As the saying goes, 'Keep your friends close, and sue your customers.' Wait, that isn't exactly right, but it's the motto Sony's sticking with as it takes legal action against a band of hackers who uncovered and published security codes for the PlayStation 3 console, BBC News reports.
Sony named 21-year-old George Hotz and more than 100 others associated with a hacking group known as "fail0verflow" in its lawsuit.
"I am a firm believer in digital rights," Hotz said. "I would expect a company that prides itself on intellectual property to be well versed in the provisions of the law, so I am disappointed in Sony's current action. I have spoken with legal counsel and I feel comfortable that Sony's action against me doesn't have any basis."
If George Hotz sounds at all familiar to you, it's because he's the same person who cracked the iPhone's security measures. In this case, Sony is upset that Hotz figured out Sony's secret codes, including a number used to digitally sign all PS3 games and software as genuine. With that key, any software can be signed as legit, including pirated games.
According to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter's numbers, Nintendo moved around 2.6 million Wii consoles in December, edging ahead of Microsoft's Xbox 360 with 2.5 million units and way ahead of Sony's PlayStation 3 (1.2 million units), CNet reports.
Good for Nintendo, right? Not so fast. If those numbers are accurate, it means Nintendo Wii sales declined 32 percent compared to December 2009. PS3 sales also dropped (to the tune of 12 percent year-over-year), while the Xbox 360 exhibited a healthy 91 percent growth rate compared to one year prior.
There's more bad numbers for Nintendo. For the six month period ended September 2010, Nintendo posted a $24.6 million loss, the result of weak Wii and DS console sales. Going forward, Nintendo hopes to gain some ground with its upcoming 3DS handheld console, but with no living room consoles on the horizon, it will be interesting to see if Wii sales continue to decline or have simply leveled out.
Fancy yourself a tree-hugger? That doesn't mean you have to give up gaming on the console, you just have to choose your system wisely. So which one gets the nod? According to findings by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the Nintendo Wii consumes about a sixth of the power of Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 consoles.
"We included only a small sample of the many gaming systems available, but it reveals the differences in energy use can be significant," said Mark McGranaghan, vice president of Power Deliver & Utilization for EPRI. "With the holiday shopping season in full swing, now is a good time to consider this factor."
EPRI conducted its tests by playing EA's Madden 2011 football game for one hour on each system. In doing so, EPRI found that the Wii used an average of 13.7 watts, while the PS3 and Xbox 360 pulled 84.8 watts and 87.9 watts, respectively.
"Obviously there are many considerations when looking at a gaming system and we're only about energy use," said McGranaghan. "There are also trade-offs associated with graphics and speed that drive higher energy use and consumers will need to factor those elements in as well. The more graphically intensive systems will, by design, require more energy."
Or you could say the hell with it and build a dual- or tri-videocard gaming PC, power consumption be damned.
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?
If you pay attention to technology in any way whatsoever, you've heard of Angry Birds. This smash hit mobile game is available on Android, iPhone, Symbian, and WebOS. But developer Rovio has announced that the game will be arriving on full game consoles in the near future, the BBC reports. The game will be distributed through the online markets on the Wii, Xbox, and PS3.
The shift from touchscreen input to controller input will be interesting for Angry Birds. In the game, players pull back a slingshot to launch birds at villainous, egg-stealing pigs. We imagine the game will have support for the motion control accessories on the various consoles. That would only make sense, and might end up a bazaar selling point of the Kinect. Would you play Angry Birds on your console?
Sony plans to launch a "Titanium Blue" PlayStation 3 console later this month to promote the release not of a new Smurfs game, but of Gran Turismo 5, Nexus404.com reports.
"The date is locked in: Gran Turismo 5 will go on sale throughout North America on Wednesday, November 24th," Sony announced in a blog post. "That means you'll be experiencing over 1,000 cars, including karts and select NASCAR cars, scores of tracks, the all-new Course Maker, a dynamic weather system, a robust online community, and everything else Gran Turismo 5 has to offer in less than two weeks."
As for the blue console, that will be part of the Gran Turismo Racking Pack bundle, albeit available only in Japan (at least initially) for around $435.
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.
Several days after details about the WD TV Live Hub surfaced on the internet, Western Digital today launched the set-top-box that boasts a few additional features over previous WD TV devices. It is a network media streamer, DLNA-compliant media extender and 1TB hard drive all rolled into a single $200 package.
You can not only use this networked media player to view media content, whether it be locally stored or Internet based, on your TV, but also stream local content to any DLNA/UPnP compatible device, including game consoles, Blu-ray Disc players and other WD TV Live media players.
Despite its versatility, the WD TV Live Hub is missing something very basic -- Wi-Fi. Perhaps Western Digital was hoping that the Hub’s other features would offset its lack of Wi-Fi.
Microsoft tied up the exclusive rights to disk free Netflix console streaming, but all things must come to an end, and I’m sure most PS3 owners are more than happy to count this odd business deal among them. Starting today US viewers can download the new disk-free Netflix application from the Sony Store, even though the actual service behind it won’t go live until tomorrow.
Early impressions of the new Netflix PS3 interface is overwhelmingly positive with support for 1080p, 5.1 surround sound, and even closed captioning if the title supports it. With the Wii capped at 480p, the Xbox 360 capped at 720p, the PS3 which will support resolutions up to 1080p is starting to look like the superior solution. Very few titles will support the higher resolutions at launch, but this will no doubt chance fairly quickly.
Do you intend to start using your PS3 for Netflix over your previous solution?
Owners of the PS3 have been able to watch Netflix streaming content on their consoles for some time now. The only problem is that it required a special streaming disc to be in the machine. But according to Sony, a new disc-free Netflix streaming solution is coming to the PS3 on October 18. The application will be free and it will be installed to the console like other apps.
The interface is completely redesigned, and includes search capability. Users will finally be able to add items to the queue right from the PS3. Netflix on the PS3 will also be serving up 1080p HD video and 5.1 surround sound, when the content supports it. Other Netflix solutions are stuck at 720p for the time being. If that's not enough, the PS3 will also support subtitles.
The UI looks slick in the video, but that might be trickery. We'll reserve judgment until the app rolls out, but it will be nice to get rid of that disc once and for all. Any Netflix subscribers taking another look at the PS3 as a streaming device?