Got some news from from Sony regarding the PSN network and the compensation. I have more to say, but that’ll be another post. Click the link to read the news.
From the PSN Blog.
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
• 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.
So I was perusing the PSN a couple weeks ago and found Stacking in the latest releases. The description kind of intrigued me, but I wasn’t sure still so I hit the internet for a trailer.
Basically you’re a the smallest doll in a Matryoshka Russian stacking doll. This is key to the gameplay as you get things done by stacking into other dolls with different abilities that are bigger than you. You use the abilities of the other dolls to solve the puzzle that is in front of you. Genius. To make it even more interesting each puzzle has several solutions. This of course extends the game time if you make sure to solve all of the solutions and can be a little mind bending as you try to think of other ways to resolve something.
This is a game that is all about thinking. It especially encourages thinking outside of the normal gaming box when trying to solve these puzzles in order to move forward in the game. This stacking and unstacking is super simple to master and once you’re inside other dolls you can use their abilities with ease.
Probably the most amazing thing about Stacking is the animation. Double Fine have managed to take flat limbless characters and give them real personality. The graphics are lovely and really lend to the game. The music/sounds also are very well done and work perfectly. Have a listen to the sounds you hear when you’re stacked into different dolls.
Overall I’d say this is a gem well worth getting it. It’s not a long game, but it sure is a lot of fun. I really wanted it to be longer just so I could keep playing it.
I know I’ve mentioned before that I’m a bit of a PSN addict. Every Thursday, like clockwork, I check the new store items. I realised recently that I can’t actually remember the last time I bought a physical game for my PSP. Why would I when I can get a pretty good selection right off the PSN and I only have to wait as long as it takes to download.
So why don’t I have a PSP Go? Well I can answer that easily, but not rationally. I like my UMD disks. I like to have the option despite the fact that I haven’t used that option in quite some time. It’s a completely irrational reason to keep a piece of hardware that has lower specs and capabilities despite not using the one feature I’m keeping it for. I do have one rational and very good reason for not having one though; the price tag. As much as I love my handhelds, £250 is still a bit steep for me. Considering you can buy a whole console for way less than that.
Of course now I might as well wait for the PSP2. If I’m lucky the rumours will be true and Sony will be making an announcement on the 27th. That’s 3 days before my birthday. Come on Sony, make me a happy birthday girl. Announce something awesome that isn’t anything like the failed PSPGo. Okay truth be told; I’ll settle for a touch screen and a analogue stick that doesn’t break my thumb.
Usually I’m not one to advocate movie tie-in games. Generally speaking games made to tie-in movies are a bit shit. Just this once though I will break my rule. Truth be told, I’ve been waiting more for this game than the movie. As you may have guessed, the movie I’m referring to is Scot Pilgrim vs The World. I haven’t actually seen the movie yet. I will eventually, but just not gotten there yet.
No, my main reason for anticipating this game has a name and that name is Paul Robertson. He’s the artist that drew the game. I’ve been following him for quite some time and really love his artwork.
PRobertson is pretty much made of awesome though. The guy is a master of 16bit art. To add to the package he’s a bit on the twisted side of odd, which is nothing but a bonus in my book. I bought the game though on the PSN the day it came out. It’s a side scrolling beat ’em up which I think we can all agree his art is perfect for. The game is 1-4 players which is great cause you can play with friends like we used to do in the arcades. Luckily no massive roll of quarters are needed to play this game for hours.
I don’t know what to say, just go buy it; it’s on the PSN and XBox Markeplace. My hope is that this will help Paul and maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see him doing more “retro” games in the future.
I do not recommend clicking that link to his page at work by the way. It’s not porn, but there are naked pope dressed women involved.
I swear the PS Network Store is going to kill me or at least make me broke. I have never ventured into the Xbox 360’s store even once and was never tempted. The way they do the pricing by having you buy points always put me off. I want to know how much I’m paying up front and not some arbitrary point amount MS has assigned to thhe game.
The PSN Store got me a few months back with the additions to Dead Space. From that moment on I was truly addicted. Every Thursday I check the store for what’s new and worthy of my attention. And almost every week there’s some game that’s been released that I want. And unlike the xbox 360 store, I actually kniw how much I’m paying for the game I’m buying.
Last week saw me give way to my carnal desire for yet another puzzle game and Zuma got downloaded. I also grabbed Asteroids on crrack, Super Stardust HD. Me and City were istantly addict4d to Stardust and played it most of the weekend.
This week sees me Numblast, another puzzle game, and Topatoi The Great Tree Story, a 3D platformer, have both found their way onto my PS3 somehow. It’s really hard to say no to games when they cost less than a tenner. This of course is always my excuse.
As I sit here writing this I’m very impatiently waiting for Numblast to finish downloading so that I can play it before I have to start working. I fear I may lose my life to this simple little game though. Puzzle games are seriously going to be the death of me.
As mentioned here, Patapon 2 will be a digital only release in North America. Now while I can understand the irrational attachment to having a physical UMD disk, I really do think this is the way forward. I have an irrational attachment to my physical disks, but I’m trying to let that go and embrace digital only releases. I like the idea of being able to just pay and poof I’ve got my game. No more waiting for the postman and hoping it doesn’t get lost. No more cursing at the cost of postage or hunting down a site that doesn’t charge me postage.
I actually have several small games on my PSP and PS3 that are digital only. And ya know what? I’m actually rather happy with them. They’re on my HDD or mem stick and if I like I can download them again whenever I like should I lose them. So all those people bitching about losing it forever if they lose their memory stick can fuck off. And those saying that memory sticks are exensive, they can fuck off too. I paid £20 for my 4GB memory card for my PSP. That’s cheap.
I do think digital only prices for major release games should be cheaper than what buying them physically. Here in the UK Patapon 2 is £20 from the PSN. I can buy it from Game for £18. Not a huge price difference, but it’s enough for me to buy it from Game instead of buying it directly from the PSN digitally.
Besides, if people hadn’t noticed, this is the future. Memory and HDDs are getting cheaper by the day. There’s really little reason these days to have a hard copy pther than an irrational attachment to it.