1. Gaming

    Kara Shows Off Scarily Realistic Motion Capture on PS3

    On the left is actor Valorie Curry (Veronica Mars) and on the right is Valorie Curry as rendered by Quantic Dream and their new motion capture capability. The screenshot right was taken from a short film called Kara, which is rendered in real-time on a PS3 sing Quantic's new motion capture engine. Unlike previous techniques, the system uses 64 cameras to record the entire actor in one go, capturing body and facial expressions all at once. For it's part, Kara is a remarkable piece of work, and features the most scantily clad robot in recent history. Clearly Quantic knew how to grab headlines: Amazing technology, semi-naked robots.

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  2. Gaming

    Sony Gets Sued Over PlayStation Network’s No-Sue Clause

    So remember back, after the big Sony hacking fiasco, when Sony pushed a PlayStation Network update that required all users to surrender their right to sue Sony? Well now Sony is getting sued over it. There were a lot of questions about whether the move to include the clause was actually legal, and now we're set to find out. Sony did provide a way to opt-out of the clause, but it was hard to find and even harder to excute; you had to send them a letter snail-mail, which as we all know, is an activity bordering on impossible. Seriously though, it's kind of a pain and that was a pretty sketchy move on Sony's part.

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  3. Gaming

    Modder Combines PS3 and Xbox 360 Into One Case, Reminds Us How Much We Need a Unified Console

    Probably hurting for shelf space like the rest of us multiplatform gamers, reddit user timofend took it upon himself to fix the issue and put an old 80 gig model PlayStation 3 and a slim Xbox 360 into a PC tower. Not exactly the unified console every gamer hopes and dreams of, the PC tower mod does save a significant amount of space, and though one may suspect it to be, isn't even liquid cooled, as timofend notes that when each machine is running simultaneously inside the tower, they only run at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit -- something my launch model PS3 does on its own. Head on past the break to see a few pictures of the mod.

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  4. Gaming

    Sony’s E3 2011 Keynote Recap

    We've seen what Microsoft had (or didn't have, depending on how disappointed you were) to offer from this year's E3. Did Sony do any better? The short of it: It was similarly predictable, though it did have a few more interesting surprises -- the price and date of the PSP2, otherwise known as the NGP, now officially known as the PS Vita have been set, and Sony matched Nintendo's flailing 3DS in price with a $249 price tag on the non-3G PS Vita model and a $299 price tag on the 3G-enabled model. An honestly stunning move, considering the Vita's tech is far more powerful than the tech inside the 3DS and must be much more expensive to produce. They also announced a 24-inch PlayStation brand 3D television and 3D glasses bundle for the (again) honestly low price of $499. As for games, everything we already knew about: Uncharted 3 looked great, the previously-mentioned God of War PSP games bundle is indeed coming to the PS3, BioShock Infinite will include Move functionality and come with a free copy of BioShock, the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus HD remake bundle got dated for September, and there was a bunch of PS Vita news, as well as a few new games and added Move support. Jack Tretton also gave a sincere, though kind of awkward, apology regarding the recent PlayStation Network hack mess.

    Are you ready to dive into Sony's presser?

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  5. Gaming

    The PlayStation Store, Including the Rest of PSN Services, Relaunching By End of Week

    Reported straight from Sony's official PlayStation Blog, they expect the rest of the currently missing PlayStation Network services to return by the end of the week, which includes the most important part of the PSN besides online gaming -- the PlayStation Store. Sony plans to fully restore PSN services in the Americas, Europe/PAL territories and Asia (excluding Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea) by the end of this week. Yes, if the store isn't restored today, then Sony's original May 31 deadline for restoring the store will have passed, and yes, that does mean they missed yet another deadline that they set themselves regarding PSN service restoration, and yes, that means this new deadline might not mean anything either. No one would blame anyone for not exactly expecting full PSN services back by this new deadline, but hey, they've already been gone for so long, the estimated "by the end of this week" deadline seems spot on. I mean, what else is there to do, right? Right? Let me give you my money already, Sony! Jeez. (via PlayStation Blog)

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  6. Gaming

    PlayStation Network Free Games Detailed

    Not too long after the PlayStation Network went down, Sony promised two free games from a list of PS3 and PSP games, as well as 30 days of free PlayStation Plus service. Sony has officially released the details over on the PlayStation Blog, and they're not throwaway titles after all, though they may be titles you already own.

    Shortly after the PlayStation Store has returned (rumored to return by the end of this week), the following list of titles will be available to choose from for 30 days:

    • Dead Nation (PS3)
    • inFAMOUS (PS3)
    • LittleBigPLanet (PS3)
    • Super Stardust HD (PS3)
    • Wipeout HD + Fury (PS3)
    • LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
    • ModNation Racers (PSP)
    • Pursuit Force (PSP)
    • Killzone Liberation (PSP)
    Along with two of the above titles of your choice, Sony will be offering a free 30 days of PlayStation Plus membership, existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive a free 60 days, PlayStation Home will be offering users over 100 free virtual items, existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an additional 30 days, existing members of Music Unlimited Premium and Basic will receive an additional 30 days of service as well as additional days to cover time lost from the outage, and a selection of "On Us" movie rentals will be made available over one weekend that has yet to be named.

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  7. Gaming

    PlayStation Network Returns

    The PlayStation Network is back, thus ending a monthlong nightmare of having to play the passionately-crafted storymode of games and being forced to buy our games in tangible form at retail stores, having to put on clothes and interact with people. As of last night, Sony rolled out firmware update 3.61, which, after downloading and forcing users to change their previously hacked PSN passwords, allowed us back onto the network so we could obsessively compare our trophies with buddies on our friends list and finally get to PS3 Portal 2 co-op. The soothing green in the map above represents which regions have had PSN service restored. Last night when the announcement first hit the Internet, only a small portion of the northeastern United States was illuminated, though as one can see from the above map, service should be restored to rest of the country as of this morning. The official PlayStation Blog reports that if you are within a region that is supposed to have regained PSN service, but do not currently actually have PSN service, nothing is wrong, and the rollout may just take a bit of time to hit your area. The PlayStation Blog also reports that if there are certain features that are still down, such as the PlayStation Store, they are working on getting said feature(s) up as soon as possible. And what about those free games and service subscriptions Sony promised us as an apology for the PSN outage? Well, they haven't been announcement yet, but Kaz Hirai himself assured us the packages will be announced within the coming days, and that they will be region specific. Head on past the break to see Kaz Hirai's official announcement of the PSN's restoration, then quickly hop into Portal 2 and get testing. GLaDOS can't wait all day.

    Read on...
  8. Gaming

    PlayStation Network Back Within Week, Sony Giving Free Downloads as Apology

    The saga of the PlayStation Network outage will be coming to a close within a week, according to Sony. Having built new security measures into the network, Sony will begin a phased restoration of the network's services, which includes online game-play, Qriocity services, account management and password reset, access to download un-expired movie rentals, PlayStation@Home, friends list and chat functionality. Along with restoring the default PSN functions as well as the added security features, Sony will be creating a new position within the company, Chief Information Security Officer, whose sole purpose is to monitor the safety of user data, as well as to supplement existing information security personnel.

    With the service going live again, Sony will force a password change for each user in the form of a required system software update that will only allow users to update and change their password on the same PlayStation 3 console on which their account was activated. Also, like a certain blogger may have predicted, Sony will be offering a variety of free downloads and services based on region, in the form of the "Welcome Back Appreciation Program." The program will provide free content downloads based on territory, all existing PSN customers will receive a free 30 day membership to the PlayStation Plus service, all PlayStation Plus members will receive a free 30 days of the service, and Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers will receive 30 days of free service as well.

    So, it looks like we can put this business behind us soon enough. Hopefully PSN users didn't experience any kind of credit card or identity issues from the hack, and hey, hopefully the free content Sony will be offering will be something worthwhile.

    (via PlayStation.Blog)

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  9. Gaming

    Who the PlayStation Network Hack Really Affects

    The external intrusion, as Sony is wont to refer to it, into the PlayStation Network is kind of a big deal. Straight from their Q&A about the situation, Sony confirms that there are 77 million accounts that could possibly have completely compromised data. All data from the profile, such as name, email, birthday and address, plus maybe more, is in the hands of those who hacked the network. Smooth move, Sony. That said, they have finally announced that they have no evidence that credit card information had been gleaned. Unlike their personal data tables, they’d deigned to encrypt all of that. That hasn’t stopped people from coming out of the woodwork to blame Sony’s data leak for their own financial issues however. As other outlets have pointed out, that’s possibly due to being on high alert for such things.

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  10. Gaming

    PSN Update: Trophies, Cloud Saves, Download History Safe and Credit Card Info was Encrypted

    A few days ago, Sony spoke out about the PlayStation Network breach in great detail, delivering potentially devastating news. It looks like there is finally some good news regarding the fiasco, though, as Sony assures us that trophies, friend lists, PS+ cloud saves and account download history remain intact and will be restored when the network goes live once again. As for the worst potential piece of news that came out of this whole nightmare -- users' credit card information being stolen -- Sony claims that the credit card information was indeed encrypted, which, even if the info was stolen and decrypted, removes some of the negativity surrounding Sony, as anything can be hacked regardless of its encryption and security, so at least Sony was responsible regarding the most sensitive information they guard.

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  11. Gaming

    Sony Explains PSN Outage In Greatest Detail Yet: Personal, Login and Possibly Credit Card Info Compromised

    After the earlier news of Sony shutting down the PlayStation Network indefinitely hit the masses, Sony posted their official press release, one which they claim they will be sending out to all users with a registered PSN account. We've all been following the harrowing collapse of the PSN since it began just over a week ago, with rumors swirling regarding the safety of the sensitive information the network contains. Well, as detailed in the press release, one of the worst scenarios possible seems to have come true: Just about every bit of sensitive information users provided the PSN could've been compromised, including the usual menagerie of account creation details, (name, address, birthdate, login, password, etc.), along with profile purchase history, billing address, and security questions and answers. Thankfully, Sony claims to have no evidence stating that users' credit card information has been compromised, though they aren't ruling out the possibility. Check out the full press release after the break, as it contains more detail regarding the situation, as well as cautionary advice from Sony about how one should handle the compromise.

    Read on...
  12. Gaming

    Sony Sheds Light: PlayStation Network Outage Due to “External Intrusion”

    Sony's PlayStation Network mysteriously went down a couple of days ago, with Sony delivering the horrifying news that the network could be down for a few days following the beginning of the outage, depriving everyone of the wonderful co-op modes of a couple of recently released, highly anticipated titles. Over on the PlayStation Knowledge Base, Sony has posted the cause behind the network's outage, an "external intrusion" that caused Sony to shut off their network as a safety precaution while they investigate.

    Read on...
  13. Gaming

    PS3 Jailbreaker’s Website Subpoenaed, User Information Targeted

    Federal Magistrate Joseph Sperohas allowed Sony to demand information related to the internet activities of George Hotz, the hacker that published tools allowing users to jailbreak their PlayStation 3 consoles. Sony's suit against Hotz is based around the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which prohibits sharing information to disable copy-protection systems. Their argument hinges mostly on how the jailbreak gave PS3 users allows the use of pirated games, though it can also be used to simply gain full control over the console. In a somewhat shifty move, the subpeona's also request information about people who visited Hotz's site and downloaded the jailbreaking program. Apparently this is to determine the distribution Hotz's program has received. It's also being used to determine where the trial will be held. From Wired:

    [...] a jurisdictional argument over whether Sony must sue Hotz in his home state of New Jersey rather than in San Francisco, which Sony would prefer. Sony said the server logs would demonstrate that many of those who downloaded Hotz’s hack reside in Northern California — thus making San Francisco a proper venue for the case.
    Sony has also requested visitor and download information from Hotz's webhsot Bluehost, from Google about visitor's to Hotz's blog, and also to from YouTube about viewers of the jailbreaking videos. His twitter account is also a target of the investigation. It's difficult to ignore the ominous overtones of requesting such information, which will likely make those that have downloaded Hotz's tools squirm a bit. As of now, there is no direct indication that Sony will use the information for anything other than the Hotz case. Until the hearing begins next month, the ball is more or less in the court of the companies receiving subpoenas and web-privacy advocates. In some cases, companies have fought against such requests -- such as Twitter's resistance to reveal information about an Icelandic member of parliament associated with Wikileaks. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has already complained about the subpoenas, which appears to have been largely ignored by the courts. There is certainly a fight of some kind brewing here, likely on web-privacy grounds. For the moment, however, it seems that proponents of open electronics and privacy advocates have lost this round. (via Wired)

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  14. Gaming

    Hacker Claims PSN Hacked: PS3 Sends Unencrypted Credit Card Info to Sony, Users Can Download Games for Free

    Ars Technica is reporting that a hacker claims to have hacked Sony's PlayStation Network, and found some very intriguing and fairly terrifying tidbits regarding how Sony handles their online security--in that they don't so much. Aside from Sony supposedly being "the biggest spy ever" and collecting information regarding every little thing a console is doing--including every single device connected to the PS3--users' credit card information is supposedly being sent to Sony via a completely unencrypted text file, which can be seen in the Ars article. On top of this, according to the hacker, when a PS3 requests a download from the store, the actual URL of the request can be edited and toggled to enable free downloads.

    Of course, there isn't really any proof of this, other than what the hacker claims, but Ars points out that much of what the hacker says "links up with what [they] know from other sources about the behavior of the PlayStation Network," so it wouldn't be farfetched if these odd "security measures" turned out to be true.

    (via Ars Technica)

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  15. Gaming

    Kevin Butler’s Twitter Account Accidentally Tweets PS3 Security Key

    Kevin Butler, a fictional character played by Jerry Lambert in Sony's "It Only Does Everything" campaign and Sony's Regional Manager of War, recently retweeted the METLDR root key, otherwise known as the PlayStation 3 security key. Twitter user @exiva sent Kevin Butler's Twitter account this tweet, to which Kevin Butler's Twitter account replied with this one (the link is a retweet of Kevin Butler's now-removed reply).

    The reason why I'm not referring to Kevin Butler's Twitter account as simply "Kevin Butler?" Because Kevin Butler is a character played by an actor, and his Twitter account is most likely handled by various people, as one who follows @TheKevinButler and notices small deviations in writing style between different tweets probably realizes. Hopefully whichever person retweeted the security key--whether they knew what the mess of numbers was or not--doesn't receive some kind of harsh punishment for retweeting something that can be found with a quick Google search.

    (via GamersMint)

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