Sony Releases Some Promising News

First, I would like to apologize that this site has seemingly been consumed by this whole ordeal, but I feel it is very important to the gaming community so I will continue keeping you updated on the topic.

Sony has released a brief Q & A session on their blog that has answered many questions we have all been dying to ask. To some up this post, basically, Sony is working closely with a security firm and law enforcement to find the guilty party no matter where they are located. They have confirmed that our personal information was taken as it was not encrypted only shielded by the prior security system.

Personal Data is not really what most re concerned about. The topic of interest is more about whether the credit and debit card numbers were taken.  Sony confirmed that the data was encrypted and they cannot say whether the data was taken or not. As precaution you should monitor your account and contact your financial institution for further advice. One positive thing Sony released was that security codes were not taken as they were not required to sign up for the PlayStation Network. This severely limits the purposes of the credit and debit card numbers.

The final matter to worry about is whether your account has been jeopardized. To combat this problem Sony has stated they will have a mandatory update once PSN returns. This update requires all users to change their passwords associated with the account.

Finally, the best news of the day: some PSN and Qriocity services will return by May 4th. This is promising as we finally have a legitimate time frame to hope for. They made it clear however that they will only bring services back if  they are positive they are secure. “However, we want to be very clear that we will only restore operations when we are confident that the network is secure.” For now we have something to look forward to, and we can only hope justice is served one way or another.

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Update: Sony Clarifies Much About the PSN Outage

Sony has come out today stating that the PlayStation Network outage was caused because of an external security breach as many expected. PSN was brought down a precautionary measure. As soon as Sony learned about the breach that occurred sometime between April 17th and 19th, they acted fast using three counter measures outlined in their most recent post:

  1. Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;
  2. Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and
  3. Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by re-building our system to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.

These  precautions were safety measures taken to ensure that their customers are as protected as they can be in a situation like that. I for one will not blame Sony. They are trying and working diligently. This could have happened to any system and similar things have happened to other systems to a lesser extent of course. Despite these actions, they are unsure whether the 70 million accounts were protected. No one is sure whether the credit and debit card information was taken.

I highly suggest everyone read the blog posting linked above. Sony has made many suggestions for PSN  users to be on the safe side. The most important suggestion is to monitor your billing statements and make sure there are no fraudulent charges. Many banks today have preventative measures to prevent such a thing, but it cannot hurt for you to double check this as well. If you are unsure as to whether your bank offers such services a simple phone call or email can clarify the subject. Thanks for reading, again stay diligent during this downtime. Its not entirely Sony’s fault.

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PlayStation Update Coming April 26th

Its Tuesday morning again which means the US PlayStation Store is supposed to receive the April 26th Update. This week should feature three PS3 games, one Mini, assorted songs for Rock Band 3, and a substantial amount of stuff for Plus subscribers. As good as this sounds, there seems to be nothing to be excited about. The update is very unlikely to occur. With the recent outage and countless rumors circulating it seems no one knows when the PlayStation Network will return and all signs point to it not being up and running by tomorrow.

There are not many big additions in line for the general public. They are adding four decent games, the usual Rockband DLC, some avatars, and less than exciting DLC packs.

PlayStation Plus members will receive one of the better updates they have ever received. Two full games, four avatars, one mini, and two themes will be free as well as a free game trial of Rainbow Six Vegas 2. On top of this, two of the new release games, Outland and Funky Lab Rat, will be discounted for a limited time. Finally, a Resident Evil 5 avatar bundle featuring 10 avatars will be available for only $.99.

As I have stated earlier, this update is not anticipated. Unless something comes up, PSN is expected to be down tomorrow as well. As of now, no one knows how PlayStation will handle the situation. I imagine the update is the least of their worries at the moment with the recent incident still up in the air.

PS3:

  • Crash Commando – $9.99
  • Funky Lab Rat (Move Compatible) – $9.99
  • Outland – $9.99

Outland $9.99 or $7.99 to PSN+

PS1 Classics:

  • N/A

PS1 Imports:

  • N/A

PSP:

  • N/A

Minis:

  • Alien Zombie Death – $3.99

Qore:

  • Qore Episode 35 (April 2011) – $2.99/Episode or $24.99/Year

DLC:

  • Moon Diver – Orbit and Rage Score Attack Mode Stages – $0.99
  • Zen Pinball – Sorcerer’s Lair – $2.49
  • Shift 2: Unleashed DLC – Legends Pack – $9.99
  • Rockband 3 – “Blue Bayou” by Roy Orbison – $1.99
  • Rockband 3 – “Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)” by Roy Orbison – $1.99
  • Rockband 3 – “Only the Lonely (Know the Way I Feel)”  by Roy Orbison – $1.99
  • Rockband 3 – “Rock and Roll All Nite (Live)”  by KISS – $1.99
  • Rockband 3 – “Strutter (Live)” by KISS – $1.99

Discount:

  • N/A

Pulse:

  • April 19th Edition – Free

Avatars:

  • Hard Corps: Uprising Leviathan Avatar – $.49
  • Hard Corps: Uprising Sayuri Avatar – $.49
  • Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes Aidan Avatar – $.49
  • Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes Nadia Avatar – $.49
  • MotorStorm Apocalypse Burning Avatar – $.25
  • MotorStorm Apocalypse Urban Avatar – $.25

    Crash Commando $9.99 or Free to PSN+

Themes:

  • N/A

Demos:

  • N/A

Playstion Plus:

  • Alien Zombie Death – Free
  • Anomalies Theme – Free
  • Crash Commando – Free
  • Funky Lab Rat (Move Compatible) – $4.00
  • Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes Aidan Avatar – Free
  • Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes Nadia Avatar – Free
  • MotorStorm Apocalypse Burning Avatar – Free
  • MotorStorm Apocalypse Urban Avatar – Free
  • Outland – $7.99
  • Resident Evil 5 Avatar Bundle – $0.99
  • Sega Genesis – Dynamic Theme – Free
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 – Full Game Trial – Free

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Rumor: PlayStation Network Outage Possibly Due to Custom Firmware

Rumors have been circulating for a couple days that there was a custom firmware being used known as ‘Operation: Rebug’. These rumors have partially been confirmed through a pretty credible source. Essentially, this custom firmware allowed users to setup false developer accounts. While using these accounts, it allowed users to add funds to their account which could be used on anything on the PSN Store. This exploit is reportedly simple and no one knows how many people may have exploited this custom firmware.

Day Five: Great PSN Outage of 2011

It makes sense why they would have pulled PSN as a precaution. Who knows how much the smaller game developers lost through this glitch. But as always, while this is most likely true it will remain a rumor until PlayStation comments on such a topic.

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PlayStation Outage Taking Longer than Anticipated

The initial estimate of 1 to 2 days has passed and Sony has kept us minimally updated which is understandable from a PR stand point. No sense updating the general public until they are 100% certain. Sony has confirmed that the outage was caused by an outside force, but they did not specifically label any group.

This morning Sony has announced that they are essentially rebuilding the security system from the ground up. Rumors have been circulating that it was linked to Anonymous while others have stated it was not. Nothing can be confirmed at this point until Sony makes an official announcement. Similar circumstances exist with the time frame. People have been stating ranges as short as tomorrow and as long as two weeks. For now, we just have to take this day by day and hope Sony can fix the outage as quickly and thoroughly as possible. The one benefit of this outage is the fact that I was able to play a bunch of offline games I would not have gotten around to any time soon. So far I’ve beaten Enslaved, played Comet Crash, Shatter, Assassin’s Creed II, and Singularity.

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PlayStation Network May Be Down for Up to Two Days

The Official US Playstation Blog has announced that the maintenance on the PlayStation Network may take up to a day or two. The servers were brought down roughly 11 AM EST on Thursday April 21st. I imagine since the US blog has announced this time frame, this also means the EU PSN will follow a similar schedule. For now all we can do is hope its quick and easy. Worst case scenario we have everything back up and running midday Saturday.

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Playstation Network Gamers’ Choice Awards – Voting has Begun.

Sony has recently announced that voting for this year’s Playstation Network Gamers’ Choice Awards has begun. Head  over to the Playstation Store to vote for your favorites. Each category you vote for will give you a free theme for your Playstation 3 XMB. Each theme ranges from 400 KB to 460 KB so they will not take longer than 2 minutes or so to download, but be wary, once you vote you will not be able to download any of the other themes in the category.

Voting has just begun, you need to act quick as the polls close on March 1st. Be sure to let yourself be heard while also scoring some nice themes. On top of that Sony has been kind enough to discount the winners for their annual Spring sale. Without further ado, here are your four categories as well as voting choices.

Best PS3 Game:

  • Castle Crashers
  • Costume Quest
  • Deathspank
  • Pac-Man Champiosnhip Edition DX
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game

Best PSP Game:

  • God of War: Ghost of Sparta
  • Lunar: Silver Star Harmony
  • Phantasy Star Portable 2
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
  • Valkyria Chronicles 2

Best Mini:

  • Age of Zombies
  • MONSTERS (PROBABLY) STOLE MY PRINCESS!
  • A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks!
  • Vector TD
  • Young Thor

BEST PSN Exclusive Game:

  • Joe Danger
  • Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse Episode 1
  • Dead Nation
  • Hustle Kings
  • Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype

Voting Ends March 1st

Personally, I am voting for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game, Valkyria Chronicles 2, A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks!, and Dead Nation. These games were just great games, but that is not to take away from any other game. They are all some of the better games of the year. Considering all their price points, they are all well worth it even without the discount we can look forward to this Spring.

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