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+

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.

  • ChrisNH
    Lame. That was bare bones minimum and 0 cost to them. 10 percent off? Still cheaper on Amazon. 5 free days? Really? who cares, Sony.
  • choctawfootball
    I am not a PSN member. I am not a xbox live member o.O

    5 days is a insult.
    I'd rather sony fire 5 employees and keep the price the same.
  • Michael Alan
    You would rather people be fired because some morons DDOS attacked the servers. You are an idiot.
  • Hydrotricithline
    Main problem with this crap is sony is going to take these 'hackers' to court. and sue for alleged damages etc. get some multi million dollar suit going, then pocket the money.
    The 'alleged damages' are actually to the end users in this case. Not the company. And really Sony and 'its name' etc could of been preemptive against such attacks; there are several solutions that could make ddos'ing alot more difficult. Same way a retail store has a security system as a 'cost of doing business', long of the short the problems are shouldered by the paying clients. and your given 5$ and a cracker.. only you don't get the 5$, sony does. Either way I think companies need to take some initiative to prevent such losses, and as long as judges will easily pass out judgement vs 'vandals' for such exorbitant amounts. It doesn't help the damages, it just pads the corporate lawyers wallets.
  • spectrewind
    Sony/PSN experienced a significant outage sometime in 2011 with the PS3. This recent holiday 2014 outage was nothing compared to that.
    There is precedent here on 'lesson-not-learned'. Give away some free downloads/time (nothing to them) and some politically-spun damage control.

    (not related to this, but anecdotal): Does anyone remember the Sony root-kit scandal from around 10 or so years ago? So many FFR's on client PC's from those days. Unforgivable.

    Down-vote this all you want: Sony is NOT an innocent company.
    Frankly, the purchasing public is incredibly myopic "Ooh, shiny, ...and it makes noise in 5.1 surround. Buy it!"

    Have not bought a Sony product since PS3. Never will again. (I do not own a M$ console either, for the fanboi ppl).
    I always will recommend against this company (Sony) on anything without further consideration.
  • dmb77
    I've never had buyer's remorse until now with a new console. When Sony released the Playstation , PS2 , and to a lesser extent, the PSP , I was impressed and happy to own the product. They were engineering achievements , as well as oozing quality in both titles and hardware. Now , for the first time , I feel like I just wasted money that could have been spent better elsewhere. I will probably not buy another console again. The PC is a much better value per dollar. IF I do , it will probably be spent with Nintendo, because they at least listen to their customers and care about quality as much as their bottom line.
  • johnpc831
    I really don't care about the 5-day extension and 10% off. All that matters to me is that these attackers are made an example of. No punishment is too harsh. The attackers need to suffer in ways that will make nobody even consider doing something like this again.
  • Jonsie
    without nintendo neither sony or microsoft would have ever got a foothold in the business.. aside from bringing in a fresh batch of young people into gaming generation after generation, nintendo has always had top of the line hardware and software.. i own every nintendo console and most of sony and microsofts consoles as well.. every nintendo still works all the way back to nes and snes, used and abused with an unfathable amount of game time! i cant say the same for the compitition.. burned out drive on a 360, Ps3 with the light of doom, a stack of busted ps2s(4 all together lol), og ps1 plays.. upsidedown only(most of its life spent in its original box), my og xbox still works but it had its problems... unfortunatly sega is gone... they still all work too! if gameplay and quality is the gimmick nintendo is selling, im buying! if its all about harware specs and throw away consumerism.. throw your money elswhere.. id suggest a quality built pc that will blow away the specs on any console!! maybe im just a stupid fanboy! lol i have good reasons! oh and no one ever talks about power consumption... after doing a bit of research i was blown away by how efficient the wii u is. ok enough.. i know, its just my opinion!