We're approaching three weeks of downtime for the PlayStation Network with still no hard date for when we can expect a return. It might still be a while until things are completely back to normal, according to a new report.
Shigenori Yoshida, a spokesman for Sony in Japan, told Bloomberg the plan is to have the service fully up by May 31. That's three weeks away from now and would bring the total downtime up to 41 days, as PSN was taken down by Sony on April 20 in response to an attack that led to users' personal data being stolen.
Keep in mind he referred to PSN being fully back, so it's entirely possible that certain components -- such as online gaming and the PlayStation Store -- will be back up before then. May 31 may also be a worst case scenario for when Sony expects to have service fully resumed by; it's not necessarily the date we can expect to begin playing games online again. That's been clarified over on the European PlayStation forums where it's noted, "Regarding the aim of the full restoration of PSN services by the 31st May: Restoration of Online Gamplay [sic] is the FIRST phase of the plan to restore the PSN."
"Some services" on PSN were expected to be brought back online last week as early as this past Tuesday, yet the waiting continues.
We know that, whenever PSN does come back online, a new firmware update will require users to change their passwords before accessing PSN.
Most recently, Sony released a statement saying it had reached the final stages of internal testing on its new security measures. CEO Howard Stringer said on Thursday that PSN would be brought back online "in the coming days."
A "welcome back" program is planned to greet users with a variety of freebies. (Free identity theft protection for one year is also being offered.) The specifics haven't been announced beyond 30 days of PlayStation Plus time, but users in Europe will be getting their choice of two free games.