Yesterday, the PlayStation Store came back online. However, there was one slight omission from the service’s return: the “Welcome Back” incentive items were not yet available. For anyone that doesn’t know what I’m talking about, the “Welcome Back” program is a way for Sony to apologize for the PlayStation Network being down for a month’s time. The package included a number of free games, a free 30-day subscription to PlayStation Plus and some free video rentals.
Now here’s the good news: The “Welcome Back” program has gone live, meaning you can hop on the PlayStation Store right now to take advantage of all the free stuff Sony is giving away.
The PlayStation Blog has taken the time to detail everything about the “Welcome Back” program with a lovely Q&A. You can find out what’s being given away to PS3 and PSP owners, as well as how the 30-day subscription to PlayStation Plus will work. Sony answers a lot of pressing questions, so I recommend you check out the whole FAQ. But for the people who only want to know the essentials, I’ve cherry picked a few of the bigger questions and pasted them below.
Q: What’s in the Welcome Back Program?
A: To start, all PSN members who had signed up before the outage (April 20, 2011) will be able to select two games for the PS3 and two games for the PSP systems.
For PS3 owners, go to the ‘Welcome Back’ section in the PlayStation Store, and select 2 titles from the following list:
- Dead Nation
- Super Stardust HD
- Wipeout HD + Fury
For PSP owners, go to the ‘Welcome Back’ section of PlayStation Store on your PSP system and select 2 titles from the following list:
- LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
- ModNation Racers
- Pursuit Force
- Killzone Liberation
Q: How long do I have to get into the PlayStation Store and receive my content for Welcome Back?
A: Access to the Welcome Back content will be expiring on July 3. Once this date has passed, the Welcome Back section in the PlayStation Store will be removed.
Q: When does the 30 days of my PlayStation Plus access expire?
A: Your PlayStation Plus 30-day access will expire 30 days from the date you activated it in PlayStation Store.
Q: Do I get to keep the games in PlayStation Plus forever?
A: Content that is free in PlayStation Plus will not be available after your PlayStation Plus time has expired. However, if you decide to join PlayStation Plus, you’ll have access to all of the content you downloaded during your 30 day access for as long as you are a subscriber.
Q: Do I get to keep any games or content I purchased with the PlayStation Plus discount?
A: Yes. Any content you purchase at a discount is yours to keep, regardless of your subscription status.
Furthermore, Sony also explains that your PlayStation Plus subscription will not automatically renew, meaning you won’t be charged for it on a monthly basis if you forget to cancel it. Once your 30 free days are up, your subscription is over, no strings attached. That is unless you choose to continue using the service to take advantage of all the free content and discounts.
So, why are you still reading this when you should be online downloading your free content? That stuff isn’t going to download and install itself.