After more than a month of downtime, the PlayStation Store is back online, Sony announced Wednesday night.
Sony promised a "huge lineup" of new downloadable games, demos, add-on content, themes, avatars, and videos. The company also added new full game trials, free games and DLC, free avatars, and more discounts, according to a blog post.
"The PlayStation Store is back online and thank you everyone for your patience," Sony said.
One thing that's not yet online is Sony's welcome-back package. In an effort to retain users who were without service following a massive hack of Sony's PlayStation Network, the company last month said it would provide free games, movie rentals, and virtual items.
That offer "is currently in the final stages of testing and will be available to download soon; we'll be sure to let you know when," Sony said Wednesday.
The next update for the PlayStation Store and PlayStation Plus is coming tomorrow, June 3. Sony also promised some "special" releases in time for next week's E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles.
For PlayStation Plus subscribers, new additions include full game trials of "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2" and "Dante's Inferno." There are also almost a dozen featured games and DLC, which are free to PlayStation Plus subscribers and range in price from $2.99 to $9.99 for everyone else. For more details on discounted games, avatars, and other updates, see the full list on Sony's blog.
Sony, meanwhile, will be on Capitol Hill Thursday to discuss the hack of its system. In prepared testimony released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Tim Schaaff, president of Sony Network Entertainment International, said Sony supports federal data breach legislation that would require companies to inform customers about any breaches in a timely and consistent manner, regardless of the state in which they reside.
The committee announced Wednesday that it will conduct a "thorough review" of data security and electronic privacy issues, starting with a review of "the security of personal information collected and maintained online."
Much of the criticism from Congress has surrounded Sony's reaction to the hack. Why did it take so long for Sony to notify customers, many members asked. On Thursday, Sony again defended its actions, as well as the means by which it notified customers.
"On Friday, April 22nd, we notified PlayStation Network customers via a post on the PlayStation Blog that an intrusion had occurred," Schaaff said. "That blog, by the way, has been rated one of the top-twenty most influential on the Internet, right behind the White House's blog. It has a highly visible and deeply engaging relationship with our customers and is one of the best, fastest and most direct means of communicating with them."
Furthermore, if you issue "vague or speculative statements before you have specific and reliable informationâ€”you either confuse and panic people, without giving them useful facts, or you bombard them with so many announcements that they become background noise," he said.
Stay tuned for more from today's hearing, which is scheduled to kick off around 1pm Eastern.