The Great PlayStation Network Outage of 2011 first went down on April 20, 2011. North American, European, Australian and some Asian gamers went 24 days without any PSN services until they were restored May 15, 2011. They had to wait until June 1, 2011 to get access to the PlayStation Store again. Of course, that seems like nothing compared to what Japanese and other Asian territories have had to go through. Initial PlayStation Network services only first resumed there on May 28, 2011 and now, after over two months, the Japanese PlayStation Store is finally back online.
All Japanese PlayStation Network services are finally back online as of July 6, 2011. That means Japanese users can access both the PlayStation Store and Qriocity again. Tons of content will be added to the PlayStation Store, to make up for the delay in service. This also means that the Japanese Welcome Back program is now in effect.
The Welcome Back games available are mostly different than the ones offered in other regions’ Welcome Back programs. PS3 owners can choose from BuuBuu Cocorrecho, EchoChrome, Hustle Kings, The Last Guy and WipeOut HD. PSP owners can pick from Everybody’s Sukkiri, LittleBigPlanet, Loco Roco and Patapon 2. Personally, I think the selection for Japanese PSP owners is better than the one offered in the North American Welcome Back program. I’d have loved to pick up Patapon 2 and Loco Roco. Both the North American and European Welcome Back programs also offered WipeOut HD and LittleBigPlanet PSP as free downloads.
So, if you’re one of those people who has always had a Japanese PlayStation Network account in addition to the one for your own region, welcome back! You can now log in to that account to download your freebies and start shopping from the PlayStation Store and playing games online again! I think I’m going to grab EchoChrome and Everybody’s Sukkiri.