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Monday May 16, 2011 3:36 pm

Sony Playstation Network back online in most areas

Sony Online Entertainment brought its PlayStation Network back online (after a major security breach took PSN down) in parts of Europe and the U.S. Saturday, but some 12 hours after the announcement many PSN customers were left wondering when it would be their turn.

At about 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Sony announced it would begin a "phased" return of PSN services to customers following a three-week outage caused by a hack of the network that forced the company to take it down. But a map of the U.S. that Sony is updating to reflect when its network goes live in individual states was left with numerous states without service in the Midwest, South and Northeast as of about 8 a.m. ET.

Several hours after the initial announcement, readers in Texas, Illinois and other states were complaining that PSN service had not been restored to their areas. Sony had warned that it would "take several hours to restore PSN throughout the entire country."

Meanwhile, PSN customers in Australia and the Caribbean wondered when their areas would go back online. Sony's Saturday announcement only referred to Europe and North America.

The company issued a further notice to PSN customers whose service had been turned on but who still weren't able to access the network:

"Notice: If your state is illuminated but your service has not yet been restored, please be patient – it can take a little while for the servers to populate fully," wrote Patrick Seybold, Sony's senior director of corporate communications and social media, in a brief blog post announcing the resumption of PSN service.

The restoration of PSN service requires a firmware update on PS3 consoles and requires users to change their passwords. Instructions for installing the firmware update were posted Saturday.

Sony is also offering customers free enrollment in identity theft protection programs in countries where they are available, the company said.

Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kazuo Hirai appeared in a video statement announcing the restoration of PSN services that began with an apology to users for the outage.

"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 said.

He also promised customers a "welcome back package," the details of which would be announced in "the coming days."

Is PSN service back online your area? Let us know.

This article, written by Damon Poeter, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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