After over a three week closure of the PlayStation Network, Sony has finally brought the popular network back online in parts of USA and Europe.
Users have to install a firmware update (for which instructions have been posted) and change their passwords to get back into the PSN system again. In addition, users will benefit from an identity theft protection programme in countries where it is available.
"Thank you for your patience and encouragement over the last few weeks," said Patrick Seybold, senior director of corporate communications and social media, Sony in a blog post that announced the news about PSN going back online.
He also added it was a restoration of services in phases, but would eventually be rolled out. Activating PSN now will bring back online gaming, chat, friends list and trophy comparison, PlayStation Home and services such as Hulu. Access to purchase games will be restored later.
"The process has begun and some states are being turned on now, so please be patient as we reach your city and state. It will take several hours to restore PSN throughout the entire country, so please keep checking back for the latest updates. In the meantime, now's a great time to get your PS3's firmware updated, which is required to get online," he added.
In addition to this, Kazuo Kirai, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment made a video address apologising to users and informing them about PSN going back online.
Customers have been promised a "welcome back" package, details of which will be given out soon.
PSN went down on April 20, and it was later revealed that an external hack had caused Sony to take their PSN services offline. There were also reports that PSN users' personal details and credit card data may have been compromised, and gamers were unable to go online for all this time.