July 25, 2014, 6:07 AM —
For most of us Sony's 2011 Playstation Network data breach is old news, but for Sony it is still a source of pain. Now the company is finally trying to put this episode to bed once and for all.
Sony has put together a $15 million settlement package that has received preliminary approval from the courts. Assuming it gets final approval, Sony will pay out that $15 million primarily in goods and services. The one exception is for users who can prove that their identity was stolen as a direct result of the breach. For those cases, Sony will reimburse up to $2,500 per claim, with the total payout being not more than $1 million.
Everyone else will be getting Playstation 3 or PSP games, themes, 3-month subscriptions of Playstation Plus or, for Sony Online Entertainment customers, Station Cash (their virtual currency). In all cases pay-outs will be on a first-come, first-served based with caps on Sony's overall costs.
Gamasutra ran a nice recap of all the tiers of payouts, but if you want every detail check out the original document on Scribd. A lot depends on if you took advantage of Sony's Welcome Back package when the Playstation Network came back online. If you did, then you get less stuff when the settlement is approved.
In a written statement to Polygon a Sony spokesperson said:
"While we continue to deny the allegations in the class action lawsuits, most of which had been previously dismissed by the trial court, we decided to move forward with a settlement to avoid the costs associated with lengthy litigation."
In that same post Polygon states that the final ruling on this settlement won't happen until May 1, 2015, so don't start budgeting time to play your free game just yet.
In less depressing Playstation news, Sony announced (via Twitter) that next week firmware 1.75 for the Playstation 4 is scheduled to arrive. This new firmware will enable playback of 3D Blu-ray disks.
The reason I think this is worth mentioning is that Microsoft has announced that the August Xbox One update will also add 3D Blu-ray support. Is it a coincidence that both consoles are adding this feature at more or less the same time? I doubt it.
This is just one more example of how the competition between Microsoft and Sony spurs the companies to improve both consoles. As popular as console wars are on the Internet, every PS4 player benefits from the existence of the Xbox One, and vice versa. Now lets all hold hands and sing kumbaya while we wait out the summer gaming drought.
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.