Now as the saga continues it looks like the reinstatement of the PSN could still be weeks away. Gamers worldwide are furious and venting their frustration wherever they can and to whoever will listen. Sony must be losing millions in PS Store sales, console sales and also shedding loyal gamers by the minute. But let’s not forget there are a few others massively affected by the PSN downtime. I’m talking about the likes of Zipper Interactive. Developers like Zipper released massive budget titles on the eve of the PSN collapse. How much do you think they’ve lost in the wake of all this?  SOCOM Special Forces for example, although sporting a decent single player campaign, relies heavily on the ‘online multiplayer’ side of its game to keep gamers happy. This had to have cost them sales. So as you’re sitting there ‘twittering’ about how bad the PSN is and how pi**ed off you are, just spare a thought for other innocent parties caught up in this. It must be costing them millions too. Who else do you think is losing big here? Plus do you think they’ll see any form of compensation?

Head of communications SCEE Nick Caplin clears up a few details regarding Sony’ identity theft protection offering and also what we should expect in the ‘Welcome Back Program’. Full details below.

“Both Kazuo Hirai and Sir Howard Stringer have stated that we will be offering identity theft protection for those affected by the malicious attack on PlayStation Network and many of you may have seen the details of the service available in North America.

As I have explained previously, creating a similar offering for the many countries within the SCEE region is a very complicated process. Each country has a different way of handling identity theft; some offer relatively sophisticated services whilst others are much more modest.

We are currently in the process of identifying how we manage this situation and once the programme is ready to launch, we will provide details of exactly which services are available in each country and explain how to sign up. We hope to do this early next week.

Also, look out for more information on the rest of our Welcome Back programme, including which free content you will be eligible for. We will be offering PSN users the opportunity to select two PS3 games from a list of five, as well as offering PSP users the opportunity to choose two games from a list of four. We will let you know exactly what games are available very soon.

Please be assured that we are continuing to work around the clock to have some PlayStation Network and Qriocity services restored and will provide you with specific details shortly.”

Many PlayStation users are experiencing (myself included) difficulties logging onto the PSN. For the past several days  now I’ve personally been having issues logging on with my PS3 and PSP. Only intermittently and with persistence it’s logged on. But not tonight. Reports on social networking sites like Twitter indicate the the entire PlayStation network worldwide has failed. No news yet as to what had caused the outage. It could be anyone’s guess. For a free service it’s hard to complain too much, but how much more can consumers take before they start looking at other platforms for their online gaming fix?

UPDATE: Via PlaystationEU twitter feed. “PSN is currently down for maintenance. We’ll update you with timeframes as soon as we can”.

I love that word ‘maintenance’. It covers all manner of sins.

UPDATE 2: Via “An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.” Sony have effectively turned off Internet access so they can investigate. So this extended outage is all caused by some  mischievous, good for nothing hackers.


Rumour: Reports are circuiting that the UMD’less PSPgo production has been cancelled and that no more units will be sent to retail. It safe to say the PSPgo hasn’t been well received by gamers, the high price tag and limited (compared with UMD) games available on the PlayStation Store has meant the console has been fighting a uphill battle. I believe the PSPgo was never created as a replacement for the current model PSP 3000 but as a alternative for those wanting a more portable portable. Part of me is sad to see it end this way. As a happy PSPgo owner (once the price dropped) I can confirm it really is a impressive piece of kit. But perhaps I’m the minority. RIP little buddy.

iOS & Android
In what should come as a surprise to no one, a recent report by Flurry shows the increasing market share of both Google’s Android OS and Apple’s iOS in both the overall and portable gaming market in the United States.

Overall, there was no massive jump: iOS and Android comprised 5% of all gaming revenue in 2009, which jumped to 8% in 2010. However, it’s worth nothing that this growth came solely at the expense of portable gaming (the Nintendo DS and PSP, in particular), as console revenue share actually increased during this timeframe. So, to get a better idea of the effect of Android and iOS, Flurry also took a more detailed look at portable gaming in general.

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Have you ever considered what impact your gaming has on the environment? Don’t get me wrong. I’m no “Greenie”. I personally disagree with the Emission Trading Scheme (won’t make a jot of difference), and think Earth Hour is a waste of time. But I do recycle, and do make modest efforts to minimise waste and my “environmental footprint”.

So when I opened the 1500 Microsoft Points for Xbox LIVE that I purchased at a retail store, I was a little irked by the continued wasteful packaging that has plagued the Xbox 360 from the outset.

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After all the rumours, Sony have finally let loose. The rumoured PSP2 (codenamed the NGP) was unveiled today at Sony’s 2011 PlayStation Meeting in Japan.

The NGP (Next Generation Portable) is releasing at the end of this year. Any guesses at the real name? PSP Move? PSP Future? PSP 2.0? The PSP? NGPSP?

The first thing you’ll notice is that there are now two analog sticks. Looks like Sony listens to its criticisms after all!

It’s touch screen as confirmed early on. And what is this, a touchpad on the back?

Guess what else is crazy? Games now come on flash cards (DS-like cartridges). Bizarre, but makes sense, getting rid of the complaints against the UMD-less PSP Go.

The NGP is packed full of all sorts of tech. Just whack those features on there Sony! 
OLED display, front and rear cameras, microphone, GPS, 3G, Bluetooth, and motion sensors (gyroscope, accelerometer, & electronic compass). Full specs over on

As for the games… PS3 games are being ported over (Sony says this is quite an easy process): including Metal Gear Solid 4, Uncharted, and Resistance. As well as other familiar franchises Call of Duty and LittleBigPlanet. The NGP is of course backwards compatible with digital download PSP titles and other PlayStation Store content.

Official pics over on Flickr. Don’t forget to have a peek at the back of it.

Some two years after the European launch, and some three years after someone breaking embargo about it (I can’t recall, memory’s failing me,) PlayTV is finally coming to us in New Zealand. For those that are suffering early onset Alzheimer’s like myself, PlayTV is a peripheral for your Playstation 3 that will plug into a USB port and act as a PVR device. It’s RRP is set at $199.95, and will be available on November 25th, this little device will allow you to record HD TV without interrupting the PS3s daily duties of games, blu ray movies and what have you. It’ll also allow you to interface with it via Remote Play on the PSP and “selected” Sony Vaio laptops, or a Sony Ericsson AINO phone. I’ve always felt that the remote play functionality has been underused, since my sedentary lifestyle is currently held back by having to get out of bed to use any of my consumer electronics. Being able to watch TV without even having to sit up in bed. It’s the future, people.

It looks like Sony will finally be leveraging its position as a Mobile phone maker as well as a video game machine maker. Engadget has posted some info about the first official details for the apparently soon to be released handset.

I don’t know if my ever aging thumbs will be mashing away on those buttons as comfortably as they might on a console controller but heck, it’s got a touch screen and promises to at least keep Apple on their toes on the mobile gaming front.

We’ll post more info when Sony NZ announce their plans.

Posted in PSP.

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Another tongue in cheek outing from London based Mediatonic and you can certainly say they have a sense of humour, as it doesn’t take long for the cleverly engineered title to sink in.

The game is very much in the style of their previous release ‘Monsters (probably) Stole My Princess’ which we reviewed back in April. A style comprising of 2d sprites, a muted purple hued palette and some chunky presentation. This is not a bad thing in particular, it does show that the team know their brand and are not afraid to maintain a familiar feel.

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