Posts Tagged: ‘Sony’

Sega Has Been Hacked; Shows Up Sony

June 17, 2011 Posted by zachary

Sega LogoToday, I looked at my email and found an email from Sega with the subject line, “Important information regarding your SEGA Pass account”

So I took a look. It turns out that Sega’s servers were hacked and personal information has been compromised. This has been happening a lot recently. It started with Sony and has moved quickly to other game companies. There isn’t really a pattern to the companies other than the majority of them are game related.

I don’t really feel like going into any of the details or potential motives or suspects. What I want to get at is that Sega is emailing me 1 day after they took their services offline. Sony took 3 weeks. In fact, Sony was telling the press that they contacted all their PSN customers about the breach within the first week, but it wasn’t until 3 weeks after the first reports that I got my notification email.

So what’s the deal? Why did it take Sony 3 weeks and Sega only 1 day? Was it the shear number of users effected? Maybe, but I don’t think it should take 3 weeks for all people to get a notification email, especially when Sony is saying otherwise. (more…)

N-Gage: Ahead of the Game

April 12, 2011 Posted by zachary

n-gage phone and game systemI worked in an EB Games back in 2003 during the time the N-Gage was reaching its (very small) peak in the gamer consciousness.

We had one small end cap with the 10 or so games that we had in stock and a demo system available.

I only ever knew of one person who owned one and actually bought games for it. He would come in every few weeks and ask if we had any new games for it. We never did.

Despite its failings in the market, it was a novel innovation in portable gaming. It was a phone as well as a portable gaming systems. Its major flaws and the reason it was so panned by the gaming community as well as the phone buying community were the convoluted way you had to change out games and the way you held the phone to your ear. (more…)

Accessibility: The Defining Feature of the Next Generation

April 12, 2011 Posted by zachary

The accessibility wave has begun, it is just a matter of the console companies continuing to ride it. The Wave started with Nintendo it will be driven by Nintendo and the other companies will ride in their shadow to the finish.

When most people talk about accessibility, they seem to conjure up images of simplified, or dumbed down, gameplay. What they don’t really understand is that accessibility is about making something approachable by someone not familiar with it while still leaving the ability for aficionados can master it.

Take the game of Chess. The rules are pretty simple. Every type of piece moves in its own way and the goal is to position the opposing player’s king in so much that they cannot make a move without leaving their king vulnerable. Simple enough that a kid can learn to play it. Yet at the same time entire clubs of aficionados have risen up and we have world wide Chess championships.

This is an example of accessibility in game design that we can currently fulfill but is not the focus of my arguments. I am talking about accessibility of technology. (more…)

PS3 Troubles Abound

February 4, 2011 Posted by zachary

Dead PS3

Not my PS3

Well, I have been enjoying my PS3 since Christmas, at least when it works.

I can’t play all PS3 games for it. I have no idea why. I borrowed Folklore from my brother and the game locks up right at the beginning. I have been able to play it for maybe 5 minutes. But after that initial 5 minutes the game completely locks up and I have to hard shut down the PS3. So I gave up on that. I gave it back to him and borrowed White Knight Chronicles. Fun game if you ignore the graphics glitches.

Next I bought three games for it (all brand new), Valkyria Chronicles, Disgaea 3 and Resonance of Fate. Valkyria Chronicles and Disgaea 3 play just fine and are really fun. Resonance of Fate, however, is a different story.

Resonance of Fate gives me an infinite loading problem. The first transition between levels locks up on the loading screen. Sega has been of little help. According to this forum thread, this is a fairly widespread issue, but Sega refuses to acknowledge the problem. When I contacted support, this is all they said:


After thorough testing our QA team have been unable to replicate the issue.

This indicates the problem is hardware related (as opposed to software)

In order to fix the issue, please follow the solutions below:

1. You can try to create a new user account on your PS3.
2. As stated previously ensure you possess the latest firmware.
3. Ensure the disc lens is clean
4. If you bought a second hand disc ensure there is no scratch or dust on the surface of the disc

Best regards,

SEGA Customer Support

Yeah, big help.

So I tried replacing my PS3 with the same model (CECHA01) and the game disk with the same result. So thanks Sega for the great game I can’t play.

Now my PS3’s disk drive died on me. I went to play a game and ejected the music cd that was in it and the gears gave out. Now it won’t take in any disk. I plan on taking it to the store I got it from and they said they will see if they can fix it. If they can’t I may just return it and use the money to fix my computer. Maybe.

Maybe this is all for the better. Sony is doing some really annoying things in regards to their “security” issues. Capcom has decided that you have to be logged in to PSN to play single player games and it seems more of this is coming. Is it really worth it to own a console that the manufacturer doesn’t think you own? Is it worth it to invest in games that the developer doesn’t think you own? I am really beginning to wonder about the direction of the mainstream games industry.

Something Fun for the New Year

December 27, 2010 Posted by zachary

PS3I got a PS3 for Christmas. Not just any PS3, a Backwards Compatible PS3. I can play all my PS1, 2, and 3 games on it. I am very excited about that. That was my only hold out on getting one and my wife came through.

Starting it up, I needed to update the console to the latest firmware. I would have kept the current version as to be able to use the Other OS feature, but I really wanted to be able to use Netflix which requires the latest firmware version. So I carefully weighed my optionsĀ  and decided that I would probably use Netflix more than Linux (I have Linux on my personal computer).

Back to the update, I started the update and sat there for 10 minutes and watched it move from 0% complete to 5% complete and got a bit annoyed. I had read all the stories about the update process and how slow it is, but you can’t really comment until you have experienced it first hand. So my wife and I switched over to the Wii and played Lego Indiana Jones 2 (one of my other gifts) and played that for about an hour. By the time we were ready for bed, the update had completed. Not sure if it took the full hour or not, but that was an hour that I was not on the PS3 thanks to the update process.

In comparison, when I got my Wii last year, the update that I had to make then, took all of 10 minutes. 10 minutes or an hour, I think I would rather wait 10 minutes.

The next thing I noticed was the really bland UI. Luckily, it is possible for the user to change the UI. I look forward to that. My brother showed me some resources to check out to find some new UI schemes and even create my own. I have a few art assets that are just dying to be turned into an icon set.

So I will be enjoying the next year.

Of Betamax and Mod Chips

June 29, 2010 Posted by zachary

Throughout the games industry there is a big debate on the legality of Mod Chips, those nifty little circuit boards and cartridges that allow for people to do things with video game consoles that the manufacturers did not intend. We all know what they are capable of doing, pirating games being the most hotly debated. What we may not realize is that they have a lot in common with another device that has become a home staple, the VCR.

Back in the 70s, Sony introduced their entry in the home video cassette format war, Betamax. Betamax, much like VHS, allowed for the recording and playback of television broadcasts. Some companies in the entertainment business were not happy as they felt that the ability for home viewers to record shows and movies and play them back at later times constituted copyright infringement and that Sony should be held liable for providing the tools that made it so easy.

So what did these entertainment companies do? They sued Sony. This case went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States and became known as Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. ( (more…)