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PlayStation Rewards goes live, here's the full breakdown

As promised, PlayStation Plus and Gamer Advisory Panel members are now receiving their invitations to Sony's new PlayStation Rewards loyalty program. Here's everything you need to know about how the system works.

Everyone starts off at a level called "Beta Participant." As you "participate in activities on PSN or with PlayStation-brand products," you earn an invisible amount of points to start pushing you to the next level. You never know how many points each activity gives you, or even what activities give you points. Once you reach a certain amount of points, you gain the next status. The statuses are, in order:

Beta Participant
Select
Pro
Legendary

As soon as you reach a new tier, you'll receive an e-mail with a PlayStation Network code that you can redeem for a prize on the PlayStation Store. So far, the only prizes being discussed are exclusive PSN avatars, PlayStation Home content, and dynamic PS3 themes.

When you receive your PSN code, you have 30 days to redeem it. After that, you forfeit the prize associated with it. Additionally, some prizes may be limited, so it will be possible that Sony sends you a PSN code which will not work when theprizes are exhausted.

Additionally, you MUST opt into Sony marketing e-mails. If at any time, you opt out of these e-mails, your Rewards account becomes inactive and you no longer are eligible to earn prizes. Yay.

Also, Rewards status for every user resets on March 31 every year. At that time, whatever status you attained the prior year will be locked and you will retain that status through March 31 of the following year.

However, any progress you made toward achieving the next status will be wiped clean. Everyone goes back to 0 rewards points and must start all over again. So even if you attain Legendary status this year, you'll remain Legendary until March 31, 2012 no matter what, but in order to extend that to March 31, 2013, you will still need to reach the Legendary tier again, from scratch, between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012.

So far, Sony has disclosed the following as activitieswhich earnRewards points:

- Playing new Blu-ray games
- Being active in PlayStation Home
- Buying content on the PlayStation Store

Sony said it will also eventually reward players for other activities, but for now, the company is just "evaluating additional Reward behaviors."

Oct 29, 2010