Sony is bringing services back to the PlayStation Network beginning tonight.
Currently, PlayStation 3 owners will be able to log onto the network and download a firmware update. Later this evening, online game play for PS3 and PSP will begin rolling out, with the East Coast of the U.S. starting first, with the rest of the country getting services as the night goes on.
PSN users can follow a map of the U.S. as the network services get restored on the Official PlayStation Blog here.
In a video on the site, Sony Corp. Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai notes a new PSN security feature -- all users must change their PSN username and passwords. "Since the attacks on our networks we have been working around the clock to bring game and media services back online," he says in the video.
The service is being brought back in phases, Hirai said, with the first including online signin for PSN and Qriocity, online gameplay on PS3 and PSP, services such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, MLB.TV, friends lists, chat, trophy comparison and PlayStation Home.
PlayStation Store and Qriocity purchasing features will be back on line, he says, "as soon as possible."
Along with restoration for the U.S., PSN restoration for the rest of the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Middle East are beginning now, also, with Japan and other Asian countries and regions to be announced later. The company expects to have the services fully restored by the end of May 2011.
"While we understand the importance of getting our services back online, we did not rush to do so at the expense of extensively and aggressively testing our enhanced security measures. Our consumers' safety remains our number one priority," Hirai said. "We want to assure our customers that their personal information is being protected with some of the best security technologies available today, so that everyone can feel comfortable enjoying all that PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have to offer."
"The last few weeks have been tough for all of us," Hirai continues in the video. "Please know that we are doing everything we can to fully restore network services around the world and to regain your trust over the days weeks and months to come."