Having restored service to the PlayStation Network, Sony has revealed the details of its Welcome Back scheme, offering PSN subscribers free 'Plus' account time and a handful of free games by way of apology for the outages and data loss incurred over the past weeks.
All subscribers are eligible for two free PlayStation 3 games from the choice of inFamous, LittleBigPlanet, Dead Nation, Super Stardust HD (Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty in Europe) and WipEout HD (including the Fury expansion). PSP account holders can grab Killzone Liberation, LittleBigPlanet PSP, ModNation Racers PSP or Pursuit Force. These games must be claimed within 30 days of the scheme going live.
Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will be given 60 days free on top of their existing subscription; otherwise Sony is offering 30 free days of PlayStation Plus. All PSN account holders will be getting 100 free items in PlayStation Home - good news for the three or four people still using it. Qriocity subscribers will be reimbursed (in free days) for any subscription time lost due to the outages, and will get an extra 30 days free added to their accounts.
On face value this looks like a half-decent apology from Sony, but looked at a little more cynically it's hard not to see the marketing angle. Of the free PS3 titles, only two are 'full' games, and both of those (LittleBigPlanet, inFamous) have sequels available. And one could be forgiven for seeing a free month of PSN Plus not as a generous hand-out, but as a trial aimed at temping paid subscriptions - that non-subscribers to Sony's Qriocity service are simply advised to take out a trial if interested backs up that viewpoint.
Sony isn't entirely to blame for the attacks against its system - a poor lock is no excuse for robbing a house - but this wave of hacks and data leaks has cost it a lot of good will. Regenerating it will take more than a token gesture.