Sony's download service, PlayStation Store, is to finally return to Japan this week, 11 weeks after servers were first taken offline after an attack by anonymous hackers.
In a statement on its website – translated by Andriasang – Sony confirms that the store, and Qriocity, will be back online this Wednesday, July 6. PS3 and PSP owners will be able to access the full suite of services including in-game items, code redemption, and Media Go.
PlayStation Store's return has been significantly delayed in Japan: it has been available to US and European users since June 2, in Hong Kong since June 14 and South Korea since June 24.
While Sony has never explained the delay it has been reported that the firm was working to satisfy government and regulators that it had added sufficient security to prevent a repeat of the April attack.
Sony first noticed the intrusion on April 19, took PSN offline entirely the day after and, after several days working to identify the scope of the attack, notified its customers on April 26. The personal details of 77 million users were taken, and it announced that those of a further 25 million had been compromised when it belatedly noticed an attack on Sony Online Entertainment.
Last week Sony chairman Howard Stringer told an annual meeting of shareholders that 90 per cent of users had returned to the service, though it was assumed that figure excluded Japanese users due to the store's ongoing unavailability. Whether a similar ratio of Japanese users will return in the light of the extended outage remains to be seen.