Barring any additional problems, Sony plans to bring the PlayStation Store back online next Tuesday, May 24, according to a memo sent to Sony's game developer and publishing partners.
The company has sent a tentative publishing schedule to partners detailing when their games, expansions and other releases will become available to players. In the memo, obtained by Gamasutra, Sony unveils plans to do two content pushes per week for the next two weeks to catch up with the backlog of content.
"We thank you for your patience as we work to resume service of the PlayStation Store," wrote PSN content manager Jack Osorno to developer partners.
The first push, set to coincide with the PlayStation Store's reopening, will distribute content that was originally scheduled to publish on April 26. Three days later on the 27th, another round of games will go live, which were originally scheduled for May 3.
The following week, pushes will take place on May 31 and June 3, using content that originally had been planned to be spread over three weeks. At that point, the company will be back on schedule and, presumably, return to a single content push per week.
While Sony is trying to maintain the queue that was already in place, the company says it is willing to move some titles around, depending on urgency. Seemingly, this would include DLC packs for existing titles that have already released expansions on other platforms.
"If there are concerns, we are willing to consider adjusting the release date of your content on this schedule," says Osorno. "Adjustments will be made on a case by case basis."
The launch of the PlayStation Store is one of the final steps to bringing the PlayStation Network back to full operation. Sony has said many times that it expected the network to be fully operational before the end of May.
Osorno's note does not detail what plans, if any, Sony has to assist developers who were impacted by the outage.
In some cases, that impact has been substantial. Capcom corporate officer and SVP Christian Svensson, for instance, has previously estimated
the company's lost revenue from the outage as being in the "hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars."
Other developers have remained more supportive of Sony, but have made public appeals to the company to assist them with marketing their titles
once the Store goes back online so that they might recoup any losses.
Sony, though, is actually in something of a power position -- especially with smaller developers. Despite the security crisis, the company remains one of the most powerful players in the video game industry, so few, if any, small shops are going to make a lot of noise complaining about the way they feel they have been treated. While some could jump to Microsoft's Xbox Live platform, they're unlikely to do so immediately.
For consumers, the relaunch of the PlayStation Store should get them one step closer to being able to claim the contents of their "Welcome Back" package. As detailed
on Sony's U.S. PlayStation Blog, PlayStation 3 owners with existing PSN accounts will be able to download two free games from a pool that includes Dead Nation, Infamous, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD
and Wipeout HD
Sony has said that those (and other) freebies would be made available once services are fully restored.