Sunday, May 1, 2011

I guess it's inevitable at this point.

I mentioned that I was trying to keep myself from talking on all the PSN stuff going down lately, and while I won't be injecting my personal opinion into a lot of this, I don't really have a problem with talking about the 'Welcome Back' program that they're pitching.  Essentially, this is Sony's bid to say "Hey, someone fucked with us, it affected you, and we're sorry, so here's something resembling compensation.", which, hey that's fine.  There's not a lot they can do, and they certainly could have decided to say, "Sorry that stuff happened, but we've got to minimize our losses for now, so we'll hope you continue with us but understand if you won't." and been done with it.  I have a feeling people would be just as outraged either way in the long run.

As detailed by The Playstation Blog, the "Welcome Back" program is as follows:

Central components of the “Welcome Back” program will include:
  • Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Specific details of this content will be announced in each region soon.
  • All existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service. Current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service.
  • Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers (in countries where the service is available) will receive 30 days free service.
Additional “Welcome Back” entertainment and service offerings will be rolled out over the coming weeks as the company returns the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services to the quality standard users have grown to enjoy and strive to exceed those exceptions.
Most people will (and have) seen this, and balked at the idea of getting a month of PS Plus for free, as most everyone is under the impression that everything you get from Plus, no matter what, expires when your subscription expires.  That isn't the case, of course, but the reality for most isn't much better.  Plus offers discounts on games and DLC every week, as well as sometimes giving free games, early beta access or free game trials, the latter of those being subscription-dependent.  However, anything you spend actual money on via a Plus discount is yours regardless, since, well, you bought it, not to mention that any Themes, Avatars and (I think) DLC you get for free remain yours even after the sub is gone.  Minis and PSOne Classics gotten for free, I'm not too sure on, but if any are made available, there's no harm in getting them.  Worst thing is you'll have to delete them when/if you can't play them anymore.

So the thing to take away from this is that if you do get into that free month of Plus, Discounts is what you want to look for (As well as PSN Cards, since, well) and all the other 'miscellaneous' things as well.  That'll be how you can maximize your dip into the pool and your take from the Welcome Back program, provided you can just, well, get it and want to get it.  I can't think of any verdict regarding the 'free content' as we just don't know what it will be yet.  With any luck, it'll be something cool!  But we'll just have to see on that.

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