Diablo 3 is coming to the Playstation 3, but how does it look? Check out the Console Sizzle video to find out.
Aldath and I have a chat about the five conferences at this year’s E3 and offer up our impressions. Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sony and Nintendo. None will escape our discussion..
Dean: Alright, first up let’s talk about Microsoft’s conference, given that this was the first one on the E3 agenda. What was your highlight of the conference?
Aldath: For me, I’d have to say it was Halo 4. There just wasn’t any other interesting announcements.
Dean: For me, the SmartGlass was the highlight of the conference. Sure, there were perhaps more interesting GAME stuff to be seen, but they’ve set up themselves up to be able to compete with what sets the Wii U apart from other consoles (the gamepad) without requiring any additional hardware.
Aldath: That would be a close second for me.
Dean: What was your low point for Microsoft’s conference? The thing you were least interested in, etc.
Aldath: Hmm, probably anything relating to Kinect.
Dean: I thought that the Bing stuff in particular were the worst. No one cares about the service, nor about Internet Explorer coming to Xbox – they could have dedicated the time they spent on something else.
Aldath: A lot of companies do stuff that, so I tend to just kind of ignore it.
Dean: What was your overall impression of Microsoft’s press conference?
Aldath: I think it could have been a bit better.
Dean: They definitely played it safe. We knew Halo 4 was going to get shown, this time at the start of the conference instead of at the end (like last year’s) and we knew that Black Ops 2 was going to get coverage. The Kinect stuff was kind of unimpressive, mostly voice related – can’t we do that with just a mic? They had some potentially interesting XBLA titles on show but they were barely shown so it was impossible to say either way.
Aldath: Voice related stuff isn’t really all that impressive these days.
Dean: I think it is also worth a mention that Microsoft seem to have made strides in the direction they are taking the Xbox 360, from just a gaming console to an all entertainment console.
Aldath: That is a neat direction to go. I like the idea of having multiple entertainment options in just one package. Easier to watch stuff like movies with friends and family, yet also play games with them with the same system.
Sony’s push for an Uncharted movie was dealt a heavy (though fan-pleasing) blow when director David O. Russell left the production. Sony and David O. Russel had many creative clashes, so in his wake Sony has hired Neil Burger (director of The Illusionist and Limitless) to helm the project.
It is unknown if Mark Wahlberg will still be attached to the film, as it is arguably his relationship with Russell (having starred in three of the director’s previous films) that drew him to the role. Also unknown is if Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, both rumored to have roles, are still on board, although their involvement is unlikely
In an ever increasing amount of hacker attacks against video game companies and websites, both the Escapist Magazine’s website and the Eve Online servers have gone down recently.
The hacker group carrying out the attacks are known as “lulzsec” and hit the Escapist Magazine’s website host with distributed denial of service attacks, as well as CCP’s login servers for Eve Online. Once CCP became aware of the attacks, the servers were immediately taken offline and as an added precaution, their infrastructure was disconnected from the public internet. Minecraft’s login server as well as League of Legend’s login servers were also the targets of attacks from the group.
This is just the latest wave of attacks since Sony’s networks were compromised.
Let us know in the comments what your opinions are on this issue.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few months, you’ll be well aware of how hackers intruded Sony’s network and brought down PSN, Sony Online Entertainment and other services, making away with credit card details and generally being a nuisance for Sony. It seems as if it’s started a trend of attacks against the game industry, with rumours of Nintendo having been hacked prior to E3 2011. The latest comes as the Epic Games website was revealed to have been hacked. Members of the site were informed via email.
Dear XXXXXXXXXXXX, Our Epic Games web sites and forums were recently hacked. After some downtime, they're back up and running now. The hackers may have obtained the email addresses and encrypted passwords of forum users. Plaintext passwords weren't revealed, but it's possible that those passwords could be obtained by a brute-force attack on the encrypted passwords. Therefore, we have reset all passwords. Your new password at the bottom of this message. The Unreal Developer Network (UDN) hasn't been compromised. Thankfully, none of our web sites ask for, or store, credit card information or other financial data. We're sorry for the inconvenience, and appreciate everyone's patience as we wrestle our servers back under control. Tim Sweeney Founder, Epic Games Inc
Codemasters, Square Enix and Bethesda have also all been targeted in the past week or so.
Sony’s new handheld, which was codenamed NGP or PSP 2 (take your pick) was officially announced during Sony’s press conference at E3 2011. Named the PS Vita, Sony appear to have learned a lesson with it’s pricing with two different models available at the following prices; $249/$299 (US), 249/299 euros in Europe and for Japan, 24480/29480 Yen. The cheaper PS Vita model will include Wifi ability, while the more expensive one will have 3G functionality.
In March 2005, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system defined new standards in portable entertainment and provided game enthusiasts worldwide with a new way to experience games outside of their living room. The PSP system broke through traditional boundaries then and has gone on to sell more than 70 million units since its launch. In January, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) announced a new portable device for a new generation of gamers — the next generation portable entertainment system (codename: NGP).
Today, SCE announced PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) as the official platform name for NGP. A Wi-Fi model will be available for 24,980 yen (including tax) in Japan, $249 MSRP in US and euro 249 in Europe, while a 3G/Wi-Fi model will be available for 29,980 yen (including tax) in Japan, $299 MSRP in US and euro 299 in Europe. PS Vita will launch in the global market starting at the end of 2011.
Derived from the Latin word “Vita,” which means “Life,” this next generation portable entertainment system enables a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context.
The PS Vita system incorporates a beautiful 5-inch multi-touch organic light emitting diode (OLED) as the front display and a unique multi-touch pad on the rear. Together with the front touch screen and the rear touch pad, the PS Vita system offers new game play allowing users to interact directly with games in three dimension-like motion, through “touch, grab, trace, push and pull” finger motions. Also the PS Vita system features two analog sticks which enable a wider range of game genres to be brought into the portable experience.
In addition to the PS Vita system pricing, SCEA also revealed today that AT&T, which powers the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, will be the exclusive service provider in the United States for the PS Vita system. The speed and coverage of AT&T’s mobile broadband network will ensure that PS Vita system users will remain connected to content and each other on the go.
On the content front, SCEA showcased a robust collection of software titles developed exclusively for the PS Vita system. Featured titles including UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss™, LittleBigPlanet™ and Ruin (working title) utilize the platform’s groundbreaking technology to make unprecedented immersive, interactive and social game play available on-the-go. UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss takes full advantage of PS Vita’s stunning OLED screen to deliver vibrant cinematic visuals and combines input from the front-touch screen and dual-analog sticks to create the most intuitive 3rd person shooter experience available on a portable system. Also making use of PS Vita’s unique feature set, LittleBigPlanet allows users to Play, Create and Share like never before with the system’s front touch screen and rear touch pad as well as its front and rear cameras. Finally, Ruin brings the ultimate social action RPG experience and also delivers interoperable compatibility for players to save their game on the PS Vita system and continue on at home using the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system. Adding to this selection of innovative games, SCEA unveiled a collection of PS Vita titles that will be available including wipEout®, ModNation™ Racers, Reality Fighter (working title), Super Stardust™ Delta, Sound Shapes, Hot Shots Golf®, Hustle Kings™ and more.
Additionally, conference attendees received a look at Capcom’s STREET FIGHTER® x TEKKEN® for the PS Vita system which will feature Cole MacGrath as a playable character from the popular PS3 franchise, inFAMOUS™.
The Nintendo 3DS retails for $249 in the US, signalling Sony’s intent to compete on the pricing scale.
The staff behind the EB Games Expo 2011 have revealed a list of publishers that will be exhibiting content in October. What content they will be showing is yet to be revealed at this time. See below for a list of the publishers.
Disney Interactive Studios
That’s not all folks, check out page 2 for the rest of the exhibitors. Click Me
According to Sony, the Playstation 4 might well already be under development and it looks like they will be dialling it back a notch on ambitious hardware advancement, which ultimately cost Sony so much money in the early life of the current console.
Sony spoke to investors shortly after announcing that they had lost approximately $3.1 billion dollars over the course of the past fiscal year. Despite the overall company’s staggering losses, the video game division posted a profit of $435 million during the same fiscal year. CFO and executive president of Sony, Masaru Kato, revealed that a portion of their research and development costs will be utilised on a brand-new home gaming console.
“The PS3 still has product life, but this is a platform business,” he said. “So for the future platform, when will we introduce it? What product? I can not discuss that. But development work is already underway.”
We’ve already known for some time now that Sony will be offering their customers a free month of PSN Plus in the wake of PSN and other Sony services being hacked and brought down for a considerable period of time as part of their welcome back program in addition to other goodies. What we didn’t know is just what free games Playstation 3 and PSP owners would get. But we do now as Sony have released details on what those games will be.
Playstation 3 owners can choose from the following list:
- Dead Nation
- Little Big Planet
- Super Stardust HD
- Wipeout HD + Fury
PSP Owners will have a choice of the following:
- Little Big Planet
- Killzone Liberation
- ModNation Racers
- Pursuit Force
In addition to the above, various “On Us” movie rentals will be free to download for a weekend. The list and which weekend specifically is yet to be named.
Sony, in a press release, has just detailed the PSN’s future in light of the recent outage and external intrusion that caused it.
Sony has implemented a variety of new security measures to provide greater protection of personal information. Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI) and its third-party experts have conducted extensive tests in verifying the strength of the rebuilt PSN and Qriocity services.
PSN users will have to download a new firmware and reset their passwords before they can get back online using the PSN. With this in mind, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) and SNEI plan to start a phased roll out by region of the services shortly. The initial phase of the roll out will include the following:
- Restoration of Online game-play across the PlayStation®3 (PS3) and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) systems. This includes titles requiring online verification and downloaded games
- Access to Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for PS3/PSP for existing subscribers
- Access to account management and password reset
- Access to download un-expired Movie Rentals on PS3, PSP and MediaGo
- PlayStation Home
- Friends List
- Chat Functionality
However, the PSN Store will still not be functional. Sony has not given a time-frame on when it will be made available, only saying that all PlayStation Network services will be back up later by the end of the month.
Sony has also created a new position of Chief Information Security Officer that will directly report to Shinji Hasejima, Chief Information Officer of Sony Corporation. This new job position has been made to add a new position of expertise in accountability for customer data protection and also to supplement existing information security personnel.
The new security measures implemented include the following:
- Added automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks
- Enhanced levels of data protection and encryption
- Enhanced ability to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns
- Implementation of additional firewalls
The press release also states that Sony has “expedited an already planned move of the system to a new data center in a different location that has been under construction and development for several months.” In addition to downloading a new firmware and resetting user passwords, that password can only be changed on the same PS3 where the account was activated or through validated email confirmation.
While Sony insists that there is no evidence that credit card data was taken, the company will provide a complimentary offering to assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs. Further details will be made available in each region shortly.
Sony will roll out a PlayStation Network and Qriocity “Welcome Back” program to be offered worldwide. It will be tailored to specific markets to provide customers with a selection of service options and “premium content” as an expression of Sony’s gratitude for the consumers’ “support, patience and loyalty.”
Central components of the “Welcome Back” program will include the following:
- Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Specific details of this content will be announced in each region soon.
- All existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service. Current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service.
- Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers (in countries where the service is available) will receive 30 days free service.
Sony also says that additional “Welcome Back” entertainment and service offerings will be rolled out over the coming weeks.
PSN will be back online this coming week, or at least a majority part of it will be functional. PSN users will get PSN+ and other unannounced content for their troubles.
Is this enough for the customers who have been affected by all this? Sound off in the comments.