Hello, just wanted to seek help as to what may have happened here.
I have 3 PS3 units in the household, all under this account. I was a PS+ subscriber before the November 17 cut-off period for the policy change, and it expired a week before that. I acquired a 4th PS3 for the Holidays as one of the 3 was experiencing YLOD symptoms, and I used the Data Transfer Utility (after deactivating the account) to transfer all of the games that I have on the faulty one to the new one.
Now, I just resubscribed to PSN+ the other day, and now one of the PS3s at home gives me that error where you have reached the maximum number of units associated to the account. What bothers me though is that it affected both Record of Agarest War (never was a free PSN+ title) and the free inFamous digital download from the Welcome Back package, both purchased way back in May. Before I had resubscribed to PSN+, I was able to play both normally.
Any clues as to what may have triggered this? Also, I could use the "Deactivate All" feature, but would both titles retain the same 5-user license that they have?
You misunderstood how the grandfathering works. Many people did. The limit on activated PS3s for each PSN account is two, effective on November 18th, 2011. PS3s that were activated prior to November 18th are grandfathered, and will remain activated under the PSN account, but only as long as they remain activated under that account. Here is the part that most people misunderstood. The grandfathered PS3s are not exempt from the two PS3 limit. If you have more than one PS3 activated, regardless of when they were activated, then you can't activate any more PS3s, until you deactivate all but one of them. You can't activate any additional PS3, by any means (including the Data Transfer Utility), as long as you have more than one PS3 activated. That means that you can't activate your new PS3 under the same PSN account as your old one, until you deactivate all but one of the other PS3s that are activated under the account now. The Playstation Store doesn't keep track of which PS3s you had activated before November 18th, and exempt those PS3s from the two console limit. The Playstation Store just allows you to keep any consoles that were activated before the 18th activated until you deactivate them, but you still can't activate any additional consoles if you have more than one activated. Titles don't have activation limits. You can download all of your games and add-ons to whatever consoles you have that are activated. Activations are not tracked on a per-game basis. They never were. Activations were always on a per-account basis, for all content. Playstation Store games never had a five-user license. They had a one-user license, on up to five consoles belonging to the one user. Now the license is a one-user license, on up to two consoles belonging to the one user (plus up to three additional consoles, if all of the consoles were activated before November 18th, 2011).
The PS Plus subscription is irrelevant to the activation limit. It doesn't affect it at all. However, you should also be aware that if you allow your Plus subscription to lapse, meaning it doesn't renew automatically when it expires, then you have to start over when you subscribe again. Any PS Plus content that you received free will no longer run, on any of your PS3s. Content that you paid for, but received a PS Plus discount for, will still work. Also, the Welcome Back package has nothing to do with Plus either. All PSN members got the Welcome Back package, and those games are still available on your activated PS3s.
I started a petition at change.org to ask Sony to revert back to the original 5 activations limit. Please sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/chairman-sony-comp