playstation 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.


Sony E3 2012 Press Conference Liveblog


Free MotorStorm RC Download For PlayStation Vita

In a surprise twist earlier this week, Sony announced that Evolution Studios’ latest entry in the MotorStorm franchise would be a free download for PlayStation Vita users. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the PS3 version will follow suit with the freeness. Either way, you may as well “buy” the free game for your PSN account even if you don’t have a Vita yet as it appears to be a “limited time offer.”

I played through a couple of races and it’s definitely a fun little game to have on the go. It’s essentially a modern version of those single screen old school RC racing games. (Or RC Pro Am if that was your jam. It was definitely mine.) The controls are dead simple (Steer and go) and there’s a ton of events to play through and trophies to earn. Still, I gotta admit to being terrible at this game since I’m so used to behind-the-wheel racing games. Put me in a top-down isometric view and I just crash into walls all the time.

While there’s no multiplayer in the traditional sense, the game still invokes intense competitive instincts through its asynchronous leaderboard competition. Every time you finish a race, you see how you stack among your friends and the game prompts you to . It’s very similar to the Need For Speed Autolog or SSX’s RiderNet. I normally don’t give a crap about leaderboards, but when it’s tastefully shoved in my face after finishing a race, the competitive juices start flowing. There’s also a time trial mode, a freeplay playground mode, and a customizable single race event mode with bots. Basically, there’s enough content here to justify a $9.99  or maybe even a $14.99 price point. Since it’s free (for now), you don’t have to worry about rationalizing your purchase. Go get it, Tiger.

MotorStorm RC features 16 unique tracks spread across four extreme environments, including the dusty desert mesas of Monument Valley, the dangerous jungles of a Pacific Island, the icy tundra at the Arctic Edge, and the apocalyptic ruins of a destroyed urban city. Players can conquer these environments in powerful radio-controlled vehicles, with hundreds of uniquely customized models to collect in 8 distinct categories: Buggies, Superminis, Rally Cars, Muscle Cars, Racing Trucks, Supercars, Big Rigs and Monster Trucks.

MotorStorm RC Driving to PS Vita for FREE, Courtesy of Scion – PlayStation Blog.


Your Can’t Transfer Your Old PSP Game Discs To Your New PlayStation Vita

Jason Schreier:

Sony has told Kotaku that there will not be a North American version of the UMD Passport program, which would allow PlayStation Vita users to transfer their PSP discs to the upcoming handheld.

Disappointing, but predictable. I imagine the infrastructure it would take to implement this sort of program is just not worth the niche, one-time market that it would serve.

Frankly, you’re better off just playing the games on your old PSPs. I mean, would you really want to pay an additional $6-$15 per title to transfer games you already own to a new system?

via Kotaku.


Vita Games Discounted For Digital Distribution

Andrew Yoon for Shacknews:

A Sony representative has confirmed the discount. “I can confirm that there will be a discount on the downloadable PS Vita titles from PSN. Exact details have not yet been revealed, but be on the lookout for an announcement in the very near future.”

The discount will apparently be 10% off the retail price for the equivalent retail boxed version of the game. It’s an interesting first step in the transition to a completely digital consumer experience for the games industry.

I’m not sure if 10% is enough, given that many retailers routinely offer 20% or greater discounts/promotions for new game releases. (Anyone who’s pre-ordered new video games from Amazon in the last two years is fond of their $10-$20 promotional credit offers) But the fact that Sony is willing to discount the digital version is at least acknowledgement that charging full retail price for it is folly.

If you’re able to delete and re-download games for free at will, it might actually give consumers an interesting purchasing decision to make assuming they have a decent sized memory card. One of the most annoying things about carrying multiple games on trips is physically carrying those games. Being able to load several games onto your memory card would cut down on travel weight significantly.

Now if Sony would only get rid of their comically overpriced proprietary Vita memory cards…



PlayStation Vita’s AT&T Data Plan

Stephen Totilo:

The data plan for the 3G version of the PlayStation Vita will run you $15 for 250 MB or $25 for 2GB. There are no contracts, the company said during a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

It’s a slightly better deal than iPhone users who have to pay $15 for 200MB, but let’s be real here. Unless you’ve got a ton of disposable income, why would you pay another monthly data plan (assuming you’re a smartphone owner) for a purely gaming device?

Even without contracts involved, it’s still a hefty price to be paid to scratch that multiplayer game itch.

via Kotaku.


The PlayStation Vita First Edition Bundle

Last week, Sony announced a bundle for its upcoming Vita handheld console:

The U.S. bundle includes a PS Vita 3G + Wi-Fi model, a limited edition case, 4GB PS Vita Memory Card, and Little Deviants game for $349.99 (MSRP). The Canadian bundle includes a Wi-Fi model, a limited edition case, 4GB PS Vita Memory Card, and Little Deviants game for $299.99 (MSRP). Best of all, you can pick up the PS Vita First Edition Bundle on February 15, 2012, so this is your chance to play before everyone else.

Lets break this down to see if its worth it in the U.S.

  • PS Vita 3G system – $299.99
  • 4 GB Vita memory card – ~$32 (The memory card price has been announced in Japan only, but we’ll assume the US price is similar. )
  • Little Deviants Game – $39.99
  • Limited edition case – $15 (unknown, but assuming it’s worth between $10-$20 MSRP)
  • Total: $386.98
The interesting thing about this bundle is that the added goods are actually useful. Sony’s unfortunately going with a proprietary memory card format and there’s no internal storage, so it looks like a memory card is going to have to be a “required” purchase. Assuming that, you’re basically getting Little Deviants and a case for $20, which isn’t a bad deal.
However, the biggest pause for concern with the bundle is whether or not you need the 3G model of the Vita. Though plans haven’t been announced yet, it’s not looking likely that we’ll be getting free service ala the Amazon Kindle. To add insult to injury, download sizes are limited to 20 MB, basically ensuring that game downloads are off limits. Even if the 3g plan is as low as $10 a month, is the ability to play multiplayer games on 3G worth that? I’m going to go with “No.”
Unless Sony comes up with a similar WiFi version bundle, I’d recommend passing on this. A $50 premium and potential monthly charges kill the value proposed by the bundle.

via PlayStation Blog.


Anyone Surprised With How Sony Still Refuses To Take Responsibility For PSN Fiasco?

It’s been about a month since Colin Campbell’s take on how Sony should have responded to the PlayStation Network fiasco was published, and its pretty eerie how some of his predictions are playing out:

Here’s a little test for you. Which of the following statements are you most likely to agree with in one year’s time.

A: “Sony handled that situation amazingly. They held their hands up and took appropriate share of blame. They outlined a clear plan of action to remedy the situation and they made sure all stakeholders were recompensed beyond reasonable expectations. They showed their human side and came out of this a stronger company.”

B: “It just kinda went away, didn’t it? Sony entirely laid the blame on the hackers, launched a lot of legal flak, refused to take any responsibility, offered the minimum clarity and token recompense. But no-one cares any more. At least they’ve encrypted my personal data now.”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that answer B is looking a whole lot more likely than answer A.

Sure, Sony has offered up some free games and enrollment in an identity theft program, but has it really made you believe that it’s truly sorry for what’s happened and that it will do its best to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

I didn’t think so.

Wired had a pretty funny list of ridiculous things that Sony could have used to compensate users for. It’s a silly read, but you know what? If Sony had the balls and/or humanity to take responsibility and show off their human side, why not pull off one of the stunts listed in the article? Pay the Kevin Butler actor to go to someones house and personally apologize. Make a whole media blitz out of it. Everyone has a laugh and Sony comes out with some great PR.

Instead, we get reports that Sony CEO Howard Stringer still doesn’t believe he has anything to apologize for.

From an interview last week:

Sony believed it had “good, robust security,” Stringer said. He rejected suggestions that the company is paying for a lack of vigilance and said he was unaware of the 2008 intrusion on the PlayStation Network.

“We have a network that gave people services free,” Stringer said. “It didn’t seem like the likeliest place for an attack.”

When the April incursion first started, he didn’t know how serious it was, Stringer said. “I really don’t think I could apologize for not knowing,” he said. “It’s a whole new experience for everybody at this scale.”

Seriously, dude? You didn’t think that a service with over 77 million users whose target demographic also happens to include the most computer savvy and vocally active people in the world could be the target of an attack? Sure it may be a whole new experience for your company at that scale, but you’re not the first people to have a massive database of users to take care of. If anything, you should have been more cautious and vigil because networked software solutions has not been your company’s strong suit in the past.

We may be forced to live on with Sony due to game developers being obligated to support a platform with such a huge userbase, but you can bet your ass that if we could still enjoy all of the exclusive content on the PS3 elsewhere, we’d be gone in a heartbeat.

via Gamasutra


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.


Online Storage for Game Saves Coming to PlayStation Plus

The new online storage feature allows gamers to store up to 150MB of game save data and a maximum of 1000 data files per PSN account. Users also have the ability to back-up “copy-prohibited save data,” and all previously saved data may be restored once per 24 hour period. When the new feature launches, most PS3 titles will be compatible with online storage for game saves, and moving forward, all new titles will have the capability to offer the storage option.

Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of games on friends’ consoles. Naturally, I want to keep my game saves and earn trophies/achievements, so I’ve been lugging around a USB stick with game saves. It’s a big pain the ass to copy files back and forth every time I do this. When I saw the headline that Sony was moving game saves to the cloud, I almost peed myself with anticipation

Bringing game saves to the cloud is an amazing feature and I’m surprised Sony beat Microsoft to the punch on it, given all of Microsoft’s “To the Cloud!” commercials. Nevertheless, I imagine it’s only a matter of time before both all consoles offer up this feature. (Well, maybe not Nintendo given their lack of interest in creating a decent online experience for their users.)

That being said, it still sucks that the only way you can get this feature on the PlayStation Network is by being a PlayStation Plus subscriber. Even with the feature, that service is still massively overpriced at $49.99 for what amounts to 1 week early access to demos and access to 1 hour trial games of old full-version titles.

Also, what’s with the limitations on the “online storage feature,” Sony? 150MB? Every free webmail account gives at least 2GB of space. Most game saves are tiny, usually under 1MB. Why not just advertise a boatload of space, knowing that it would be insanely difficult for most people to use it all? Plus, the caveat that the saved data may only be restored once every 24 hours really gives off the impression that Sony is unnecessarily stingy with its bandwidth. What’s the point of the cloud if you can only access it once every day?

The final wrinkle is that “most” PS3 titles will be compatible with online storage at launch. “Most?” Sooo are you going to tell us which games don’t work with this feature, Sony? It would be some poop on a magical moment if I ponied up $50 a year to be able to access my game saves “anywhere” only to find out that my favorite games don’t work with it.

Sony gets points for being the first major console manufacturer to take game saving to the cloud. Unfortunately, they also get a few demerits for being stingy on execution and tying it to their overpriced PlayStation Plus service. Either give us a boatload more space and unlimited access to our game saves, or don’t charge for it.

Read More: Online Storage for Game Saves Coming to PlayStation Plus – PlayStation Blog.