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APRIL 2011 NEWS

May 3, 2011

    Personal & PSN Outage News
    Well I'm back from a bit over a week off down in Melbourne and of course the big news has been the PSN downtime which we have managed to cover while away. Hopefully some services will start going back online in a matter of days and we can only emphasise enough that you keep an eye on your credit cards, and change passwords if your PSN password was used elsewhere. Sony have posted a bit more of a clarification on their Blog site today...

      PlayStation Network Security Update

      On Tuesday, April 26 we shared that some information that was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. Once again, we’d like to apologize to the many users who were inconvenienced and worried abut this situation.

      We want to state this again given the increase in speculation about credit card information being used fraudulently. One report indicated that a group tried to sell millions of credit card numbers back to Sony. To my knowledge there is no truth to this report of a list, or that Sony was offered an opportunity to purchase the list.

      One other point to clarify is from this weekend’s press conference. While the passwords that were stored were not “encrypted,” they were transformed using a cryptographic hash function. There is a difference between these two types of security measures which is why we said the passwords had not been encrypted. But I want to be very clear that the passwords were not stored in our database in cleartext form. For a description of the difference between encryption and hashing, follow this link.

      To reiterate a few other security measures for your information: Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well. To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports.

      We continue to work with law enforcement and forensic experts to identify the criminals behind the attack. Once again, we apologize for causing users concern over this matter.

      Our objective is to increase security so our customers can safely and confidently play games and use our network and media services. We will continue to provide updates as we have them.

May 1, 2011

    PSN Outage News
    Well Sony has finally released some details about the expected return for Playstation Services, and also the compensation for PSN users. As well as a 30 day subscription to PlayStation Plus gamers can expect several other bonuses which will be region specific, and announced soon.

      SOME PLAYSTATION NETWORK AND QRIOCITY SERVICES TO BE AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

      Phased Global Rollout of Services to Begin Regionally; System Security Enhanced to Provide Greater Protection of Personal Information.

      Tokyo, May 1, 2011 – Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) and Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI, the company) announced they will shortly begin a phased restoration by region of PlayStation®Network and Qriocity™ services, beginning with gaming, music and video services to be turned on. The company also announced both a series of immediate steps to enhance security across the network and a new customer appreciation program to thank its customers for their patience and loyalty.

      Following a criminal cyber-attack on the company’s data-center located in San Diego, California, U.S.A., SNEI quickly turned off the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services, engaged multiple expert information security firms over the course of several days and conducted an extensive audit of the system. Since then, the company has implemented a variety of new security measures to provide greater protection of personal information. SNEI and its third-party experts have conducted extensive tests to verify the security strength of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. With these measures in place, SCE and SNEI plan to start a phased rollout by region of the services shortly. The initial phase of the rollout will include, but is not limited to, 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

      Working closely with several outside security firms, the company has implemented significant security measures to further detect unauthorized activity and provide consumers with greater protection of their personal information. The company is also creating the position of Chief Information Security Officer, directly reporting to Shinji Hasejima, Chief Information Officer of Sony Corporation, to add a new position of expertise in and accountability for customer data protection and supplement existing information security personnel. The new security measures implemented include, but are not limited to, 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 company also 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, PS3 will have a forced system software update that will require all registered PlayStation Network users to change their account passwords before being able to sign into the service. As an added layer of security, that password can only be changed on the same PS3 in which that account was activated, or through validated email confirmation, a critical step to help further protect customer data.

      The company is conducting a thorough and on-going investigation and working with law enforcement to track down and prosecute those responsible for the illegal intrusion.

      "This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry. These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber-security. We take the security of our consumers’ information very seriously and are committed to helping our consumers protect their personal data. In addition, the organization has worked around the clock to bring these services back online, and are doing so only after we had verified increased levels of security across our networks,” said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. “Our global audience of PlayStation Network and Qriocity consumers was disrupted. We have learned lessons along the way about the valued relationship with our consumers, and to that end, we will be launching a customer appreciation program for registered consumers as a way of expressing our gratitude for their loyalty during this network downtime, as we work even harder to restore and regain their trust in us and our services."

      Complimentary Offering and “Welcome Back” Appreciation Program

      While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, the company is committed to helping its customers protect their personal data and will provide a complimentary offering to assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs. The implementation will be at a local level and further details will be made available shortly in each region.

      The company will also rollout the PlayStation Network and Qriocity “Welcome Back” program, to be offered worldwide, which will be tailored to specific markets to provide our consumers with a selection of service options and premium content as an expression of the company’s appreciation for their patience, support and continued loyalty.

        • 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.

      Additional "Welcome Back" entertainment and service offerings will be rolled out over the coming weeks as the company returns the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services to the quality standard users have grown to enjoy and strive to exceed those exceptions.

      SNEI will continue to reinforce and verify security for transactions before resuming the PlayStation®Store and other Qriocity operations, scheduled for this month.

      For more information about the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services intrusion and restoration, please visit http://blog.us.playstation.com or http://blog.eu.playstation.com/

      About Sony Corporation

      Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $78 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/

      About Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

      Recognized as the global leader and company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufactures, distributes and markets the PlayStation® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and the PlayStation®3 (PS3®) system. PlayStation has revolutionized home entertainment by introducing advanced 3D graphic processing, and PlayStation 2 further enhances the PlayStation legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP is a handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games, with high-quality full-motion video, and high-fidelity stereo audio. PS3 is an advanced computer system, incorporating the state-of-the-art Cell processor with super computer like power. SCEI, along with its subsidiary divisions Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., and Sony Computer Entertainment Korea Inc. develops, publishes, markets and distributes software, and manages the third party licensing programs for these platforms in the respective markets worldwide. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, SCEI is an independent business unit of the Sony Group.

April 29, 2011

    Site News
    As you can imagine with the Playstation Network Outage it's making it pretty hard to review games at the moment and we're taking this time to get all the single player components of quite a few games complete before we finish off the reviews when the Playstation Network is back online. Don't worry, we're not slacking off, we're just holding off on some content for a few more days, and watching the current issues unfolding.

    PSN Outage News
    So another day and Sony have again released some information about the outages and the effect it will have. For gamers the good news is that history, friends, trophies, PS+ cloud saves will all be intact. Sony are also hinting that there may be some form of goodwill compensation, and we certainly believe that's due.

      Q&A #2 for PlayStation Network and Qriocity Services
      + Posted by Patrick Seybold // Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media

      Yesterday, we addressed a number of your questions relating to the malicious intrusion into our network. You can find that FAQ here. As we get closer to restoration of service, here are more answers to your questions, many of which are more gaming related:

      Q: Will our download history/friends list/settings be affected by the PSN downtime?
      A: No, they will not.

      Q: Will trophies that were earned in single-player offline games during the outage be intact when the service resumes?
      A: These trophies are intact and will be re-synched when the network is once again operational.

      Q: Will my PS+ cloud saves be retrievable?
      A: Yes, once PSN is restored.

      Q: What if we have a subscription to PS3 MMOs DC Universe Online or Free Realms? Will we get compensation for that?
      A: From Sony Online Entertainment: “We apologize for any inconvenience players may have experienced as a result of the recent service interruption. As a global leader in online gaming, SOE is committed to delivering stable and entertaining games for players of all ages. To thank players for their patience, we will be hosting special events across our game portfolio. We are also working on a “make good” plan for players of the PS3 versions of DC Universe Online and Free Realms. Details will be available soon on the individual game websites and forums.”

      Q: Will there be a goodwill gesture for the time we haven’t been able to utilize PSN/Qriocity?
      A: We are currently evaluating ways to show appreciation for your extraordinary patience as we work to get these services back online.

April 28, 2011

    PSN Outage News
    There are a couple of updates to the Playstation Blog which we've copied here and provides a bit more detail about the current situation. The first is a quick clarification.

      Clarifying a Few PSN Points
      Posted by Patrick Seybold // Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media

      I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify a point and answer one of the most frequently asked questions today.

      There's a difference in timing between when we identified there was an intrusion and when we learned of consumers' data being compromised. We learned there was an intrusion April 19th and subsequently shut the services down. We then brought in outside experts to help us learn how the intrusion occurred and to conduct an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident. It was necessary to conduct several days of forensic analysis, and it took our experts until yesterday to understand the scope of the breach. We then shared that information with our consumers and announced it publicly this afternoon.

    Here's the second, and most interesting part, where several major questions have been answered.

      Q&A #1 for PlayStation Network and Qriocity Services
      + Posted by Patrick Seybold // Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media

      First off, we want to again thank you for your patience. We know that the PlayStation Network and Qriocity outage has been frustrating for you. We know you are upset, and so we are taking steps to make our services safer and more secure than ever before. We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this outage has caused, and rest assured that we’re going to get the services back online as quickly as we can.

      We received a number of questions and comments yesterday and early today relating to the criminal intrusion into our network. We’d like to address some of the most common questions today.

      We are also going to continue to post updates to this blog with any additional information and insight that we can over the next few days.

      We are reading your comments. We are listening to your suggestions. Please keep them coming. Thank you.

      Q: Are you working with law enforcement on this matter?
      A: Yes, we are currently working with law enforcement on this matter as well as a recognized technology security firm to conduct a complete investigation. This malicious attack against our system and against our customers is a criminal act and we are proceeding aggressively to find those responsible.

      Q: Was my personal data encrypted?
      A: All of the data was protected, and access was restricted both physically and through the perimeter and security of the network. The entire credit card table was encrypted and we have no evidence that credit card data was taken. The personal data table, which is a separate data set, was not encrypted, but was, of course, behind a very sophisticated security system that was breached in a malicious attack.

      Q: Was my credit card data taken?
      A: While all credit card information stored in our systems is encrypted and there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained. Keep in mind, however that your credit card security code (sometimes called a CVC or CSC number) has not been obtained because we never requested it from anyone who has joined the PlayStation Network or Qriocity, and is therefore not stored anywhere in our system.

      Q: What steps should I take at this point to help protect my personal data?
      A: For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well. To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports.

      Q: What if I don’t know which credit card I’ve got attached to my PlayStation Network account?
      A: If you’ve added funds to your PlayStation Network wallet in the past, you should have received a confirmation email from “DoNotReply@ac.playstation.net” at the email address associated with your account. This email would have been sent to you immediately after you added the funds, and will contain the first 4 digits and last 4 digits of your credit card number. You can also check your previous credit card statements to determine which card was attached to your PlayStation Network or Qriocity accounts.

      Q: When or how can I change my PlayStation Network password?
      A: We are working on a new system software update that will require all users to change their password once PlayStation Network is restored. We will provide more details about the new update shortly.

      Q: Have all PlayStation Network and Qriocity users been notified of the situation?
      A: In addition to alerting the media and posting information about it on this blog, we have also been sending emails directly to all 77 million registered accounts. It takes a bit of time to send that many emails, and recognize that not every email will still be active, but this process has been underway since yesterday. At this time, the majority of emails have been sent and we anticipate that all registered accounts will have received notifications by April 28th. Consumers may also visit www.us.playstation.com/support and www.qriocity.com for notices regarding this issue. In addition, we have taken steps to disseminate information regarding this issue to media outlets so that consumers are informed.

      Q: What steps is Sony taking to protect my personal data in the future?
      A: We’ve taken several immediate steps to add protections for your personal data. First, we temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and, second, we are enhancing security and strengthening our network infrastructure. Moving forward, we are initiating several measures that will significantly enhance all aspects of PlayStation Network’s security and your personal data, including moving our network infrastructure and data center to a new, more secure location, which is already underway. We will provide additional information on these measures shortly.

      Q: Has Sony identified the party or parties responsible for the PlayStation Network hack and subsequent theft of personal information?
      A: We are currently conducting a thorough investigation of the situation and are working closely with a recognized technology security firm and law enforcement in order to find those responsible for this criminal act no matter where in the world they might be located.

      Q: When will the PlayStation Network and Qriocity be back online?
      A: Our employees have been working day and night to restore operations as quickly as possible, and we expect to have some services up and running within a week from yesterday. However, we want to be very clear that we will only restore operations when we are confident that the network is secure.

April 27, 2011

    PSN Outage News
    Well Sony have finally released a fairly detailed statement about the current Playstation Network outage and as suspected it was a breach of the security systems holding account information, and while not confirmed, may also include credit card details.

      PSN/Qriocity Service Update

      Thank you for your patience while we work to resolve the current outage of PlayStation Network & Qriocity services. We don’t have an exact date to share at this moment as to when we will have the services turned on, but are working day and night to ensure it is as quickly as possible. We are currently working to send the following message via email to all of our registered account holders regarding a compromise of personal information as a result of this malicious attack on our servers, so please look for this information via email as well. Please note that we are as upset as you are regarding this attack and are going to proceed aggressively to track down those that are responsible.

        Valued PlayStation Network/Qriocity Customer,

        We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. In response to this intrusion, we have:

        1) Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;

        2) Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and

        3) Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by re-building our system to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.

        We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.

        Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, 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 passwords and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence that credit card data was taken at this time, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, to be on the safe side we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may also have been obtained.

        For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security, tax identification or similar number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well.

        To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant to review your account statements and to monitor your credit or similar types of reports.

        We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this incident, and we regret any inconvenience. Our teams are working around the clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible. Sony takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information. Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is our utmost priority. Please check www.eu.playstation.com/psnoutage should you have any additional questions.

        Sincerely,

        Sony Network Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment Teams Sony Network Entertainment Europe Limited (formerly known as PlayStation Network Europe Limited) is a subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited the data controller for PlayStation Network/Qriocity personal data.

    April 26, 2011

      PSN Outage News
      So the Playstation Network outage is still in effect and at this stage there still isn't any solution in place to get the network back up and running. Sony are starting to tick a lot of people off with their updates stating "still no news" effectively. Three things which I'm sure all gamers will want to know, and which I believe Sony need to answer sooner rather then later:

        1) Were any credit card details compromised
        2) When will the PSN be restored online, either in part, or in segments - even a timline of days, or weeks would be appreciated
        3) What happend, why and what is Sony doing to improve the situation

      Sony's latest update put online at the European Blog by James Gallagher states the following:

        I know you are waiting for additional information on when PlayStation Network and Qriocity services will be online. Unfortunately, I don’t have an update or timeframe to share at this point in time. As we previously noted, this is a time intensive process and we’re working to get them back online quickly. Will keep you updated with information as it becomes available. We once again thank you for your patience.

    April 25, 2011

      PSN Outage News
      Well the Playstation Network is still down as Sony still works to combat the external intrusion. Unfortunately there isn't a lot of detail being released which is something of a concern with 75 million accounts on the network - and many of them holding credit card details. Hopefully Sony will provide more details soon. For the company this is a disaster with EA's Portal 2 released the day the network went down. We're holding off some reviews due to lack of multiplayer.

      PS3 News
      It has been confirmed that the Playstation Move game Child of Eden has been pushed back until September on PS3. The game from Tetsuya Mizuguchi is a music based rhythm shooter and is one our our most wanted games of 2011.

      Easter/ANZAC/Personal News
      First of all we sincerely hope everyone is having a great Easter weekend and enjoying the company of friends and family (more likely without PSN!). Also, today is ANZAC Day and we would like to honor the memory of the fallen diggers, and those that still serve around the world for our wonderful country. We thank you. I'm actually in Melbourne at the moment getting ready to head to the ANZAC Day footy, so go the Bombers!

      NGP News
      Well this is very much a rumour, but according to Jolt (here) the NGP will not launch in Japan first (primarily due to economic reasons following the earthquake/tsunami). Four launch titles are rumoured to be "Uncharted, ModNation Racers, Wipeout 2048 and a title called Smart As. The source also confirmed that there will be Resistance title out for the NGP some time between January and March of 2012."

    April 23, 2011

      PSN Outage News
      While Anonymous is denying anything to do with the Playstation Network outage and issues this weekend (they are the group that caused issues a couple of weeks ago) Sony has now confirmed the outage is due to an external intrusion on the system. Here's their full statement today...

        An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. In order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward, we turned off PlayStation Network & Qriocity services on the evening of Wednesday, April 20th. Providing quality entertainment services to our customers and partners is our utmost priority. We are doing all we can to resolve this situation quickly, and we once again thank you for your patience. We will continue to update you promptly as we have additional information to share.

      That's bad news for gamers, for Sony and for us here at Futuregame. Obviously there's a lot of people wanting to play latest releases like Portal 2 or AFL Live that can't right now, Sony are copping a beating but let's hope they get the scumbags causing this and for us it means the delays to several reviews we are working on. I'm off to Melbourne tomorrow for a week and will have limited time to do reviews - but hope to still update the site on occasion.

    April 22, 2011

      PSN Outage News
      Well the big news of today is that the Playstation Network is down meaning you can't log in online to play games, check out the Playstation Store or, well, do anything to do with the interwebs... Sony have also warned that the outage may last a couple of days Sony's official Blog states the following:

        While we are investigating the cause of the Network outage, we wanted to alert you that it may be a full day or two before we’re able to get the service completely back up and running. Thank you very much for your patience while we work to resolve this matter. Please stay tuned to this space for more details, and we'll update you again as soon as we can.

    April 20, 2011

      PS3 News
      According to reports UK publication PSM3 has indicated that God of War 4 will be released in September 2012 according to a "source". Of course we wouldn't be surprised if the franchise sees another outing despite the last game being the "end of the trilogy". Start drooling and mark your calendars - as well as perhaps an official teaser/announcement for E3.

      Now this will get many gamers upset. Sadly it has been confirmed that the ICO/Shadow of the Colossus HD remakes have been pushed back from mid to late 2011. Furthermore confirmation has come through that The Last Guardian will not be released in late 2011 as intended but has been pushed back into 2012. Still, with such high profile titles we'll give the developers all the time they need.

      We have no details as yet but Harmonix have confirmed they will be making a big announcement at this years E3 Show. Let the speculation commence...

      PSP News
      Well it's official, Sony Japan has confirmed that production of the PSPgo has ceased as rumoured yesterday. That's not the end for the original PSP though with the PSP-3000 still in production and selling quite well. Sony are simply preparing for the upcoming release of the NGP later this year.

      Blu-Ray Review
      Jackass 3 was a title that Luke was quite keen to get his hands on being a fan of the franchise. Indeed it seems the Jackass series isn't slowing down and this latest film has even more crazy stunts. The 3D disappoints, but the movie is fun. A Blu-Ray review awaits...

    April 19, 2011

      PSP News
      According to reports doing the rounds from a Japanese source Sony have apparently ceased production of the PSPgo. Sony aren't confirming on the rumours but we have to say if they have enough stock for a couple of months, and with the NGP/PSP2 due for release at years end it doesn't come as a surprise. The main PSP would still be in production as it remains a significantly bigger seller then the revised UMD-less unit.

      PS3 Review
      Bulletstorm is a shooter that demands a lot of attention primarily as the developers, People Can Fly, are owned by Epic Games. This over the top shooter has some great moments, but perhaps a couple of disappointments too. Michael tells us what to expect from the game...

      Personal News
      Sometimes you just pause and think about priorities in life. This has certainly been a focus of mine over the last couple of weeks. As many of you would be aware I work as IT Manager at St Hilda's School on the Gold Coast, a great school no doubt. Tragically just on two weeks ago now the school hit the news for all the wrong reasons with two students (one an American Exchange student) killed and a third critically injured in a "tubing" accident when they inflatable tube/raft they were being towed on behind a speedboat went off course and into a tree (you can read more here or here).

      Today was the schools memorial service for Paris Wilson, the St Hilda's student, and Cameron O’Neill-Mullins, the American exchange student, and it was pretty hard for all involved. The small miracle was that the critically injured sister, Dodie, was present, albeit still wheelchair bound and in a bad way, while their eldest sister, St Hilda's Year 12 student last year, and speed boat driver Bianca was also present.

      There's no moral to this story, but it makes you pause and think about the time you have with others you love. Turn off your games for a night folks, phone someone you haven't spoken to for a while, or spend some time with friends and family... My thoughts go out to the familes affected with this tragedy.

    April 17, 2011

      PS3 News
      Sony held their E3 Sneak Peek event in California a couple of days ago and from that event a few more tidbits have leaked out about Uncharted 3, and in particular the multiplayer. First of all players will be able to sprint in multiplayer now, the game will include a new medal system which allows you to purchase one-use items such as grenades that split into three grenades. The game will now include a Booster system which acts like a Perk system in another online-heavy title.

      Konami have confirmed that the DLC for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, called Reverie, will be released on PSN next week. Looking forward to it...

      Blu-Ray Review
      The Collector may not be a movie many of you have heard of, it didn't exactly make a fortune at the box office. This horror movie was planned as a spin-off to the Saw franchise, but then veered away. Still, does this film deserve your attention? We let you know...

    April 15, 2011

      PS3 News
      Sony has confirmed that 4,141,742 levels have now been shared in LittleBigPlanet. That's pretty impressive and we're going to have to get back to the game to check some of them out. Furthermore a Tron inspired costume pack will be released on April 27 while May will see the Killzone 3 minipack released.

      Sony America has confirmed that Motorstorm Apocalypse will be released in that territory on May 3rd. The game was recently released in Europe following a short delay after the Japanese earthquake.

      Blu-Ray Review
      Splice was released in late 2010 (yes, we know, we've taken our time!) this sci-fi horror movie is actually quite entertaining. Here's a review of the Blu-Ray release.

      Industry News
      Whenever a new console launches there is often a lot of fanfare, and such was the case with the Nintendo 3DS when it launched a coupel of weeks ago. But what is surprising is that sales in Japan have plummeted so it's already behind the PSP in weekly sales, while in America the launch week saw less then 400,000 units sold - that's $100k units less then the Nintendo DS in November 2004. Of course this isn't Christmas season, and the DS went on sale much cheaper, but still...

    April 13, 2011

      PS3 News
      This is very rumour-worthy, but Gamestop in Germany has listed Grand Theft Auto V for a release on January 15, 2012. It's been a few years since the last outing, and if true we expect the game to make a splash at E3 in a few months time.

      PS3 Review
      Dragon Age II is a game which many people were highly anticipated in early 2011. This is the follow-up to one of the most impressive RPG's in some time in Dragon Age Origins. There are high hopes this second game will also impress. Here's our full review...

    April 10, 2011

      PS3 News
      It's a game that has generated a lot of interest and now we have confirmation that Eat, Sleep Play's Twisted Metal will launch on October 4 (which was announced in this trailer). Going to be exciting stuff... Check out the video below from the Playstation Blog with David Jaffe with more details...

      Sony America has confirmed that Resistance 3 multiplayer beta codes will be included in select copies of SOCOM 4 on April 19. Apparently the copies with the codes will be marked with a Resistance 3 sticker.

    April 8, 2011

      PS3 News
      Sony Japan has stated that the recent earthquake won't delay the release on NGP as reported by Sony America recently. Having said that the company still hasn't announced details such as name, price, or release dates, but we expect all this to be unveiled at E3 in a couple of months.

      Looking forward to Splinter Cell Trilogy on PS3? Well you're not alone but the developers have confirmed there won't be any multiplayer included in the game. That's a disappointment, but three games with upgraded visuals still isn't a bad deal at all.

      Blu-Ray Review
      Resident Evil: Afterlife is a movie which stunned at the box office by smashing box office receipts by recent movies. Capcom's Resident Evil game franchise is wildly successful and the movies from Sony Pictures also generally impress. This is the fourth movie, and we review the Blu-Ray...

    April 5, 2011

      PS3 News
      So yesterday hacking group Anonymous claimed they were going to target Sony following Sony's targeting of George 'Geohot' Hotz and Graf Chokolo in lawsuits relating to releasing the PS3's security keys. Well today it appears they are succeeding with Sony.com and the Playstation Network being shut down and killed off for parts of the day. Sony have stated they are working on resolving the issue - but we had problems signing in around 4pm Brisbane time today.

      NGP News
      We all know about the tragic events which have been unfolding in Japan of late and following the earthquake many reports have been released about damage to factories including those producing components for the iPad2, TV's for many manufacturers and many other products. Now Sony has confirmed that there may be issues manufacturing the NGP (PSP2) and as such it may only launch in one territory this year, and not multiple territories as originally intended.

      Blu-Ray Review
      Paranormal Activity 2 was a certainty after the phenomenal success of the original movie in the series. The good news; this is quite a worthy sequel and Luke gives us his full opinions on this latest Paramount release.

    April 3, 2011

      PS3 News
      If we were to ask what the biggest selling console was in Japan in 2010 most would probably suggest the Nintendo Wii or Nintendo DS which still sells by the truckload. Well sit down folks as the biggest seller last year according to Enterbrain was the PSP with 2.640 million units sold which beat the Nintendo DS with 2.523 million units. The biggest selling home console wasn't the Nintendo Wii either with the PS3 winning with 1.407 million units (Wii 1.397 million, XBox 360 0.195 million). Well done Sony...

      PS3 Preview
      L.A. Noire is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting prospects for 2011. From the company that brought us Grand Theft Auto comes this all-new crime thriller. It's being developed here in Sydney, and certainly looks impressive. You can check out our preview now...

    April 2, 2011

      April Fools News
      Well most of you picked our April Fools news for yesterday - it was the story concerning Sony dropping the Playstation Move to concentrate on similar technology in the Playstation 4. Never fear there are a tonne of Playstation Move titles coming from both first and third party companies this year and well into the future.

    April 1, 2011

      PS3 News
      Sony Computer Entertainment has confirmed some rather juicy details about Resistance 3. The game, which is due out in September, will include support for the Playstation Move and Sharp Shooter gun peripheral. That's not all though as the game will include 3D support if you're fortunate to own a swanky new 3DTV!

      According to Strategy Analytics worldwide sales of the Playstation 3 have now surpassed sales of the XBox 360 - primarily due to strong sales in Asia and Europe. Sony has sold 43.4 million PS3's putting them 500,000 units ahead of the 42.9 million selling XBox 360. The Nintendo Wii still leads this generation with a whopping 75.5 million units. Still, each console in this generation is well behind the PS2 which had sold over 150 million units at January 2011 - and still going strong.

      With the Microsoft Kinect selling millions of units it has left the Playstation Move in its wake a little. We have to say we love the Move controller, it's accuracy is stunning. Unfortunately for Sony selling a few million pieces of hardware, and struggling to get third party support, doesn't seem to be enough and the company has now pulled the plug on the motion controller stating "it (the Move) was a test for something coming up in a couple of years - much like the UMD-less PSP was a test for downloadable games in the NGP". I take it then that this is a PS4 announcement of sorts, and a sad day for Move gamers on PS3... We await comment from other developers...

      Activision has today announced that Spider-man: Edge of Time is currently in development at Beenox. No word yet on platforms or release date.

      Sega has announced some PS3 exclusives for Virtua Tennis 4 - and they're big enough to ensure the PS3 version is the one to get. First of all we have three exclusive players - Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and Pat Rafter - then there are two exclusive mini-games Pin Crusher (which is always a favourite), and Net Blitz which is a Playstation Move only game. Of course only the PS3 version will have Move support.

      Industry News
      Some sad news today with Sony Online Entertainment confirming a restructuring process which has seen the sacking of 205 staff from its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios. Fortuately while DC Universe Online hasn't been affected, the company has stopped development on the MMO The Agency.

      Staying with the bad news THQ has confirmed that 30 staff have been let got fom Kaos Studios and Volition. The cutbacks are to meet the current demands of the companies in their game cycles. Kaos Studios just finished work on Homefront while Volition's cutbacks of 16 staff members were from the Champaign, Illinois studio.


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