Wow, last night posted 3 updates to the official PlayStation blog.
First up - Sony claims they have begun the "final stages" of testing of the new PSN network:
Today our global network and security teams at Sony Network Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment began the final stages of internal testing of the new system, an important step towards restoring PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.
As previously mentioned, we’ve been working around the clock to rebuild the network and enhance protections of your personal data. It’s our top priority to ensure your data is safe when you begin using the services again.
We understand that many of you are eager to again enjoy the PlayStation Network and Qriocity entertainment services that you love, so we wanted you to be aware of this milestone and our progress. We will provide additional updates as soon as we can.
Next, Sony announced they will be offering free identity theft protection through a company called Debix, Inc:
Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment International have made arrangements with Debix, Inc., one of the industry’s most reputable identity protection firms, to offer AllClear ID Plus at no cost to PlayStation Network and Qriocity account holders for 12 months from the time an account holder registers for the program.
As per the announcement, the package that will be offered to PSN members will include a $1 million dollar identity theft insurance PER USER. Wow. I'm honestly very blown away with this development. Sony seems to be going out of their way to try to make good with it's PSN users. I've never heard of Debix, Inc before, but i welcome the free year of protection with open arms.
And lastly - A letter from Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony USA. Here are some key bits of what he had to say:
I know this has been a frustrating time for all of you.
Let me assure you that the resources of this company have been focused on investigating the entire nature and impact of the cyber-attack we’ve all experienced and on fixing it. We are absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible and rewarding you for your patience. We will settle for nothing less.
In the coming days, we will restore service to the networks and welcome you back to the fun. I wanted to personally reach out and let you know that we are committed to serving you to the very best of our ability, protecting your information better than ever, and getting you back to what you signed up for – all the games and great entertainment experiences that you expect from Sony.
I appreciate Mr. Stringer's recognition of the frustration that every PS3 gamer must be feeling right now. I'm sure like the rest of us, he'd really like to get this all behind us, and I think this letter demonstrates that.
However, still, Sony has not provided a firm date for the return of the PlayStation Network. It's Friday, and we were assured PSN would be up at some point this week. Let's just hope that doesn't mean Sunday...