Sony begins worldwide relaunch of PlayStation Network

Sony PS3
Sony PS3

In the last few hours Sony’s Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai has announced that the company has begun the process of restoring PlayStation Network (PSN) services worldwide.

The network had suffered its longest ever downtime which began as an “external intrusion” first detected on April 20th. The restoration of PlayStation Network and Qriocity services will be managed in phases, with phase one already in operation.

Sony PS3
Sony PS3

In a video announcement on the PlayStation Europe blog, Hirai stated,

“The service is being restored in phases and I’m pleased to say that the first phase is now being launched in most regions of the world.”

The first phase includes the most basic PSN features that gamers and media fans really care about. This includes sign-in for PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, PS3 and PSP online gameplay, Music Unlimited to current subscribers only on PS3 and PC, and access to third party services. Friends lists, chat functionality, trophy comparison and PlayStaion Home are also part of phase one which is gradually being enabled across the globe today, Sunday. PlayStation Store and purchases features in Qriocity are not part of this first phase and will be restored “as soon as possible”.

New security features will greet PlayStation users after they download the mandatory v3.61 system update. All users are required to change their PlayStation Network passwords when they first attempt to sign back in to the network.

Hirai said of the increased security efforts on Sony’s behalf,

“We have greatly upgraded our data security systems. These changes were the result of an intensive investigation aided by some of the most respected forensics and security experts in the computer industry.”

Although using quite generic terminology, Hirai describes the upgraded security components as “advanced security technology”, “increased levels of encryption” and “additional firewalls”. A new early warning detection system is also in place to identify unusual activity that could signal an attack in the network.

The full video announcement from Kazuo Hirai is embedded below,

Image courtesy of shagy6six6 on Flickr

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.