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PlayStation Network Hopes to Bribe You to Forgive Them

For better or worse, it seems like the PlayStation Network is slowly recovering from its unannounced demise at the hands of some rogue hackers that may or may not be associated with the Anonymous hacker group. Barring some leftover exploitation of the computer’s password reset page, there’s been little to report in the way of horrible things happening to Sony as of late. That’s because they’re preparing to completely re-launch it all.

Who knows what’s going to happen during the Sony presser at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in just less than two weeks. But we do know they are not just ignoring the crisis they, as a company, endured either.  Through a special Welcome Back promotion, they’re going to be offering two free downloads of a small list of popular games to show some kind of appreciation to their returning customers. In addition, they will be offering a month of PlayStation Plus access.

That’s all supposed to happen at some nebulous point after the store comes back online. As of writing this, that has yet to happen. The store is still, as they put it, “undergoing maintenance” until further notice. Even so, the list includes some impressive titles. LittleBigPlanet and inFAMOUS are two major contenders for the absolute best of what’s being offered. Those are two titles that, regardless of other circumstances, one should probably be pleased with adding to one’s collection of well-crafted games.

But that’s part of the problem.

Sony’s promotion is of nearly zero use to anyone who has been an actual avid fan of the PlayStation 3 for any length of time. Any core supporters are liable to have both inFAMOUS and LittleBigPlanet and possibly others included in the promotion. In fact, those truly rabid fans might have all of the games being offered. This is kind of a problem when you consider the fact that they’re trying to reward said rabid fans for being, well, good fans.

Some might argue that Sony doesn’t owe its fans anything. They’ve provided a free service for years now because, as Sony has previously stated, gamers deserve it. Sony kind of does owe its fans though. Let’s not forget that this has been a major breach in security that was entirely preventable. These are the people who have evangelized their platform of choice for some time and even they don’t seem to be arguing that Sony has really screwed the pooch on this one.

So, when they should be making some kind of meaningful apology, they are instead making grand gestures that are actually fairly meaningless. Again, some of these are great games, but it’s definitely hard to say that it isn’t aimed at those who are fairly new to the platform instead of longtime loyalists. The other promotions are miniscule at best. In fact, it’s shocking just how little Sony is trying to get away with doing in order to smooth this over.

The PlayStation Plus month for nonsubscribers is laughable. Cloud saves and the like aren’t exactly helpful when you suddenly can’t access them after the month is over. Free video rentals? I guess that’s cool for anyone that doesn’t already have their Netflix intimately tied to their PlayStation 3. It just seems so underwhelming. There’s nothing here that says, “Oh, hey, we messed up and we know it. We’re truly sorry and we want to make it up to you.” Instead, this reads as, “What can we, as a company, do to placate you fine people? A couple free games and we’re cool, right?”

That’s essentially what they’re trying to do here, after all. Bribe those who are only peripherally aware of the true issue at hand with some freebies and all is forgiven. There’s almost nothing here of real use to the majority of gamers. It’s a little hard to forget the laughable nature of Sony’s security and go back to previous purchasing habits; a few games and a month of a subscription service won’t make users forget that.

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