OPINION: Sony says Welcome Back

Let’s be clear. Sony could have announced last night that all PS3 and PSP owners were to be given 1,000 in gold bullion personally signed by Brad Pitt, free PS3 games for life, a trip to two to Mars and free handjobs from Yano Shiho and people would have still complained.

What they did announce was a choice of two free games from a selection of five, with a different selection for each platform. Users will also get a month’s free access to PlayStation Plus. Existing PSN+ users will get two months free. US users will also get some free movie rentals.

Inevitably, the self-entitled internet masses reacted with uproar. Old games. Old games that perhaps they already own. The offer is not tailored to their individual taste? GOD DAMN YOU SONY!

"Five games that can be picked up for less than a tenner, and you get to pick two of them. And one of those is riddled with advertising," infamous (and anonymous) industry observer RAM Raider stated.

"I bet a fucking good percentage owns 4/5. It’s disappointing that they couldn’t have offered at least 1 decent title. Don’t feel sorry for Sony, people – they lost your information because of their shit-poor security. They’re not doing you any favours here."

Please don’t misunderstand – I’m a big fan of RAM Raider. He offers intelligent and learned criticism where others offer unbalanced and poorly targeted whining. But his reaction in this instance is, I feel, sadly indicative of a wider attitude that does none of us any favours.

Another point of clarification – Sony should not have lost user data. Security should have been better. They are guilty, in this respect. And, as RAM Raider also claims, perhaps "[PSN] credit would have been a guaranteed winner".

But let’s be clear. PSN is a free service. Free. We were without it for a month. Annoying? Absolutely. Especially so if you’ve paid 40 for a copy of Black Ops (or, god forbid, Portal 2) and have been unable to play it online. And PSN forms such an integral part of the PS3 offer that to be without it for a whole month cannot be brushed aside.

But it’s not like Sony came to your house, spat in your tea, shat in the garden and kicked the cat. I don’t wish to make make excuses for them, but it’s really not the end of the world. Let’s not forget that the hackers are the real villains here, yet they seem to be reverenced for "putting it to the man".

LittleBigPlanet, Quest for Booty, WipEout and inFamous are really good games (I haven’t played Dead Nation so cannot comment).

They’re only a tenner on the High Street? Well, that’s a tenner saved then. Sony didn’t have to offer us anything, remember. Don’t fancy the look of any of them? Don’t download them, then. This time you miss out. Shame, but let’s move on, eh?

And as Mediakick editor David Howard points out, much of the most vocal criticism game from games journalists themselves.

"I doubt that the ‘average’ gamer owns all of them," he observed. "I think [games journalists are] different in our bubble."

Games journo Simon Phillips added: "Seemed to be journos moaning that they already had the games. ‘I got those games for free – want new ones’.

"Maybe Sony should have consulted them first, to see which obscure freebies they didn’t have? Folks on the Sony gravy train should have been the last to complain. But then, their free copy of LA Noire should be arriving (or have arrived), so all will have been forgotten about by now."

Author James P Smythe perhaps sums the whole saga up the best: "The sense of entitlement amongst internet idiots is heavingly strong today, apparently."

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