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Sony Extends Memberships, Discounts After PSN Outage

Sony can't erase the painful memories of anyone who opened a brand new PlayStation 4 on Christmas, only to be locked out of the PlayStation Network, but the company seems poised to deliver the next best thing. In the wake of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that took down Sony's online service on Christmas Day, the PlayStation maker is offering extended memberships and an upcoming one-time discount to its fans.

According to a blog post by Sony Network Entertainment Vice President Eric Lempel, anyone who had an active PlayStation Plus membership or free trial as of Dec. 25 will automatically have their subscription extended by five days. PlayStation Plus (typically $50 a year, or $10 a month), provides regular discounts and free games to PlayStation owners, and is required to play PS4 games online.

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Sony also plans to offer a one-time-use discount that will allow shoppers to receive 10 percent off of their entire cart purchase on the PlayStation Store, which sells digital games, downloadable content, movies and TV shows. Lempel says to expect the offer to arrive "sometime this month."

On Christmas Day 2014, both PlayStation Network and Xbox Live were taken offline by a DDoS attack from the notorious online prankster group Lizard Squad, which has been staging attacks on both services for months. Xbox Live was mostly up and running by Dec. 26, while PlayStation Network took a bit longer. British police have arrested one man believed to be behind the attacks, a Finnish teenager is rumored to have been arrested and the FBI is investigating other possible suspects.

Sony isn't the only company that attempted to make up for the holiday outage. Destiny developer Bungie extended the the stay of Xur, an in-game character that sells special Exotic gear, to players throughout the weekend, on both PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Xur can usually only be found from Friday to Sunday, but Bungie allowed gamers to buy items from the merchant through 10 p.m. PT on Monday, Dec. 29.

Lizard Squad's actions created a pretty crummy Christmas for anyone who was excited to play some video games online with friends, but it's nice to see hardware and software makers offer some sort of compensation.

Mike Andronico is an Associate Editor at Tom's Guide. Follow Mike @MikeAndronico and on Google+. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+