for that breach?

Let's face it, whenever we go online we put our personal information at a risk, however small that risk may be. In this situation, however, we have a clear scapegoat to blame for its lack of vigilance in the form of Sony. So it's only natural that PSN users will look toward this huge corporation for answers and a certain amount of recompense.

It appears that Sony has heard the outcries and has taken steps to ensure that something like this never happens again. Like it or not, it usually takes a disaster like this for real change to be made. No one takes notice until it's too late, in general.

Sony has buffed the PSN against such things and has offered us some pretty cool freebies to make up for their mistake. It's up to us to either take them at their word and take advantage of all the cool free stuff or to give them your rude gesture of choice and move on to something else.

For most PSN users, I'm certain it will be the former.

Customer loyalty is something that all companies seek to foster and Sony has heretofore done a pretty good job of it, mostly out of sheer quality product. The breach and ensuing outage will have certainly damaged that loyalty, but I have a feeling most PSN users will stick with Sony and go on doing what they've always done, albeit with a wary eye towards security.

What Do You Think?

Will the "Welcome Back" customer appreciation program be enough to assuage your fears and/or outrage? If not, what will you be doing differently?

What about the selection of games? What do you think of your choices? For me, there are a couple of games that I always wanted to try out - and now I can do so for free. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this boat.

Article by - Brett Huffman

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