In the meantime, what is obviously occupying Sony’s time is trying to recover from when hackers got into Playstation Network and stole all our personal information.
If you haven’t heard yet, Sony is offering anyone who had a Playstation Network account before April two free games from a selected list. To download your free games, just go into the Playstation Store. They’re also offering “free access for 30 days” to Playstation Network Plus, but I won’t spend time covering that here because frankly, I see this as an insulting way for them to use their foul-up to try to upsell us to their paid service.
But if you’re like me, you’ve gone onto PSN and have faced even more headaches. Long story short, the “Make Good” is not so good, and is making Sony look even more buffon-like. Sony had better get on their horse and do a lot more if they expect us loyal Playstation users not to defect to the Xbox.
To help you through the morass, I’ve put some of the most common answers and questions (and annoyances) about the Playstation Welcome Back program here.
Q: What games should I choose of the five free games (InFAMOUS, Dead Space, Little Big Planet, Super Stardust HD, and Wipeout + Fury)
A: The best reviewed games on the list are Infamous and Little Big Planet–those are must-haves if you don’t have them already (Infamous is a mature “open world” game where you fight your way through a post-apocalyptic world; Little Big Planet is a fun little vertical scroller/puzzle game where you dress up your own “bag boy” and walk him through some really innovative worlds).
If you have either of these already, the next best choice is Wipeout, a fast-moving spaceship racing game.
I’m not a fan of Super Stardust–it’s a Robotron-like game which is much too complex for its own good. Also not a fan of Dead Space–it’s just another zombie game. If you like zombies, maybe you’ll get a kick out of it, but no thank you. I like my undead dead.
Q: I keep getting a message that says “An error has occurred. (80710D36)
A: This is likely caused by millions of Playstation Network users flooding the system. Just press O to go back and X to try again, and keep doing that until it works (it could take 5-10 tries). Or, if that gets too annoying, just wait until a time with less peak traffic (e.g., after midnight).
Q: I selected my FREE PS3 GAME 1, but I’m unable to go back and choose an actual game. What do I do?
A: How annoying is this? You follow the instructions to check out with the FREE PS3 GAME 1, only to receive an error message AND to find that the option has disappeared when you return. Sony really should have delayed the launch a few more days and got a usability expert to test these things, because it’s a simply awful user experience.
Happily, there is a way you can claim your free game.
1) Exit out of Playstation Store and click “Account Management” on your main screen under “Playstation Network“. (It’s the icon of the square smiley face with the pencil in front of it).
2) Choose “Transaction Management” and then “Services List“. If you get the 80710D36 error, just press O to back out and try again.
3) You should see an entry called SCEA Promotion / Sony Computer Entertainment America. Click on it, and again, keep backing out and trying again if you get the 80710D36 error. Eventually you’ll see a “Welcome Back: Free PS3 Game 1” entry. Select it.
4) Click “Select Content“. Once again, keep going back and trying again if you get “An error has occurred”.
5) You should eventually get to a screen where you can select Dead Nation, inFAMOUS, Little Big Planet, Super Stardust HD, and WipEout HD.