This just keeps getting uglier. In a letter to Congress, Sony blamed the notorious vigilante group Anonymous for recent cyberattacks on Sony's network, exposing personal data of more than 100 million gamers. Anonymous was quick to deny involvement, simply stating, "Let's be clear, we are legion, but it wasn't us. You are incompetent Sony." Whether or not that's true, Sony hopes to find out in an ongoing investigation, but in the meantime, at least one more attack appears imminent.
It’s been a relatively busy week in terms of service disruptions with Amazon’s elastic cloud malfunction taking down dozens of the web’s most popular websites, and now an ongoing Playstation Network outage is stretching into its fourth day, with no end in sight. According to a blog post by Patrick Seybold, Sr Director of Corporate Communications, Sony will continue to work on resolving the issue around the clock, but couldn’t commit to an exact time when service would be restored.
Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) went down early Thursday morning. Usually, when a large scale service like this goes dark, it's quickly restored. This time, we're coming up on two days of outage without a resolution in sight. Perhaps more concerning, Sony has been silent on the issue since midday yesterday.
Sony CEO Jack Tretton didn't mince any words when discussing Nintendo's Wii and DS gaming consoles. He isn't concerned about the recently released 3DS, nor is he losing any sleep over third party numbers, which has the PlayStation 3 sitting in third place with 49.2 million PS3's sold globally, compared to 86.3 million Wiis. If you ask Tretton, and CNN did, Nintendo builds 'babysitting tools.'
It a bit of a reversal, the US District Court in the Northern District of California has granted Sony a temporary restraining order against George "Geohot" Hotz and the Failoverflow team. The case revolves around the efforts of two unrelated hacks on the Sony PS3 that allow unsigned software to be run. Sony contends that this is supporting piracy, and the DMCA expressly forbids it.
As a result of this ruling, Geohot and Failoverflow have to stop all activities related to hacking the PS3, and cannot provide so much as an encouraging word or link to other attempting to do the same. Mr. Hotz is also required to turn over all computing equipment that was used in the creation of the PS3 jailbreak. This last bit may be contested by Geohot's lawyers, says Engadget.
Of course, this isn't stopping anyone from finding the code online. We have to assume Sony knows this genie isn't going to be magically put back in the bottle. It's out there and there are more industrious young modders out there that are likely to take up the banner even more readily in the face of legal action.
Thank your lucky stars you're living in the age of the Internet, and we're not saying that because of those naughty *tube sites. We're talking about hardware porn here, and in this case, the rumored PlayStation Phone.
Codenamed "Zeus Z1," this potentially awesome device was caught on camera in a handful of videos (one of which we've embedded below) and posted over on Engadget. If these are fake, they're really good ones and we'll admit to being fooled.
The Zeus Z1, as it appears in the videos, looks pretty much exactly the way you would expect. Rather than sporting a fold-out QWERTY keyboard, a classic PlayStation gamepad jets out instead. You can spot a PlayStation icon on the device, and there's a second video that offers up a 14-second peek at the PlayStation app.
The Xbox 360 was first released on November 22, 2005 in the U.S. and Canada, just over five years ago today (by a week). As CNet notes, the coming and passing of the Xbox 360's fifth birthday without a successor in sight could very well mark the end of the 5-year console cycle that's been in place for three decades, give or take a couple of years between releases. Check it out:
Nintendo Entertainment System: 1985
Super NES: 1991
Nintendo 64: 1996
Nintendo GameCube: 2001
Nintendo Wii: 2006
Sony has kept the same cycle, releasing the original PlayStation console in 1995 followed by the PlayStation 2 in 2000 and the PlayStation 3 in 2006. Microsoft's first Xbox showed up in 2001.
Looking ahead, there aren't any new consoles on the horizon from any of the big three (Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony). Instead, each company has found other ways to extend the shelf-life of their existing consoles. Sony, for example, added 3D support, while both Sony and Microsoft recently launched their own take on motion controlled gaming. Nintendo hasn't been as active, but did add disc-less Netflix to the mix as well as various add-ons, like the Wii Balance Board and Wii Draw tablet.
On top of it, all three current-generation consoles are more adept than ever as serving as viable home theater media centers.
Which console(s) do you own, and do you plan on purchasing one before the end of 2010?
Walking into the Pande Lab at Stanford University is somewhat of a hardcore geek’s ultimate dream. This is, after all, where the real work gets done—or should we say, work units. For the various desktop systems and consoles scattered around the area are all a part of a larger initiative that likely you and I, as well as Stanford graduate students, researchers from around the globe, and consortiums of geeks and enthusiasts alike, have all contributed to.
But don’t take my word for it. Dr. Vijay Pande, an associate professor of chemistry, structural biology, and computer science over at Stanford—as well as the longtime director of the Folding@Home distributing computing project, which his aptly titled “Pande Lab” oversees—estimates that around 400,000 systems actively “fold” at the current moment. Given the program’s fairly linear growth of around 40,000 new systems a year, Folding@Home should be able to push past half a million “connected” PCs easily before its crystal anniversary.
As of Thursday this week, it's been 15 years since the original PlayStation console showed up on store shelves in North America, setting gamers back $299. That bought you a chunky console (though somewhat slim at the time) with a 32-bit RISC chip clocked at 33.9MHz, 2MB of RAM (1MB of video RAM), 16-bit sound, and a 3D engine capable of driving a 640x480 resolution, plus bragging rights over your friends who spent their allowance on the Sega Saturn.
By comparison, today's PlayStation 3 console comes with a Cell processor running at 3.2GHz, a GPU clocked at 550MHz, Full HD support, 256MB of main memory, another 256MB of video memory, up to 250GB of hard drive storage, Blu-ray support, and stereoscopic 3D support.
What will Sony's hardware look like in another 15 years? Who really knows, but in the meantime, Sony has put together a barebones PlayStation retrospective of the past decade and a half. You won't find a whole lot of details on the items mentioned, but hey, we're always down a for a quick stroll through memory lane.
You can't check out of a Best Buy or other retail electronics chain without a sales associate pushing for an extended warranty. Even Toys R Us will try to up sell you on additional coverage, but if Sony has its way, you'll go through them for longer warranties when shopping a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable (PSP) console.
It appears Sony suddenly wants to cash in on all the the third-party extended warranties being sold at the retail level, and perhaps cut into those offered by services like SquareTrade. Helping to do that, Sony will offer additional accidental damage coverage, so should you fall down a flight of stairs and land on your PS3 to soften your blow, you're covered.
Of course it's all going to come down to pricing, and Sony's is fairly competitive. For a barebones extension, Sony will charge $50 to bump up warranty service on its PS3 console from one year to two years, or $60 for three years of coverage. The PSP console will run $30 for two years or $40 for three years. And the accidental damage insurance? That's another $40.
What do you think about Sony's pricing? Do you usually buy an extended warranty when purchasing electronics? Hit the jump and sound off.