PlayStation Network back online beginning this week

The PlayStation Network outage will soon be over. (Mostly.)

PlayStation Network service will be restored this week, Sony reps have announced. The PSN has been offline since the end of April.

PlayStation Network service is slowly and incrementally being restored, Sony reps announced over the weekend. In a post to the official PlayStation blog, Sony communications chief Patrick Seybold added that the restoration will be accomplished in phases –– some regions will regain access to the PSN immediately, and some regions will have to wait a bit longer.

"Please note that these services will take a bit of time to be turned on and rolled out to the whole country," Seybold wrote. "The process has begun and some states are being turned on now, so please be patient as we reach your city and state."

The PSN outage –– which first occurred on April 20 following a massive data breach –– has drawn cries of outrage from gamers. It has also reportedly mucked up the timeline of at least one forthcoming video game. As we reported last week, a developer for the fantasy title Dark Souls said the problems with the PSN had caused some hiccups for the production team.

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"I'd like to send my sincere regret for the inconvenience this incident has caused you, and want to thank you all for the kind patience you've shown as we worked through the restoration process," Kazuo Hirai, the executive deputy president of Sony Corp, said in a statement released over the weekend. "I can't thank you enough for your patience and support during this time."

In order to log back on to the PSN, users will have to download a software update and reset their password. Meanwhile, all users are eligible for a free credit protection service called AllClear ID Plus, which includes fraud insurance.

Sony has also promised a "welcome back" package. While Americans will need to wait for details, Europeans will enjoy two free PlayStation games, chosen from a list of five. More info to come.

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