Platform holder Sony has begun switching back on the PlayStation Network almost one month after it was hacked.
The first phase of restoration will allow users to login to PSN and Qriocity, play games online through PS3 and PSP, access Music Unlimited and other third party services. It will also restore the friends list, chat functionality, trophy comparisons and the online PlayStation Home hub.
The latest PS3 firmware update – v3.61 – is now available for users to download. Sony's updated PSN service now boasts improved security technology, increased levels of encryption, additional firewalls and a new early warning security breach warning system.
Sony is also urging users to change their account password once downloading the update. This can only be done on the user's PS3 or through validated email confirmation.
PSN was illegally breached between Sunday, April 17th and Tuesday, April 19th before Sony discovered the intrusion and switched off the service on Wednesday, April 20th.
The login data and passwords of around 77m PSN users was accessed, and possibly obtained by the hacker. There is no proof that bank card details may have been stolen, but Sony has admitted they may have been.
SCEE's head of communications Nick Caplin said: Please note that these services will take a bit of time to be turned on and rolled out to the whole region. The process has begun and some countries are being turned on now, so please be patient as we reach you.
In the meantime, now's a great time to get your PS3's firmware updated and change your password, both of which are required to get online.
We'll let you know as each territory goes online via @PlayStationEU on Twitter, at which point you will be able change your PSN password.”
Other services such as PlayStation Store are expected to go live again shortly. More details on when users will be able to access their rewards package will also be announced at a later date.
Sony's representative corporate executive officer and executive deputy president Kaz Hirai also made a video announcement on the US PlayStation Blog, thanking users for their patience.