By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Australia will be one of the first countries to have its PlayStation Network restored, with some services now returning online. By way of reparations, a “Welcome Back” package has been announced, though no details of what this includes have been revealed.

Joining Australia in the slow return to normal services are countries in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, and New Zealand. No dates have been set for Asian or African countries.

Click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter

Apologising profusely for the 26 days of downtime is Sony Corporation executive deputy president Kazuo Hirai.

“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,” said Hirai

“I can't thank you enough for your patience and support during this time. We know even the most loyal customers have been frustrated by this process and are anxious to use their Sony products and services again.

“We are taking aggressive action at all levels to address the concerns that were raised by this incident, and are making consumer data protection a full-time, company-wide commitment.”

The exact nature of the "Welcome Back" package to soothe the savage beasts has not been confirmed, however, we did receive this statement from a Sony Australia spokesperson:

"The company will be offering customers a 'Welcome Back' package of services and premium content to all registered PlayStation Network and Qriocity account services. This will be detailed soon."

According to a release from Sony, the first phase of restoration will include the following:

-Sign-in for PlayStationNetwork and Qriocity services, including the resetting of passwords.
-Restoration of online game-play across PS3 and PSP.
-Playback rental video content, if within rental period, of PlayStation Network Video Delivery Service on PS3, PSP and MediaGo.
-Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity, for current subscribers, on PS3 and PC.
-‘Friends’ category on PS3, including Friends List, Chat Functionality, Trophy Comparison, et cetera.
-PlayStation Home.