Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Volcanic Ash Hits The Games Industry Too

Despite the gaming industry going ever more digital, the volcanic ash clouds have managed to cause quite a bit of trouble to those industry. Not only are we hearing that game shipments have come to a halt in certain regions, but also game preview events have had to be pushed back as developers are stranded in Europe.

Quote from GamePro:

"Many flights are still delayed until later this week and beyond. The travel complications left our features editor Patrick Shaw here instead of in Europe for a super-secret game reveal; and now I'm told that Polish developer People Can Fly (ironic much?) is stranded in Europe so they're pushing back a Bulletstorm preview event that was scheduled for this Friday. Bummer.

The silver lining, though, is that we can all blame the dead period between the Game Developers Conference and E3 on the volcano this year".


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rumour: Sony's LittleBigSecret May Have Been Exposed.

Sony hasn't announced LittleBigPlanet 2, yet, but it is apparently on the way. Electronic musician Ochre announced on his Twitter feed today that he has licensed a song called "Infotain Me" to Sony for LittleBigPlanet 2. 

The sequel is being developed for PlayStation 3.

MAG v.1.05 Patch Arrives Monday April 19th

Today Zipper announced the next Patch for its 256 player game MAG, which is coming Monday which improves leadership and weapons, Also Zipper revealed that the DLC info will be next week. What to except from the DLC is probably more Maps, new weapons and Modes hopefully.

"We'll have details on our next DLC soon as well (sometime next week", Jeremy Dunham

Sr. Community Manager, Zipper Interactive


Thursday, April 15, 2010

PS3 Won't Get 3D Blu-ray Support This Summer

Sony has announced that its 3D firmware update which is being piped to its latest range of Blu-ray players and the PlayStation 3 will not make the PS3 compatible with upcoming 3D Blu-rays.

Instead, the update will ready the console for 3D games, of which there will be four in June.

The four titles coming out in a 3D flavour are: Wipeout HD, Motorstorm Pacific Rift, PAIN and Super Stardust HD.

The PlayStation 3 will eventually get 3D Blu-ray compatibility but this is to come in the form of another firmware update later in the year.

Sony Refuses To Sanction PS3 Refunds

Did you think that Sony may have a change of heart and start issuing refunds due to the removal of OtherOS? Wrong! Instead they have said that there is no legal basis for PS3 refunds and what went on between Amazon and a customer is entirely their business. So in conclusion they have no plans to compensate consumers or retailers over the removal of OtherOS in the PS3.

"The provision in the Sale of Goods Act which requires an item to be fit for a purpose made known by the consumer to the retailer prior to purchase and confirmed by the retailer applies only to the contract between the retailer and the consumer," Sony told us.

"The decision by Amazon to give a consumer a partial refund is clearly between Amazon and the consumer, but we do not expect the decision to have a legal basis and we have no plans to compensate retailers".


Crysis 2 PS3 'Performs Better Than 360 Version'

Crytek has been discussing developing Crysis 2 on consoles. And they reveal that they have been able to get better performance from the PS3 system in comparison to the Xbox 360.

"We haven't found it more difficult to develop for PS3," he told CVG sister magazine PSM3.

"We're lucky in the fact that we've come to the generation slightly later than other people - the ones who were trying to build the first technology and games were surprised at how different the PS3 was. We took our time and worked out the right way to approach it.

"At the moment, we're getting slightly more performance from PS3 compared to 360. I'm very confident that products using CryEngine 3 are going to come out as the best looking, or at least in the top three, on every platform".


PS3 Firmware v3.21 Firmware Bypass Blocked

New reports indicate that the PS3 Firmware v3.21 bypass methods have been blocked!

Playstation MOVE Sub Controller To Be Named 'Navigation Controller'

If you were wondering what Sony's going to call that PlayStation MOVE sub-controller Wonder no more. Sony part number CECH-ZCS1U just hit the FCC's database, and "Navigation Controller" is written in nice bold letters right there on the label. It's looking like this is official, as the Sony US website has been quietly updated with the change, and we think it makes a certain amount of sense, as most 3D games let you aim the camera with your dominant hand and relegate navigation to the other.

What do you think? Smart name choice or should they have gone with something else?


Sony Hires New Game Tester From Reality Show

Following their hit reality show 'The Tester', Sony has finally crowned Will Powers as its new 'quality assurance tester' for its video games. During the reality show, entrants were asked to perform a variety of silly asks which apparently related to the skills required by a tester.

For his efforts, Will Powers receives a low paying job as well as $5,000 signing bonus!

Sony: 3D Will Be The Biggest Gaming Revolution

Sony has expressed just how important 3D will become to their plans by revealing that 3D is part of a long term strategy. A spokesperson noted that 3D is possibly going to be the biggest revolution in years to come. Likewise, he drew reference to Avatar at the movies and how big of an impact that had.

"3D gaming is very important to us and we see this as a significant long term strategy," he said.

"The fact that we have a team entirely dedicated to stereoscopic 3D gaming shows that we are taking this very seriously and we aim to lead the way wherever we can".

Heavy Rain Sells 1 Million, 700k Above Estimates

David Cage has revealed that the PS3 exclusive Heavy Rain has sold 1 million units worldwide. Apparently this shocked many as the game was expected to sell just between 200,000 and 300,000 units. Cage is confident mood now and expects the title to move over 1.5 million units before the year is out!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The PS3 Slim Goes Portable

The PS3 Slim isn't just slim, it's also lighter than the previous model of the console. Which means it's slightly easier to take the thing on the road. Hence this portable gaming rig.

Built by Japanese peripheral specialists Hori, it's an LCD screen that attaches to the top of the console, and is able to display games in high definition (720p).

Sounds slightly stupid, but then, it doesn't just give you a portable PS3, it gives you a portable Blu-Ray player as well (and, for the Japanese, it's even compatible with the torne digital TV peripheral). One that can display stuff in HD, for those times you're stuck at Gran's house on her old 28" SDTV.

It'll go on sale May 27 in Japan, for USD$275.


Sony E3 Presser Confirmed For June 15th

Sony’s E3 press conference will take place on June 15th, the company said today.

The event will be held at the Shrine Audutorium from 11:30am PST. That’s 7:30pm BST and 8:30pm CET, as seen here in the invite sent out to press.

Last year’s event saw formal reveals of Gran Turismo 5, Team ICO’s Last Guardian, the gigaton that was Final Fantasy XIV and the debut of ModNation Racers, as well as "the worst kept secret of E3" last year, according to Sony’s Kaz Hirai, PSP go.

The news arrives after Microsoft confirmed it’s set to hold its press conference on June 14th at the Wiltern Theater: a day after holding a special Natal-only event at the USC Galen Center on June 13th.

Nintendo hasn’t formally announced the date for its press conference yet, but is expected to be the same day as Sony’s, June 15th.


Talk Of PS3 Lawsuits Rubbish

Last week, owners of older PS3 model found that the latest update removed a feature most had never used, the Install OtherOS feature. This action by Sony was a direct result of the hacking attempts by hacker George Hotz who had previously gained notoriety for creating exploits for the Iphone shortly after launch. Since the update was announced some PS3 owners have threatened litigation against Sony for the removal of this feature. I suggest that any lawsuits going forward should address the cause of the problem, the ego of Mr. Hotz himself.

Sony’s newly released PS3 update among other things removed the relatively unused ability of older PS3 models to install and run the Linux operation on their console’s harddrives. This feature had already been removed on new 'slim' models of Sony’s PS3 console. Due to concerns of hackers using the other OS feature as an exploit to crack the PS3 console, opening up the possibility of the type of rampant software piracy that plagues the PS3’s main rival, the Xbox 360, the Install OtherOS feature is now gone.

Sony’s fears proved well founded when George Hotz announced he had broken the PS3’s security settings in late January of this year and intended to release his hack to the general public. According to Hotz, "Sony may have difficulty patching the exploit".

Sony’s response was to remove the OtherOS feature entirely. "Disabling the ‘Other OS’ feature will help ensure that PS3 owners will continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system," says SCEA corporate communications director Patrick Seybold.

While Sony’s move to protect its platform from hackers and pirates may seem like common sense to most, there is a vocal minority voicing concern over the removal of this relatively unused feature and they’re already threatening lawsuits and lodging complaints as reported by an article on posted here.

First off, users upset with the removal of the OtherOS option need to redirect their anger at the real culprit, George Hotz. Blaming Sony for the removal of the OtherOS option is like blaming the bank for the inconvenience of having to enter in a PIN code when using our bank cards to withdraw money from our accounts. Obviously, the problem doesn’t lie with the bank for implementing security measures but lies squarely on the shoulders of those who would steal from us. If these people didn’t exist we wouldn’t have need of the security measures in the first place.

George Hotz has claimed that he has no interest in aiding PS3 hackers and pirates but that’s hardly a defense for his selfish actions. The man who opens up the bank vault for criminals to wander in and steal the contents isn’t somehow immune from prosecution because he didn’t take anything himself. This matter is no different and George Hotz needs to be held accountable for the consequences of his actions. Now he’s promising a custom firmware available to PS3 owners to use the OtherOS feature and still be able to connect to the PSN network. George, if you didn’t meddle around in the first place PS3 owners wouldn’t be in this mess to start with. Thanks but no thanks.

Secondly, Sony is well within their rights to protect their system from security breaches. By using Sony’s software you agreed to the update provisions within the PS3’s user agreement. "Without limitation, services may include the provision of the latest update or download of new release that may include security patches, new technology or revised settings and features which may prevent access to unauthorized or pirated content, or use of unauthorized hardware or software in connection with the PS3 system".

I suggest all those talking lawsuit might want to read up on the agreement here. If you don’t agree with the user agreement set up by Sony, no one held a gun to your head and forced you to purchase their product. If you wish to game online you do so under the understanding that Sony will attempt to make the environment safe and secure for all PS3 owners. If you don’t like it, don’t play online.

Users don’t have to update their systems and lose this feature. Users only have to update if they wish to continue connecting to the PSN network and if they want to take advantage of new updates. Given that choice, there isn’t a court out there that is going to rule against Sony when it comes to how they implement security patches on their own service.

Talks of lawsuits against Sony are a complete waste of time, perpetrated by sue-monkeys with an overactive sense of entitlement. You want to sue someone for Sony having their hand forced in this matter; I suggest you look no further than one George Hotz. While it could have been any hacker it just so happened to be George Hotz flexing his ego that ruined this feature for PS3 owners and then took to his blog to crow about it. By targeting the party responsible for these actions instead of the company looking to secure their systems, the sue-happy among us might actually have a case.

George has since tried to apologize via his blog while casting Sony as the villain. Despite his efforts to break the PS3’s security, he doesn’t see how that could ever lead to anything untoward happening.

"Hacking isn’t about getting what you didn’t pay for, it’s about making sure you do get what you did".

How about you do us all a favour, George, and stop pretending this isn’t your fault. People were getting what they paid for out of the PS3. Its hackers that have put a stop to that because they didn’t think their actions through. At the very least perhaps criminal charges are in order.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Firmware 3.21 Now Live; Goodbye Other OS

Say goodbye to the “other OS” option featured in original “fat” PS3s as firmware 3.21 is now live. PS3 firmware updates normally bring new features, but this time around it’s removing a feature.

The ability to install another OS is a feature that was unique to the PS3. Keyword being was. You once were able to install Linux onto your PS3 to use it as a super computer.

Thanks to Geohot, the hacker responsible for first cracking the iPhone and now the PS3, this option has been removed. Geohot aka George Hotz found an exploit in the PS3’s “Other OS” feature which prompted Sony to remove the feature.

This is yet another case of hackers and pirates ruining the fun for others who legitimately wanted to use another OS on their PS3.

Fire up your PS3 right now to download the mandatory firmware 3.21 update.