Sony begins limited PlayStation Network service

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The Independent Tech

Sony said today it had resumed a limited restoration of its PlayStation Network service in the US and Europe after the service was shut down amid a massive security breach.

Sony Computer Entertainment spokesman Satoshi Fukuoka said the company had also begun phased restoration of its Qriocity movie and music services.

Sony's PlayStation network is a system that links gamers worldwide in live play. Sony shut it down on April 20 after discovering the security breach affecting more than 100 million online accounts.

The network serves both the PlayStation video game machines and Sony's Qriocity movie and music services. It is a system that also allows users to upgrade and download games and other content.

Sony had said personal data including credit card numbers may have been stolen. But the company said today it had not received any reports of the stolen information being used illegally.

Kazuho Hirai, chief of Sony's PlayStation video game unit, said the company had beefed up security measures to protect customers' personal data.

While the partial service allows users to enjoy video games and online chat, Sony says consumers still cannot buy video games or other content by using credit cards.

"While we understand the importance of getting our services back online, we did not rush to do so at the expense of extensively and aggressively testing our enhanced security measures," Mr Hirai said.

Among the 100 million user accounts, Sony said about 92 million could access the limited PlayStation network service.