Wednesday, July 20, 2011

PSN Hack The Great Experience... WTF

“We're back online, everything's live again around the world, and the amazing thing through all of this is that the customers have all come back, and network performance is better than ever, sales are better than ever,” he said during the MobileBeat conference. “We've been very, very pleasantly surprised by the experience.”
“It's been a great experience,” he affirmed, prompting his interviewer, VentureBeat executive editor Dylan Tweney, to repeat the words in a surprised questioning tone “A great experience?”
“A great experience,” Schaaff confirmed again before trying to elaborate. “I would not like to do it again. One time was enough. Great learning experience.”
So what did Sony learn from that scandal that affected the privacy and financial security of 1.3 million users? “I think for people running network businesses, it's not just about improving your security, because I've never talked to a security expert who said, 'As long you do the following three things you'll be fine, because hackers won't get you'… the question is how do you build your life so you're able to cope with those things.”
So... Sony had a great learning experience by ignoring Security 101 basics just to find out that if you store large amounts of valuable data in an improperly secured network, then piss off hackers by removing otherOS and taking hardware enthusiasts to court, hackers would attack you and steal that data?
I wonder what would happen if one was to stick a metal fork into a high voltage socket? Perhaps finding out the answer would be “a great learning experience” for Sony.
As far as we know, most of the blame for the scandal goes to Sony’s lacking security measures which were well below the acceptable industry standards.
How many god damn times did he say experience, and good experience, and how was having  the PSN network down for several months a good thing. All those developers that relay on Online gaming were completely scewed out of their sales.  

EA buys PopCap For 750 Million USD WOW That's Alot of Zombies

EA will pay approximately $650 million in cash and $100 million in shares of EA common stock to be issued to certain stockholders of PopCap.
“EA and PopCap are a compelling combination,” said EA CEO John Riccitiello. “PopCap’s great studio talent and powerful IP add to EA’s momentum and accelerate our drive towards a $1 billion digital business. EA’s global studio and publishing network will help PopCap rapidly expand their business to more digital devices, more countries, and more channels.”
PopCap catalogue includes several of the most successful casual titles such as Zuma, Bejeweled and Plants Vs. Zombies. Around 150 million PopCap games are currently installed and played worldwide on platforms such as Facebook, RenRen, Google, iPhone, iPad and Android.

Carmack: Mobile Devices will destroy the console scene soon.

John Carmack expressed his opinion of mobile devices and how they are becoming more powerful than the current generation of consoles.  Devices like the android and iPhone have all happened within the development cycle of Rage id software’s latest project. 
Carmack said that “it’s amazing to think that when we started Rage, iOS didn’t exist. There was no iPhone, all of that happened just in the space of one project development timeline. And that’s a little scary when you think about it, because major landscapes change could be happening underneath our feet as we work on these large scale projects.” In addition to all this Carmack has noticed that colleges and friends have become iPad and mobile gamers and have spent fewer and fewer hours on their consoles.
Though Carmack believes that mobile devices will replace consoles in the near future he also believes that iPad and iPhone games are “a different experience… a diversion rather than a destination.” In my opinion Carmack is a genius but I would have to disagree with him as mobile devices only act as a distraction while we traverse through life’s hardships. Consoles and the PC will never be replaced because there will always be that gamer that can’t get his fix from a mobile device. StarCraft 2, CS, TF2, WoW, Eve Online, and Minecraft  these games will most certainly not come to mobile devices and the games that mimic the features of these games are nothing more than half baked versions that don’t give you the same feeling and satisfaction that you would otherwise get from the Consoles or PC. 

No More X-men or Batman for PSP

I hope you don’t like reading comics on the PSP, because the Sony is going to discontinue its digital comic book service.  This announcement was made aware to the public July 09th when they announced their latest Digital Comic patch.
Sony has not made it clear as to why they are discontinuing the service. But they did state and I quote “the Digital Comics Team will continue to work on bringing the comic service to other Sony devices.” With this being said we can expect to see the 4000+ comics available on the PSP, come to the PS3, PS Vita and maybe in the not so far future PS4.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rockstar Would Never Work With LA Noire Dev Studio Again

After publishing LA Noire for them and witnessing their senior management’s mishaps, Rockstar decided not to do any more business with Team Bondi.

Despite the game’s critical and financial success, tens of LA Noire development team members complained publicly about their oppressive work environment and about not being properly attributed in the game’s credits.
Rockstar’s decision was confirmed by an internal email from a top level Team Bondi employee.
“I've heard a lot about Rockstar's disdain for Team Bondi, and it has been made quite clear that they will not publish Team Bondi's next game,” the internal email reads.
“Team Bondi are trying to find another publisher for their next title, but the relationship with Rockstar has been badly damaged - Brendan [Team Bondi co-founder] treats L.A. Noire like a success due to his vision but I think Rockstar are the ones who saved the project. They continued to sink money into LA Noire, and their marketing was fantastic. Without their continued support, Team Bondi would have gone under several years ago.”
In 2005 Team Bondi announced that they signed an exclusive PS3 publishing deal with Sony, but it was replaced in 2006 with the current publishing deal with Rockstar. The game was originally scheduled for release in 2009, but the release date kept shifting until it was released in May 2011.
“Rockstar also made a huge contribution to the development,”the email continued. “Their producers were increasingly influential over the last two years of the game's development, and overruled many of the insane decisions made by Team Bondi management.”
“At a lower level, Rockstar also pitched in with programmers, animators, artists, QA, etc. Part of the conflict between Team Bondi and Rockstar was due to Rockstar's frustration with Team Bondi's direction, and eventually Team Bondi's management in turn resented Rockstar for taking lots of creative control.”
“It's also worth pointing out that Rockstar used to be very keen on making Team Bondi something like 'Rockstar Sydney' - the more they worked with Team Bondi management, the more they came to understand that this was a terrible idea.”

Taiwanese Report Claims PlayStation 4 Production Starts This Year

DigiTimes, a daily newspaper for semiconductor, electronics, computer and communications industries in Taiwan, claimed that PlayStation 4 production will begin by the end of this year.

DigiTimes’ claims contradict Sony’s public stance that the PlayStation 3 is still midway through its lifecycle and that they won’t consider succeeding it for quite some time.
The full Digitimes report reads as follows:
“Sony will have Taiwan-based partners begin production of PlayStation 4 (PS4) featuring body movement-based control like Kinect at the end of 2011 for launch in 2012, according to Taiwan-based component makers.”
“Foxconn and Pegatron Technology, assemblers of PS3, will undertake assembly of PS4 as well, the sources pointed out. The planned shipment volume of PS4 in 2012 is at least 20 million units, the sources indicated.”

Wii U Will Have Open Multiplayer Network System

According to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, the company’s upcoming Wii U will offer “a much more flexible system” for online gameplay where publishers and developers are free to choose the network solution they prefer.

“So instead of a situation where a publisher has their own network and wants that to be the predominant platform, and having arguments with platform holders, we’re going to welcome that,” he told Forbes. “We're going to welcome that from the best and the brightest of the third party publishers.”
This means that it would be possible for Wii U players to play with their PC counterparts if the game developer wishes so. Valve is already eyeing Wii U to host some of its upcoming titles, and if this happens it is likely that they would use their Steam platform for multiplayer.
Reggie refused to elaborate on the subject, saying that it would be better if further details were “to come from the publishers than to come from us.”

U.S. Navy Tricked Into Buying 59000 Chinese Counterfeit Microchips

In 2010 the U.S. Navy bought 59,000 microchips for use in a wide range of its military equipment, varying from missile defense systems to gadgets that tell friend from foe. Those chips turned out to be Chinese counterfeits.

Adding insult to injury, in addition to being cheap knockoffs that could malfunction anytime, the chips also contained backdoors that would allow anyone with access to the code to disable the chips.
The counterfeit chips were discovered by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA), who is working now on righting this problem.
The problem of foreign chips has been rising since 2005 as foreign chip foundries started creating chips that rival – and surpass – those of the U.S.’s and American weapons makers didn’t want to limit themselves to American technology only.
News sourced from Megagames.
Related topics located here

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Valve Accidently Makes Source SDK Free

Fortunately for the modding community, Valve decided to run a long with a little mistake which led to the full Source Software Development Kit (SDK) being available for free.

The Source SDK was originally available with the purchase of any Source-based game (such as Half-Life 2 and pOrtal). One of those games is Team Fortress 2 which moved over to the free-to-play-micro transactions-supported model recently.
During that transition, Valve didn’t notice that the Source SDK is available with the game and so they didn’t remove it from the bundle and it became free for all.
Valve decided not to spoil the fortunate accident. “We are in the process of getting it all done. It's a bit messy because we have multiple versions of the SDK, and there are some dependencies we need to shake out,” Team Fortress 2 developer Robin Walker wrote in an email. “But yes, the gist of it is that we're just going to go ahead and make the Source SDK freely available.”

Pitchford: Blade Runner Game Would Have Been The End Of Gearbox

Speaking to the Official PlayStation Magazine, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford revealed that the company put together a list of dream intellectual properties in 2008, and that they managed to get them all except Blade Runner which they deemed unprofitable.

“Blade Runner was on [the list],”he said. “We had it too and we were like, 'No, we can't.' That game would've cost like $40m to make and sold about 600,000 units - and that would have been the end of us.”
“There's no rational business model that would have allowed that to make sense. If we'd made it with a business model that did work, it would not have been the Blade Runner game we all would have wanted.”
Gearbox has already released Duke Nukem Forever to a great financial success despite being disappointing to fans and critics alike. The company has also announced Sega sequel Samba de Amigo and movie tie-in Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Bing Gordon: Online Gamers Need To Generate USD 3 Per Hour

Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers argued that online gamers need to generate $3 of in-game items per hours in order to feel rewarded and entertained.

The firm’s expert Bing Gordon explained that players of online games such as Zynga’s FarmVille need to generate in-game gifts, items and coins in order to sustain the illusion of achievement and progression. Gordon argued that $3 is the sweet spot required to maintain that illusion without making the game too easy.
Bing Gordon received the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' (AIAS) Lifetime Achievement Award in January 2011.

You Can’t Delete Your SaveGame In Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D

For no apparent reason, the ability to delete old save games and start a fresh new game was removed from Capcom’s Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D.

No reason was given by Capcom for the decision, which leaves amble room for speculations that it was done to reduce the appeal of second hand copies of the game.
A lot of developers and publishers are increasingly employing different tactics to decrease second hand game sales. The most popular of those tactics might be the one time codes that are tied to the game’s serial number and can be redeemed once to enable some of the game’s content. The content unlocked by one time codes can usually be unlocked by paying a 10 fee, but there is no way to start a new game in Mercenaries 3D after the first one.
It is worth noting that Mercenaries 3D is an arcade-style shooting game with no campaign, so replaying levels is not a big deal but you won’t be able to reset the unlocks, scores and achievements.
Capcom responded to the allegations by claiming that not being able to start a fresh new game has no effect on the game’s second hand sale value.
“The game's value at second-hand in the UK is not affected by whether or not the game can have its data reset,” it said.“Customers in the UK will not experience a reduced second-hand value should they wish to trade in their purchase.”

Wii U Controller Aims To Attract Hardcore Gamers

Despite its unconventional shape, the new Wii U controller was actually designed to resemble traditional gamepads, hoping to attract core gamers back to Nintendo’s consoles.

The console’s HD capabilities were also meant to attract the same audience, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed.
The – not so surprising – revelation was made during an investors briefing in Japan where Iwata admitted that a lot of hardcore gamers were turned off by the WiiMote.
During the same investors briefing Iwata bragged that he was told by third party Japanese developers that they couldn’t replicate Wii U’s Zelda HD demo visual effects on current gen consoles. The demo was put together in “a relatively short amount of time,” Iwata boasted.