19/06/2011 - UnWelcome Back?

by Chris Fox

Chris Fox

After over a month of trepidation and what seemed like endless waiting, the Playstation Network and Store returned. Sure, Sony made considerable mistakes during the blackout, the most notable being the lack of communication to the consumer regarding the issue. But no infrastructure or company is truly safe from these hackers; they will always eventually find their way in. Sony cannot be blamed entirely for the hack, only for not handling the situation as they should have.

Sony should, however, be commended for the Welcome Back package that has been offered. By way of apology, Sony have offered two free PS3 games from a list of five (LittleBigPlanet, Dead Nation, WipEout HD Bundle, Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty and Infamous). Not enough? Well, then help yourself to two PSP games from a list of four (LittleBigPlanet PSP, ModNation PSP, Pursuit Force and Killzone Liberation). STILL not satisfied? Then have a free thirty day trial of Playstation Plus. Existing members get sixty days for free. Those with more than one account can of course access all the free games on offer, if they so desire.

Is it just me, or is this a pretty sweet deal? The reason I ask this is because the general reaction from people seems to be negative. I have overheard comments like, "Those games? Is that it?" and "Fuck Playstation Plus". A majority of individuals seem to have been put out of joint by the FREE games that they have been given. Sure, they aren't the newest titles around. They are, however some of the finest. The WipEout HD Bundle and Infamous stand out as two titles that demonstrate the power, beauty and individuality that the Playstation 3 has to offer.

I even heard, "Infamous? That's old! Why not Infamous 2?". Yeah, great idea, Sony could just give out a brand new Triple A title for free. It would not be at all fair to the developers (Sucker Punch, in this instance) if their brand new baby in which they had poured heart and soul into was given away for free. It can also be argued that the free thirty days of Playstation Plus is a marketing ploy, as any free content gained disappears after a user's Plus subscription ends. But let's try not to be cynical people. Activate your free month of Plus and download the superb title that's up for grabs at the moment; Burnout Paradise. If you like it, renew your subscription. If you don't, then don't. You have nothing to lose.

The majority of active users on PSN pay nothing for the service, and while the down time was inconvenient, Sony's Welcome Back package is nothing short of spectacular. You have paid nothing and gained everything. Sony doesn't owe you anything... Except possibly your personal details returned safely.