The moment that PS3 and PSP gamers have been waiting almost a month for is finally here. Yes, the PlayStation Network restoration has finally begun!

Though the PSN will not be brought up to its full strength for some time to come, the basic services — namely online gaming capabilities and third party applications — that most gamers have been without are slowly becoming available.

Sony President Kazuo Hirai took to the Official PlayStation Blog to announce exactly what is taking place during this first phase of the PlayStation Network being brought back online. Essentially, gamers will be able to sign in to the PlayStation Network, participate in online matches, access third party services like Netflix and Hulu, and utilize their Qrocity accounts.

First, before taking the newly upgraded PSN for a spin, gamers will be asked to change their current password for the PSN on either their home console or one that is approved after an email verification. It’s a minor inconvenience, but one that was expected.

Hirai nor Sony make any mention of when the next phases of the PSN restoration will take place, but with the PSN back online most gamers should be fairly occupied for the next week or so.

As of right now the PSN restoration is slow going — especially as millions of gamers try to access it at once — but Sony has been kind enough to provide gamers with a map that indicates which states currently have access to the PSN. We recommend you check it regularly to see whether your specific area has access.

Though having online access is a great start, there is still plenty more in store for the PSN and its users, including a “welcome back” program that will grant access to PSN Plus, Qrocity, and will offer two free PS3 or PSP games. Stick tuned to Game Rant for further news on the PSN restoration including when specific features will be accessible.

What is the first thing you plan to do once you get back on the PlayStation Network? Have you noticed anything different about this new PSN experience?

Source: PlayStation Blog

tags: PS3, PSN, PSP, Sony