Sony PlayStation Network to be fully restored by weekend

Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea are not covered under the restoration plan

Sony plans to restore all its PlayStation Network services by this weekend in all regions except Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong, the company said Tuesday.

Sony will also resume its Music Unlimited service on its Qriocity audio and video streaming service for the PlayStation3 (PS3) and PlayStation Portable (PSP) gaming platforms, Vaio laptops and other PCs.

Details for Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea, as well as for the remaining services on Qriocity, will be announced as they become available.

Sony pulled the plug on the PlayStation Network and Qriocity service on April 20, a day after detecting what it later called a "very sophisticated" intrusion. The cyber attacks exposed personal data of about 77 million users.

The first phase of PlayStation Network and Qriocity restoration began on May 15 in the Americas, Europe, and some other countries, followed last Saturday by Japan and some Asian countries, Sony said. South Korea and Hong Kong were not covered in this first phase of restoration. In the first phase, users were able to access to some of the services such as playing online games, account management, friend lists and chat functionality.

The further restoration planned for this weekend will include full functionality on the PlayStation Store, in-game commerce, the ability to redeem vouchers and codes, and full functionality on Music Unlimited for PS3, PSP, Vaio and other PCs, Sony said. Service restoration of Video on Demand and Music Unlimited on Qriocity for a variety of network-enabled Sony devices will be announced later, it added.

Sony said it had made considerable security enhancements to the network infrastructure, besides testing the payment process and commerce functions.

Sony will offer customers a "Welcome Back" package of services and "premium content" to all registered PlayStation Network and Qriocity users. Details will be announced separately in each region, it said. Sony has already offered some free video games and movies in a bid to placate customers. It also offered free identity-theft protection services in the U.S. last week.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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