Sunday, June 05, 2011

A little How-To PSA on on Sony's "Welcome Back" deal

It's been a while longer than I'd like since I updated the blog, but I've been a busy little bee as of late.  Still, I decided to chime in here with my own little PSA to help out those of you out there having issues getting your freebies from Sony's recently launched "Welcome Back" deal for PS3 and PSP owners affected by the recent PlayStation Network hack.  It's a really good deal (up to four free games and one month of PlayStation Plus) offered to gamers as Sony's way of apologizing for the PSN outage.  But the problem is, it really only helps if gamers can access the content in the offer.  I've been reading a lot of comments from people and even talked to some friends that have had issues.  Hell, even I had some issues getting it to work right.  Before you go tossing your system into the drink and cursing the name "Sony", rein in your rage a bit and see if this helps.

Okay, so here's a breakdown of the problem that people seem to be having (and which I, myself, also had).  After signing into your PS3 and going to the PlayStation Store, there's a great big notice pointing people to the Welcome Back deal.  After going into that section and trying to download the "Welcome Back Free PS3 Game 1" (or Game 2 or either of the PSP free games, if applicable), you get one of the pesky "An error has occurred" messages.  So you back out of it, go back into the Welcome Back section, and suddenly you see that your freebie offer you were just trying to get has gone the way of the dodo. WTF?!?  So you try again with the second game, get another error code, and then THAT game offer is gone.  Before long, you've burned through the offers and (seemingly) have nothing to show for it.  That's like pouring salt on an open wound to PS3/PSP owners still stinging from the network outage.  A (relatively) quick call to Sony straightened things out for me, though, so I'll pass along the solution to all of you.

Let's start from the beginning:

  • Start up your PS3 and sign in under your PSN account.  Yeah, I know for some of you that's a no-brainer step, but you're reading a guy who once had to tell someone that the reason their console wasn't working was because he never plugged the power cord into it.  
  • Moving right along, after you've signed in, go to the "PlayStation Network" menu on the XMB and select "Account Management".  
  • From there, move down a couple of slots to "Transaction Management".  Some of you might be trying to get ahead of me here, jumping to the "Download List" and getting pissed off all over again that nothing is there.  Well, that's what you get for not following along.  What you're looking for ISN'T under the "Download List" ... it's one slot lower under "Services List".  
  • Go into the "Services List" section and you should see an item on the list called "SCEA Promotion".
  • After clicking on the "SCEA Promotion", you should see listings for the different "Welcome Back: Free PS3/PSP Game 1/2" blah blah, etc.  If you don't see that, then you probably still have the listing available to you via the regular PlayStation Store.
  • Pick one of those and you should see a button available that says "Select Content".  Click on it and it'll take you to the PlayStation Store where, 'lo and behold, you can choose your freebie games!!
Now, here's a fair bit of warning for all of you impatient types.  Right now, the odds are pretty good that at any one of these steps, you still might get the "An error has occurred" message.  If that happens, just back out and try it again.  The reason for the error is simply that the PlayStation Network is trying to cope with a MASSIVE spike in traffic, as everyone is logging in at once to try and take advantage of the offer.

It might be a little frustrating to go through these extra steps to make sure you can take advantage of Sony's mea culpa offerings.  But in the end, this should hopefully help out those of you who thought a glitch meant you'd miss out.  This is the best I can offer to help out, and I can attest to the fact that it worked  wonderfully in my case.  I've got my copies of inFAMOUS and Dead Nation loaded up on the PS3, and earlier I was playing Killzone Liberation and ModNation Racers on my PSP.

Just in case this didn't help you out, though, you can do like I did and give PlayStation Support a call at 800-345-SONY (Monday - Saturday: 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM PST, Sunday 7:00 AM - 6:30 PM PST), and I'm sure they'll try to help you out.  Once again, though, there's a whole lot of traffic hitting the servers AND a whole lot of people calling in.  I actually got disconnected twice from the phone before getting dropped into the queue for help.  From start to finish, it took me about 45 minutes to get a hold of someone, but only about 5 minutes to get the answer I needed.

No comments: