It's been a tough five weeks for PS3 owners waiting for the Playstation Network to fully recover from the hacking incident(s) that prompted Sony to shut it down near the end of April. While we've been able to play online for the past few weeks, the Playstation Store, which many would argue is the centerpiece of the PSN, remained conspicuously absent until today.
The lack of Store functionality was particularly painful for me because my launch-era, fat PS3 decided it would be a good time to stop working a few weeks ago, which prompted me to go out and pick up a new, slim PS3 to replace it. I'm still considering having the old one repaired, but that's another story.
Point is that I had a bit of an issue with the new PS3 as the backup from my old system only brought over most of my save files and music, so with the Store down, I wasn't able to get any of my downloadable games up and running on the new system. I realize this is a pretty specific issue because my PS3 happened to die at a time when the store wasn't available, but I have to admit I've been rather annoyed having to wait several weeks to fully restore everything to the new console.
Thankfully, aside from a few minor hiccups, I've already managed to re-download the games I was really itching to play and queue up the rest so that they download while the system is idle.
For those who are wondering, it doesn't appear that the SSD hard drive replacement I did on the old PS3 had anything to do with it croaking. In fact, I've been using that same SSD on the new slim PS3 for several weeks now without any problems. It seems that my launch PS3 was simply one of many that have given in to the Yellow Light of Death for a variety of reasons. I would have liked to have seen it last a bit longer than three and a half years, but it did outlast my XBOX 360 by quite a bit despite being used considerably more frequently.
All things considered, I'm pretty happy to have the PSN back up and running and am really looking forward to taking advantage of the Welcome Back program and seeing what Sony has up their sleeve for E3 next week.
It may take a while for Sony to fully re-earn my trust regarding the security, stability and availability of their online services, but I feel like they're on the right track and I'm certainly happy to have my PS3 back up and running as intended.