fail Archive


The Only PlayStation 4 Piece You Need To Read

John Teti for The Gameological Society:

Creativity thrives under limitations. People who love games understand this implicitly, since the best players find the most creative ways to succeed within the confines of the rules. The Great Train Robbery is a masterpiece not in spite of its limitations but because of them. So if David Cage doesn’t think he can produce an emotional work of art with a PlayStation 3 and an eight-figure budget, maybe he shouldn’t be in the art-making business.

Expanding the technological capabilities of our game machines is not inherently bad, but treating new tech as a magic bullet is a self-destructive delusion (if a familiar one). The reason that so many games suck is not because the technology is too modest. The reason that so many games suck is because so many games suck. Making art is hard. No microchip changes that.

This is the most spot-on, insightful piece I’ve read about the PlayStation 4. It may be a little cynical, but the pretentiousness of these kinds of presentations is just too palpable to ignore.

via More, More, More—How Do You Like It? | Gameological At Large | The Gameological Society.


Zynga And Insider Trading

Ben Popper for The Verge:

“Zynga is a company very focused on data. Mark (Pincus) wants this business to be driven by numbers, not by hits,” said one employee. “They analyze every action in the game and try to optimize the business. The rely on franchises to eliminate risk.”

Because this sounds like a great long term strategy for a “games” company.

via The Verge.


Review: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary

Last fall, Microsoft and 343 Studios released a “remastered” version of the original Halo with online coop play, achievements, a smattering of Kinect-enabled voice commands, and a complete graphical overhaul. It’s somewhat of a transition title for the franchise as the baton of Halo development has been passed from Bungie to 343 Studios starting with the upcoming Halo 4. As a longtime Halo fan, I hope that this “Anniversary” edition of Halo isn’t any indicator of what the future of the franchise will be like because it’s an absolute turd bomb.

Why? Because the online co-op is completely broken. Here are three reasons why:

Read the rest of this entry »


The Google Reader Redesign Is A Flaming Pile Of Poo

Of all the shitty things the new Google Reader redesign did, none was more unconscionable as the removal of the Reader-specific sharing features.

Brian Shih, former Product Manager on Google Reader hits the nail on the head:

But no – instead, they’ve ripped out the ability to consume shared items wholesale from the product. The closest analogue might be if Twitter made it so that 3rd party clients could use the Retweet functionality to push Retweets to a user’s stream — but only allowed you to consume Retweets on

I get that it didn’t make sense for Google to essentially be managing “two” social networks in Plus and Reader, but they picked the worst possible way to integrate the two services. I don’t care that Plus is now the place where my shared articles and comments live now. Hell, I actually welcome it, because now I have control over a potentially greater audience.

But I don’t want to have to go over to a separate website just to see the list of stuff from my trusted share community. To add insult to injury, sharing on Plus only affords a short three line preview of the article and/or thumbnail image. Even the most green Sharebro knows to share the entire article whenever possible.

This was the old process in Reader to read and comment on links:

  1. Click on Shared Items section
  2. Read and comment
This is the new process:
  1. Share item in Google Reader
  2. Open a new browser window and navigate to Plus site
  3. Find and click Google Reader share community circle (after manually adding each person you want to share to)
  4. Read headlines and click again to view the link in a new window
  5. Switch back to the Plus window and find the “share”
  6. Read and comment

Why is Google forcing me to triple the amount of work i need to do to read a shared full article? Wouldn’t have it made more sense from a usability angle to create a Plus hosted “Google Reader Followers Circle” and have a section within Reader itself to view those shared links and comment on them? That way everyone wins – Reader users don’t experience a functional retardation of their product and Google has more content and activity populating its new flagship social network.


Sony Japan: PSP Go shipments have ended

Editor’s note: This was originally supposed to be posted in early June, but WordPress pooped out on, so here it is now.

Lost in the midst of the PlayStation Network security fiasco was the fact that Sony discontinued the PSP Go:

The Japanese site placed “shipment ended” notices on both the black and white PSP Go listings, along with several PSP-3000 color variants. According to the site, the only PSPs currently in production are PSP-3000s in black, white, silver, pink, blue, and red.

Anyone not see this coming?

via Sony Japan: PSP Go shipments have ended | Joystiq.


Sony Confirms Massive PlayStation Network Breach – What You Should Know

Originally posted on Lalawag

Sony just confirmed on its PlayStation Blog the worst case scenario for its recent PlayStation Network downtime/security breach – massive amounts of customer personal data was compromised by hackers. There are over 70 million PSN accounts currently. This is a security breach of disastrous proportions.

From Sony’s PSN Outage FAQ:

Q.6     Does that mean all users’ information was compromised?  Tell us more in details of what personal information leaked.

In terms of possibility, yes.  We believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state/province, zip or postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password, login, password security answers, and handle/PSN online ID.  It is also possible that your profile data may have been obtained, including purchase history and billing address (city, state/province, zip or postal code).  If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, it is possible that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may also have been obtained.

That, my friends, is quite a Happy Meal of personal data that is out in the hands of someone “unauthorized.” Not only do they have your contact information and birthdate, but they have your friggin’ password and password security answers! Does this mean that Sony stupidly stored your passwords in plaintext somewhere? How dumb/cheap/lazy must your company be to store 70 million passwords in plaintext?

If the hackers had just gotten access to password hashes, I would have expected Sony would have mentioned that in order to allay some fears. Nowhere in Sony’s statement does it leave the possibility for password data to not have been compromised which leads many people to suspect gross negligence on Sony’s part. What else would you expect from a company that announces new Playstation/Qrocity branded tablets on the same day that it reports one of the worst breaches of consumer personal data in history?

There is some good news, though, as Sony did confirm that Steam account information was not compromised during the hack. Last week, PS3 players could link Portal 2 to their Steam account to gain access to extra features prior to the PSN going down. I was one of those players, but you can bet your sweet ass that I changed my Steam password ASAP. I suggest you do the same.

Hopefully the leaked information isn’t used maliciously, but obviously you can’t count on that so here’s what you can do right now to deal with Sony’s giant fuckup:

  • Change any passwords to your accounts that are similar to your PSN password.
  • Double check your credit card activity to make sure that nothing out of the ordinary is going on.
  • Be extra careful clicking links in emails – the most likely outcome of all this personal information getting out there is an increased amount of phishing attacks on unsuspecting people.
  • When the PSN comes back up, change your password.

It’s pretty much all you can do at this moment in time other than pray no one messes with your information. Yes, it’s a big pain in the ass, but it’s better to do this now than have to deal with getting your identity back or dealing with credit card fraud.

We can all thank Sony for being inept in network building and security for that inconvenience. For all Sony’s posturing on how the PSN was “free” compared to Microsoft’s Xbox Live, you can bet your ass that Microsoft is having a laugh at Sony’s expense right now.

We’re not even close to looking at the long term fallout of this disaster yet, but you can probably look forward to getting some more compensation in the inevitable class action suit. Time will tell just how big of a hit Sony is going to take in consumers’ eyes for future console and online content sales.

Oh, and for anyone who still cares, Sony hopes to have the PSN back up “within a week.” At this point, the last thing I’m sure people want to do is play their tainted video game consoles.


Duke Nukem Forever Delayed Again


At least the delay is only about 5 weeks. Well, until they delay it again in June, of course.

via YouTube – A very special message from Gearbox Software.


Nintendo Wii’s Sales Decline Has Some Wondering If the Game’s Over

My Wii gathers dust for about 80% of the year. The only time I turn it on is for exclusive AAA releases and those are few and far between nowadays. Once people have seen the Kinect in action they want no part of the Wii anymore.

Reggie Fils-Aime:

“The back half of any system cycle always attracts a higher proportion of buyers who are concerned with price, ease of use and group play.… [T]his late-adopter group is the next audience for the Wii,” he said in an e-mailed statement.

Call me edgy, but it seems to me that once you’re depending on the “late-adopter” group, your product is on its last legs.

Read: Nintendo Wii’s sales decline has some wondering if the game’s over –


PSP Go? More Like PSP No, Amirite?

I’m going to be honest with you. I’m a gadget freak. My friends know this. My colleagues know this. I know this.  For example, I am one of the assholes who has bought all three Nintendo DS SKU’s on consecutive launch dates.  That’s right, despite owning perfectly functional DS phat and lites, I’ve also managed to also buy a DSi.

Knowing my weakness for cool new revisions of handhelds, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that Sony has accomplished something extraordinary with their recently released PSP Go.  They have, in fact, created a product that I have no desire to purchase.

Read the rest of this entry »


What Being Nominated For A Grammy Gets You

kt tunstall fail

I just got an email from Goldstar Events telling me that I could have “comped” tickets to a KT Tunstall show at the Wiltern in LA, presumably because no one bought tickets to the show.

The sad thing is, the Wiltern is only about a mid-sized theater venue, seating roughly 2,500 people.  It’s not as if she was trying to play a large arena way over her head.

It just goes to show that being a successful touring artist has nothing to do with your Grammy nominations, Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack appearances, or Billboard Hot 100 single entries.

A shame, though, I kinda liked “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.”  But not enough to take free tickets to a local show.  Gas is expensive these days, you know.