Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, took the stage at E3 to apologize for the PlayStation Network outage and promise better things for its customers in the future.

It’s arguable that the ugliest thing about the long-running PlayStation Network outage that took place over April and May wasn’t the attack itself but Sony’s response to it. It was more than a week before the company acknowledged the extent of the data that was lost and even then it refused to say definitively whether or not any credit card information had escaped into the wild. Sony CEO Kaz Hirai issued an official apology at a May press conference in Japan but yesterday at E3, Tretton got a little more up-close-and-personal about it.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve come to an E3 conference with an elephant in the room, and of course I’m referring to the PlayStation Network outage,” Tretton told his audience. “This is the first opportunity for me to personally address everybody and discuss it a little bit.”

After thanking its third-party publishing partners and retailers for their support over the years and through the PSN mess, Tretton turned his attention to the people he was “most interested in addressing”: PlayStation customers. “You are the lifeblood of the company,” he continued. “Without you, there is no PlayStation, and I want to apologize both personally and on behalf of the company for any anxiety that we caused you.”

Tretton also revealed that PSN network activity is currently running at more than 90 percent of its original, pre-hack levels, a remarkable comeback by any measure. “That is something we absolutely do not take lightly,” he added. “We are committed more than ever to making sure than the PlayStation Network experience is both entertaining and secure for everybody.”

For more coverage of Sony’s E3 2011 press conference, check out Susan Arendt’s E3 liveblog!

See all our coverage directly from the show floor.

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