Noted hardware hacker George Hotz was in court again today in the ongoing case of the PS3 jailbreak. Sony sued Hotz (or Geohot is you like) after he developed a hack that allowed users to install any software they like on the PS3 console. They are citing DMCA violations. The hearing today was to decide whether or not Hotz would be forced to turn over his computer equipment to Sony for inspection. The judge ruledthat Hotz would indeed have to let Sony paw through his data.
Oh Sony, how silly can you be? The PlayStation 3 maker has been stirring up quite the stink over the online publishing of PS3 jailbreak code that allows unsigned software to run. In its attempt to put the genie back in the bottle, Sony's been threatening to sue anyone who posts links to the code, but that's only the beginning. Did you watch the YouTube video made by PS3 hacker George Hotz, or even just comment on it? If so, Sony wants to know. In an ironic twist, Sony should consider suing itself.
Sony is turning up the heat on the hacking community as they seek to eradicate the PS3 jailbreak from the Internet, reports Wired. Sony is now promising to sue anyone that posts or links to the code in question. To those ends, Sony is seeking to force Google to turn over the IP addresses of people that viewed or commented on the YouTube video made by George Hotz (often called Geohot) explaining the hack. It doesn't even stop there.
Console price cuts are coming! Console price cuts are coming! That's the message from Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, who says it's high time for Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony to all three mark down their respective gaming consoles, CNet reports.
"After maintaining console prices at historically high points throughout 2010, all three console manufacturers appear to us to be poised for price cuts in 2011," Pachter wrote in a note to investors.
Despite sales of Microsoft's Xbox 360 console rising 40 percent year-over-year in 2010, Pachter says it's possible the Redmond outfit will drop the price of its 250GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle from $400 to $300. This, he says, would put the pressure on Sony to mark down its PlayStation 3 Move bundle.
It will be interesting to see if any of this comes to fruition. Nintendo so far has seemed content with the Wii's price point, while both Microsoft and Sony have played around with various storage options and slimmer form factors rather than reduce prices outright.
If it felt like Apple as lightening up on their App Store approval guidelines, think again. According to The New York Times, a recent scuffle with Sony has spurred Apple to clarify that their App Store rules on in0app purchases are going to be more strictly followed. The whole issue came up when Sony's Reader app was rejected from the App Store a few days ago. Apple objected to the Reader having its own eBook store, and no option for Apple's own in-app purchases. This, says Apple, is a violation of their terms of service.
This brings up an uncomfortable dilemma for other apps, like Amazon's Kindle for instance. Both the Kindle app and the Sony app bring up an imbedded web browser to make content purchases, but Apple is now saying that developers must provide that same content for in-app purchases using Apple's system. Not coincidentally, that means Apple would get their 30% cut. "It’s the opposite of what we wanted to bring to the market,” Sony's Steve Haber said. “We always wanted to bring the content to as many devices as possible, not one device to one store."
This does not mean that any content purchased the old way won't be available. Indeed, you can keep doing that. Apple is just asserting their authority to require that users are presented with in-app purchases too. A cunning way to get people more invested in the Apple ecosystem. How does this sit with you?
There's been some chatter that Sony plans to introduce cloud-based storage for its beloved PlayStation 3 console, and that chatter is starting to turn into a roar, Fudzilla claims. The news and rumor site says a number of sources have now confirmed that this "PS Cloud," a term Sony trademarked back in 2009, will ship as part of the upcoming 3.60 firmware update.
As the story goes, Sony will call the option "Save File Insured" and will offer it to PlayStation Plus subscribers. Other details are frustratingly non-existent, such as how much storage space subscribers will get and whether or not non-subscribers will have access (for a fee).
It's also been said that the next firmware will address the cracked code that's been floating around the Web, which allows gamers to play backed up (and pirated) copies of games.
After presumably firing its entire Secret-Keeping Department, Sony officially took the wraps off its next-generation portable, which it's calling the, er, “Next-Generation Portable” – well, for now, anyway. It's a codename, so hopefully Sony will kick it to the curb and go with something less prone to sounding dated after two weeks.
In terms of performance, the NGP's more than capable of going toe-to-toe with its big brother, the PS3. As proof, Hideo Kojima trotted out a pixel-perfect port of Metal Gear Solid 4, which immediately began slurping people's wallets out of their pockets like a vacuum powered by desire. A new entry in the ever-popular Uncharted franchise was also demonstrated, and the usual Sony suspects – LittleBigPlanet, Resistance, Killzone, et al – were confirmed to be hopping aboard as well. Activision also took the stage for roughly 0.3 seconds to name-drop Call of Duty, but nothing was actually shown.
As for the machine itself, it has two analog sticks (thank goodness), and both its front and back are touch-enabled. Yep – not only does it have a touch-screen up front, but it's also packing (what we hope won't turn out be a piece of) junk in its trunk. The rear-mounted touch pad's the same size as the NGP's screen, though, so tapping it still corresponds directly to whatever's occuring in-game.
Unfortunately, Sony's not talking price or release date just yet. Here's hoping “599 US Dollars” stays in the past with “historically accurate giant enemy crabs” where it belongs.
For a bunch of other nitty gritty details – including full tech specs and online options (3G!) – go here. So then, now that both sides have laid their cards on the table, which shiny new tech toy do you have your eye on? 3DS or NGP? Or does another device – say, a smartphone or something along those lines – already have your portable gaming dollar?
Sony opened a legal can of worms last April when it chose to withdraw support for PS3’s “Other OS” feature with the introduction of firmware version 3.21, citing concerns about the system’s security. But the company soon found itself at the receiving end of a flurry of class action lawsuits from console owners feeling shortchanged by the removal of a feature that once figured prominently in marketing campaigns. The feature allowed other operating systems to be installed on non-slim PS3s.
"Sony claims a universal right to change or remove functionality from the gaming console. The Consumer Council strongly believes there needs to be a limit to what constitutes a reasonable change to products we buy—and that terms of service that grant the manufacturer full access to literally downgrade the product or limit the functionality are unreasonable and in clear violation of the Marketing Control Act," Øyvind H. Kaldestad of the Consumer Council told ArsTechnica.
"When a company use [sic] terms like 'updates' or 'upgrades,' it is reasonable to expect a significant improvement of the product and not the risk of being stuck with a lesser product."
The Consumer council also lambasted consumer electronics companies like Sony for abusing after-sale access to connected devices “to do almost whatever he or she wants” under the pretext of enhancing these devices through software updates.
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.
In an effort to curtail piracy and thwart any damage that might result from the recent public posting of security codes for the PlayStation 3 console. Sony plans to introduce a serial key system for its games, TechEye reports.
Earlier this month, George Hotz and a band of programmers associated with a hacking group called "fail0verflow" drew Sony's ire by uncovering and publishing root keys for the PS3. Sony's initial response was to take legal action against Hotz and more than 100 others it claims were involved, but there's still the problem of such keys now being public knowledge.
These root keys are used to verify that a game is genuine, and with that knowledge, hackers and pirates can essentially trick the console into recognizing counterfeit software as the real deal. With the new system in place, upcoming games will ship with unique serial keys specific to that Blu-ray disc, which the user will then have to enter into the PS3. If this sounds at all familiar, then you must be a PC gamer.
Citing an un-named source, PS3-Sense says Sony has already updated the PS3's firmware in preparation for this new verification system.