Sony to begin restoring PSN in Japan & other Asian countries shortly

Sony says it plans to start a “phased restoration” of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity in various Asian countries on May 28th, finally ending speculation on when the services would return.

Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are a few countries Sony is intent on returning both services to this weekend. The company also promised it would offer an identity theft protection service (similar to what it is currently extending to U.S. customers) to Japanese PSN and Qriocity account holders, but declined to provide further details.

Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s Executive Deputy President, apologized again to Asian customers affected by the data leak and service outage and declared the company was now taking “aggressive action” to make sure it never happens again.

“We are making consumer data protection a full-time, company wide commitment so that our customers can rest assured about enjoying their entertainment,” Hirai said.

According to Sony, the following services will be reinstated this weekend:

  • Sign-in for PlayStation®Network and Qriocity services, including the resetting of passwords
  • Restoration of online game-play across PS3 and PSP
  • ‘Friends’ category on PS3, including Friends List, Chat Functionality, Trophy Comparison, etc.
  • PlayStation Home
  • Access to other network features on services such as torne™

A “Welcome Back” package is also planned for the region. It will boast free games and temporary access to premium paid services similar to what is being offered in North America and Europe, but no specifics were available at press time. Until Sony relaunches the online store (something which has yet to happen even in the west), downloading games is not possible anyway.

Sony will also shoulder the associated costs if customers request new credit cards in light of the possibility their numbers were illegally attained, but stated that “credit card companies have not reported any increase in the number of fraudulent credit card transactions as a result of the attack, nor have they reported any fraudulent transactions that they believe are a direct result of the illegal attack.”

Both PSN and Qriocity were shut down in most regions on April 20th (April 21st in Japan) by the company. It was later revealed that the cause was a well-publicized cyber attack on its online infrastructure which compromised the personal data of over 70 million users.

The relaunch of PSN in Japan was previously blocked by that country’s government, which cited security concerns and consumer confidence as key reasons to hold off on allowing the service back online.