So after three weeks of downtime, the PlayStation Network is slowly coming back to life, after much needed security upgrades.
At the time of writing, all U.S. states should now have access to the "new and improved" PSN, or will have access in short order. Other regions around the world will also slowly see the return of the PSN network.
As part of security upgrades, users must download a new firmware to access the new PSN, and they will also need to change their passwords before they can gain access. Passwords can only be changed on the PS3 system that the PSN account was created on, or if that's not possible, via email confirmation.
Some features, such as the PlayStation store and Qriocity purchasing, has not been enabled yet, but will be back soon, according to a re-launch announcement and apology video posted by Sony, featuring SCE CEO Kazuo Hirai.
Hirai also promises a welcome back package, most likely consisting of free downloadable games, one year identity theft protection in selected regions, and PlayStation Plus trials, for all affected gamers to compensate for the loss of the PSN for the last three weeks, an outage that is longer than what Sony had originally promised.
"I wish we could have restored the network services faster, but these attacks were serious and sophisticated, and it simply took time to install and test the new security measures across our entire system," Hirai added.
Are you relieved now that the PSN is back online (or will be soon enough)? Post your comments in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread, where you can also view the official Sony announcement YouTube video: