New improved PlayStation Network may introduce cross-game chat and in-game video chat

As gamers eagerly await the restoration of PlayStation Network (PSN) services in “the coming days”, many forecast additional new features and improvements that may launch with the “new” PSN. When full gaming services resume, a massive PSN update may introduce an improved XMB (the PS3 user interface and menu system), cross-game chat and in-game video chat.

Gaming news site Games Thirst have quoted a Sony representative as saying,

“As we are rebuilding the network, we are taking into consideration implementing features such as cross-game-chat and in-game video chat to name a few. I cannot confirm any new features at this time but expect a massive update when the network is restored.”
New video chat features may be enough to gratify disgruntled gamers, almost three weeks after the network was originally suspended on Wednesday April 20th due to an “external intrusion”. Sony have already released details of their “Welcome Back” package that will see users receiving one month’s free PlayStation Plus membership and an extension of subscriptions to existing PlayStation Plus and Music Unlimited customers in lieu of the current and extended services outage. The package will also include two free downloadable PS3 games from a possible, and as of yet undetermined, list of five, and two free PSP games out of a possible list of four games.

Yesterday, Sony CEO Howard Stringer posted a personal and apologetic message on the PlayStation blog stating that Sony hoped to resume PSN services in “the coming days”,

“As a company we — and I — apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by this attack. 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.”
Stringer also explains the company’s intentions to expand its newly introduced identify theft protection programme in the United States to other regions, including Europe, although the complexity of dealing with many smaller countries would delay any immediate introduction. The US programme includes a $1 million identity theft insurance policy per user affected by the recent network breech and subsequent data theft. It’s hoped that a similar programme may be introduced to other countries “early next week”.

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