Today is the day many of you have been waiting nearly a month for. Yes, it's true: the PlayStation Network is back. If you're logging onto PSN for the first time since the service went down on April 20, you'll be prompted to download a firmware update and change your password. Note that if you're having issues downloading the update through your console, you can also get it off the official site.
Sony also released a lengthy explanatory statement explaining the update and what users should expect when signing in.
"We have been working on a new PS3 system software update that requires all PSN users to change their password once PlayStation Network is restored. The update (v3.61) is mandatory and will be available soon," the statement reads. "If using a PS3, your password can only be changed on your own PS3 (or a PS3 on which your PSN account was activated), as an added layer of security.
"If you have never downloaded any content using your account on the system, an email will be sent to the registered sign-in ID (email address) associated with your account when you first attempt to sign-in to PSN. This e-mail will contain a link that will enable you to change your password. In this email, click on the link and follow the instructions to change your password. Once you have changed your password you can sign-in to your account using your new password.
"We strongly recommend that all PSN account holders with PS3s update their systems to prepare for when PlayStation Network is back online. The release of this update is a critical step as we work to make PlayStation Network significantly more secure. Thank you for your continued support and patience."
Sony also released a video for folks who'd be interested in hearing more directly from PlayStation executive Kaz Hirai.
Additionally, Sony Online Entertainment has restored all game services and will be compensating game subscribers with various in-game content and services through their "Welcome Back" program. DC Universe Online players can expect some free game time and a cosmetic item as a part of SOE's "Make Good Plan."
Update: For the full list of "Welcome Back" rewards, check out the program's webpage. You'll find a handy chart listing every SOE title, rewards, eligibility, and how to collect your goodies.