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PlayStation Network comes back online

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Sony announced the restoration of the PlayStation Network has begun with Australia among the first territories to get back online.

The PlayStation Network and the Qriocity services have been unavailable since a hack attack on April 21 forced Sony to shut them down on.

The restoration will involve all users resetting their passwords and upgrading PS3 system software before they can return to online play and begin accessing music and movies again.  

Since the attack Sony had to rebuild their systems which including enhancing the security of the network with increased encryption and a strengthened firewall. 

The incident has been a PR disaster for Sony and the PlayStation brand.

A source at Australian games retailer EB Games says there have been a flood of customers trading in their PlayStation 3 consoles and buying an Xbox 360.

As a result stock of Xbox 360s at EB Games – both new and pre-owned – have all but sold out since the PlayStation network went down more than three weeks ago, the source said.

Australia will join the US, Europe, the Middle East and New Zealand in the Sony’s phased restoration of the service, the company said in its blog.

Japan and the rest of Asia will follow in the next few days.

“I’d like to send my sincere regret for the inconvenience this incident has caused you, and want to thank you all for the kind patience you’ve shown as we worked through the restoration process,” said Kazuo Hirai, executive deputy president, Sony Corporation.

“I can’t thank you enough for your patience and support during this time. We know even the most loyal customers have been frustrated by this process and are anxious to use their Sony products and services again.

“We are taking aggressive action at all levels to address the concerns that were raised by this incident, and are making consumer data protection a full-time, company wide commitment.”

Returning customers will be rewarded for their patience and loyalty with a Welcome Back package which will include 30 days free membership to premium PlayStation Plus and the Music Unlimited services.