Sony offers virtual goods as payback for PlayStation Network outage: a worthy refund?

To compensate for the 24-day long outage of the Playstation Network that occurred as a result of a major security compromise, Sony Computer Entertainment is offering PSN users a "welcome back" package of free content.

PSN Store down for maintenance
SCEA is calling it a "customer appreciation program" that is available to all registered PSN users in the US and Canada. For 30 days after the PlayStation Store is restored, users can download and keep two games for either the PS3 or PSP, including: Dead Nation, inFAMOUS, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD, and Wipeout HD + Fury (PS3) or LittleBigPlanet PSP, ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force, or Killzone Liberation (PSP).

In addition, there will be a free movie rental weekend where Video Service is available, PlayStation Plus service will be available for free for 30 days, and existing subscribers will get 60 additioinal days for free. Existing Music Unlimited Premium "Trial" subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of free premium subscription, and "Basic" subscription members will receive an additional "30 days plus time lost."

Finally, PlayStation Home will offer 100 free virtual items there as well.

PlayStation Plus

What is the monetary value of all this stuff?

Since all these goods are virtual, giving them away freely incurs no material cost to Sony, and will only represent a spike in download traffic for 30 days. However, if one were to have individually paid for these items before the outage, it could have cost over a hundred dollars.

By Price

  • Dead Nation - $14.99
  • inFAMOUS - $29.99
  • LittleBigPlanet - $29.99
  • Super Stardust HD - $9.99
  • Wipeout HD + Fury - $29.99
  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP) - $19.99
  • ModNation Racers- $29.99
  • Pursuit Force - $9.99
  • Killzone Liberation - $14.99
  • 30 days PlayStation Plus - $6.00 ($17.99/3)
  • 60 days PlayStation Plus - $12.00
  • 30 days Music Unlimited Premium Trial - $9.99
  • ~54 days Music Unilmited Premium Basic - $18.99
  • Video Rentals - between $2.99-$6.99
  • 100 PlayStation Home items - typically between $0.25-$1.49 each

Geek culture blog Kotaku estimated the maximum value to be $104, but did not include the free weekend of video rentals or the PlayStation Home items, the former of which could actually constitute a major bandwidth consumer for SCEA.

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