The CEO of Sony UK, Sir Howard Stringer, has broken his two-week silence to offer PlayStation punters an apology for the ongoing outage of PSN services.
Writing on the company's official blog, the Welsh-born PlayStation Peer acknowledged that the last fortnight had been a "frustrating time" for PS3 gamers and assured them that the company was fully focused on investigating the attack and fixing the damage.
"We are absolutely dedicated to restoring full and safe service as soon as possible and rewarding you for your patience. We will settle for nothing less," he wrote.
He also reiterated that, so far, there was no evidence to suggest that credit card details or personal information stolen in the attack had been abused. He confirmed that regional variants of the $1 million per person insurance policy against identity theft announced earlier would be put in place soon.
Stringer also promised that all users would get a 'welcome back' package, which would include a month of free PlayStation Plus membership, an extension of PlayStation Plus and Music Unlimited and other as-yet-unannounced benefits.
"As a company we - and I - apologise for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack, Stringer said. "Under the leadership of Kazuo Hirai, we have teams working around the clock and around the world to restore your access to those services as quickly, and as safely, as possible."
Many have criticised Sony for keeping its customers in the dark for days when the service was first shut down two weeks ago, as Stringer explains: "I know some believe we should have notified our customers earlier than we did. It’s a fair question. As soon as we discovered the potential scope of the intrusion, we shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and hired some of the best technical experts in the field to determine what happened.
"I wish we could have gotten the answers we needed sooner, but forensic analysis is a complex, time-consuming process. Hackers, after all, do their best to cover their tracks, and it took some time for our experts to find those tracks and begin to identify what personal information had - or had not - been taken."
Stringer says that Sony is currently upgrading its security so that when it comes back it will be "even stronger" before going on to compare the hack attack to recent disasters in Sony's home country, a crass and unnecessary statement which the beknighted boss may well live to regret:
"In the last few months, Sony has faced a terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But now we are facing a very man-made event - a criminal attack on us - and on you - and we are working with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies around the world to apprehend those responsible."
Although Sony is currently unwilling or unable to place a solid time-scale on the restoration of PSN and other services, Stringer suggests that things might be up and running soon.
"In the coming days, we will restore service to the networks and welcome you back to the fun," he writes. "I wanted to personally reach out and let you know that we are committed to serving you to the very best of our ability, protecting your information better than ever, and getting you back to what you signed up for – all the games and great entertainment experiences that you expect from Sony."