After hack, Sony offers freebies to unhappy gamers

Sony will give two free games plus movies and more to 77 million customers

After hackers knocked its PlayStation Network offline for nearly a month, Sony is now trying to make amends by giving customers free video games.

Sony made the announcement Monday, saying it was a way of thanking the millions of gamers on its network for their "patience, support and continued loyalty during the service outage."

In the U.S. and Canada, PlayStation Network and Qriocity subscribers will soon be able to register for two new games each -- either in PS3 or PSP format -- at the PlayStation Store. The PlayStation Store isn't online yet, but when it comes back, gamers will have 30 days to get their goods.

PS3 users can choose from the following titles: Dead Nation, inFAMOUS, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD and Wipeout HD + Fury. The PSP options are: LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force and Killzone: Liberation.

Depending on the package they've signed up for, subscribers will also get free movies, enhanced services packages and free virtual items.

Sony is offering similar plans to European and Latin American users, but the company has not said what it will do in Asia, where the network is still offline.

Last month, Sony disclosed that it had been hacked and warned its 77 million PlayStation Network users that personal information --- e-mail addresses, for example -- may have been compromised. Then in early May the company said that another network, the Sony Online Entertainment network, had also been broken into.This second incident affected close to 25 million users.

Sony spent the past weekend slowly bringing its gaming networks online.

Sony will give the Online Entertainment users 45 days' free access to the service and a year's worth of identity protection from Debix. The company has said that it will also offer PlayStation Network customers ID theft protection, but it hasn't yet spelled out the details of that package.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

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Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
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