Posts Tagged ‘news’

We all know of LulzSec and their online antics such as hacking Nintendo and Sony and for hacking broadcasters such as Fox and PBS. Well, as of June 26th 2011 LulzSec have in fact disbanded. Yes you heard (or read) me right.

Lulz Sec Logo

Lulz Security - Gone for good, or just until the heat dies down?

On June 25th LulzSec kept announcing on their Twitter account about how they had a surprise for everyone at midnight, which they then counted down to closer to the time. At midnight they released their ’50 days of Lulz statement’ for the world to read. The statement basically explains that LulzSec are people just like everyone else and that they only set out to do what they did for 50 days and part of the statement reads “it’s time to say bon voyage. Our planned 50 day cruise has expired, and we must now sail into the distance, leaving behind – we hope – inspiration, fear, denial, happiness, approval, disapproval, mockery, embarrassment, thoughtfulness, jealousy, hate, even love. If anything, we hope we had a microscopic impact on someone, somewhere. Anywhere.”

The full statement can be found at http://lulzsecurity.com/releases/50%20Days%20of%20Lulz.txt

LulzSec have not given any reason (other than that 50 days was their planned time) as to why they have parted but many feel that they have done this for now because of the latest police investigations, and that they may even return when the heat is off them.

Although LulzSec have disbanded they have urged their supporters to continue on without them.

So what does all of this mean? Has LulzSec gone for good or are they just taking some time out? Well there is no indication of whether they will be back or not but with everything they have done in the short time they were here I have a feeling we will be hearing from them again.

As of June 26th LulzSec have not posted anything else on their Twitter account nor have they updated anything on their website since their ’50 Days of Lulz statement’.

What are your thoughts on LulzSec? Do you think they were right to do what they did? Do you think they will be back, or are they gone forever?

Advertisements

After weeks of debate, weeks of wondering it’s finally here, the successor to the Wii…..The Wii U, and whilst it does sound like an infant making the noise of a police cars siren, it actually looks interesting.

Upon first glance, you could be forgiven for mistaking the Wii U as….well…..a Wii. It doesn’t seem too much different from the Wii, but then you turn it on and you see the difference.

For the first time ever Nintendo are upgrading to HD graphics, one of the big selling points of the more ‘serious’ game consoles. With HD graphics, even games like Wii Sports will look good, and it doesn’t stop at Wii Sports, Nintendo have more planned. Games such as Tekken, Batman: Arkham Assylum and Dirt are amongst some of the titles that are going to grace the Wii U. And for the less ‘hard-core gamer’ there are going to be new versions of smash brothers, and almost certainly an updated, upgraded version of Wii Sports amongst others.

Wii U Console

Wii U console.......Huh!? Looks like a console I've played before

This now opens up a window that Nintendo have never really tried to break into and that is the hard-core gamer market. With titles such as Tekken (And almost certainly other games classified as hard-core) coming to the system this may attract a different type of gamer to the console. However, hard-core gamers may still feel as though the Wii U is still just as ‘kidified’ as Nintendo always have been. But who knows I may be wrong.

But the main selling point of the Wii U, in fact the main thing on show at E3 has got to be the controller. Now Nintendo are nothing new to having different, innovative controllers, and this has to go down as one of the best, whilst also annoying (Read on to find out why). The controller is a touchscreen, yes they have finally jumped on the bandwagon and released a touchscreen controller.  So what can this baby do, what it can’t do is cook you breakfast, but apart from that it’s impressive. If your ‘friend’ or dad wants to watch TV you can take your game onto the controller, good yes, surprising, not really. It’s a motion controller, so you could use it like you did the Wii mote and use it to move your character, or drive a car or anything like that. It has a camera, so you can video chat, and I’m sure some games companies will come up with impressive uses for it too. And whilst this is all great and whilst the preview of what the controller can do is impressive (See it for yourself here) it opens up other questions. For instance, are hard-core gamers going to feel that this is an unnecessary add-on? How responsive is it going to be? Why does it look like an Apple I-Pad? And what the hell am I going to do with this, where’s my controller? And the big one…..How much is it going to cost me if I need another one?

Wii U Controller

Wii U Controller - Flashy, but potentially pricy

Which brings me nicely around to pricing. There has been no official word on pricing, just that it would be ‘competitive’ with the other consoles. Pundits reckon the console will start at $299, whilst the controller will start at $99. My guessing is that the console will start at $299, but I can’t see the controller, because of the touchscreen alone, being any cheaper than $150. And then you have to ask yourself, do you want something where the controller costs as much as the console? This is where most people will be put off. And with the latest attack from Lulzsec being on Nintendo, the only system to not have been infiltrated is Microsoft (But your time will come) and people may be put off by that too.

No actual specification was released by Nintendo, although looking around online we did find a supposed ‘internal’ document outlining the (Again supposed) specification which is (Once again supposedly)

CPU – Custom IBM Power 6 Chip (Codename Fox), Quad Core 3.5Ghz

Graphics – Custom AMD RV770 (Codename Wolf) 766Mhz

RAM – 512MB XDR2 DRAM (Main), 1024 GDDR5 VRAM (Video), 16MB eDRAM

Storage – 2.5″ 250/320GB SATA & Expandable storage via SD/SDHC card up to 64GB

Media – Custom Bluray & compatible with Nintendo GameCube Game Discs & Wii Disc

Display – Composite – 480i, S-Video – 480i, Component – 480/720/1080, HDMI – 480/720/1080

But I can’t guarantee that that is real, to look at the ‘actual’ document then click here.

So do I want one, actually, and quite surprisingly yes, but I also wanted one of the original Wii’s, and after 6 months of playing on it, got bored and bought a 360. I see the same being the case for the Wii U, and as always I am asking the same questions that most industry experts are asking.

Can it compete with the consoles that are already acknowledged as ‘serious’ games consoles? Is this the right time for a new console? Can it actually be ‘competitively’ priced? And are people going to switch from their favourite console to this, just because it is newer? And finally the biggie if the Wii only last 6 years, then what’s to stop this console from lasting only that long? Let us know your thoughts

The Wii U is expected for a release date between July and December of 2012

“Do I look ill to you?” “No Sony you’re just blushing”

After over a month out for the PSN (Playstation Network) and a little longer for the store a lot of people are angry at all that has happened and everyone has their own opinions as to who’s to blame and are all the freebies enough?

Lulz Sec Logo

Lulz Security. Complete w@nk3rs or a security marvel?

Let’s start with where the blame lies – and this is where it gets very complicated… Most people are blaming Sony, saying that they couldn’t have taken enough security precautions otherwise this wouldn’t have happened. Well no security system is 100% secure and by law they must take steps to protect data so that’s not entirely true. With a little bit of research however Sony may be to blame, Hotz (better known to some on the internet as ‘Geohot’) found a way to jailbreak your PS3 and Sony didn’t like this so they took legal action and tried to sue him. To most this wouldn’t seem like something that would have caused all of this but according to a tweet by ‘Lulzsec’ (Lulz Security) on May 27“the beginning of the end” dubbing this whole anti-Sony campaign ‘Sownage’ (A combination of ‘Sony’ and ‘ownage’) and that this is being done in an effort to make up for what Sony did to ‘Geohot’.

It seems Sony could have took a lesson from Microsoft as a teenager from Ireland found a way to circumvent ‘Xbox Live’ and instead of doing what Sony did, they offered to train him further and give him a job at the end to discover any more security flaws they had.

Sony Make Believe Logo

Sony might wish that this latest attack was just make believe

The newest attck to Sony Pictures, Sony BMG and Sony BMG Japan/Netherlands they stole over 1,000,000 users’ data and around 79.000 download coupons, the worst part is that all of these items were stored by Sony as plain text (a .txt file) so as soon as LulzSec entered they got what they were looking for. A tweet from 3rd June “I hear there’s been some funny scamming with jacked Sony accounts. That’s what you get for using the same password everywhere. #LulzLesson” looking at the ‘release’ most of the accounts are from people who were born in the 20s to the 40s so if the tweet is true, it’s a shame someone is abusing people who may be more vulnerable.

When Lulz Sec hit PBS

This is what Lulz Sec did when they hit PBS.com

At this moment no-one knows how long this will last for or what may get hacked next and for some I’m sure this will be worrying; all I can say for the moment is change any passwords you may have with a Sony subsidiary (apart from one’s you’ve been forced to; unless you really want to) one of the more shocking tweets from LulzSec posted on May 31 – the start of all this and the first tweet with #Sownage is this: “#Sownage comes when we release the lulz. If you want it faster, go hack something yourself. Cruising at a steady pace, fresh and calm.”

Will we see more hacks in the next few days? Will LulzSec bring down Sony? Do you think that Sony’s lawsuit was the catalyst? We’d like your comments.

Written with a lot of Lolsearch by Adz

P.S. Since this article has been written Nintendo servers have also been hacked, not to the same extent as Sony but still. More can be read on the BBC website here Nintendo’s Blushes and soon we will also have an article on that so watch this __________

In a time of great struggle it’s nice to know that both Sony and Microsoft have had mixed weeks, with mixed problems, and mixed results.

Gaming Bytes has been very Playstation orientated lately, so what about the Xbox? How is that console doing at the moment?

Microsoft Xbox 360 Logo

A free X-Box 360 S? I think so

Well as we all know the firmware on consoles gets updated quite a bit and even more so at the moment because of what has happened to Sony. With the latest firmware update on the Xbox 360 some Xbox’s are being damaged! Yes you read correctly Microsoft is damaging some consoles with this new firmware update!

Only a small number of consoles have been affected but you can recognise this problem by the messages of ‘disc unreadable’ or ‘disc unsupported’ error on the screen, so if this is happening to you then don’t worry as there is a silver lining to this cloud.

If you are one of the people whose Xbox is incompatible with this new update then Microsoft will replace your broken console with a new one for free! Microsoft are currently getting in contact with people who have Xbox’s affected by this, and they have said that they “are also able to detect this issue over Xbox Live and are proactively reaching out to customers that may be impacted to replace their console.”

So don’t worry if you are experiencing this problem as it just means you will be getting a brand new shiny 250GB slim Xbox 360! (And a 12 month Gold membership once you return your console) Anyone wishing to take up this offer only needs to turn on their X-Box 360 on and connect it to X-Box live. The console will then ‘call the mothership’ (a.k.a X-Box servers) and if your console is registered as one that might be affected, you will receive a message soon after.

Anybody else hoping that theirs will be affected so they can get a new upgrade for free?

Playstation 3 Logo

Will gamers patience run thin with all the hacks and exploits that are still troubling Sony?

On the Sony side, a recent password reset exploit meant that people could access your details and change your password if they knew your email address and date of birth. Sony took down the website that allowed this behaviour only moments later, but once again it leaves Sony gamers feeling even more vulnerable than ever. That coupled with the fact that the PSN only went back online just over a week ago many will be wondering if all exploits/hacks/leaks are actually fixed or not.

On a side note Sony has issued a statement (To internal game developers) which states that the Playstation Store should resume functionality from Tuesday 24th May in all territories. This should allow gamers to access the Playstation ‘Welcome Back’ program (Which features are stated here).

Now seeing what both companies are doing, both with trouble and difficult time both at present and in the future, a lot of gamers may feel cheated by Sony’s offers and ‘Welcome back’ program. What are your views? Are you happy with what’s being offered by both Sony and Microsoft? Are you very annoyed by both Sony and Microsoft messing with their loyal fan base? Or are you a Nintendo Wii fan and laughing at both companies? Let us know how you feel.

Since the rebirth of the Playstation Network Sony have released details of its “Welcome Back” program which offers quite a bit in way of a compensation package for disgruntled gamers.

Playstation Network Welcome Back Program

The Playstation Network Welcome Back program offers lots of free stuff to its patient customers

Firstly it is offering a choice of any two games from a set of five. The five games differ slightly between the UK and the USA but include games such as Dead Nation, InFamous, Little Big Planet, Wipeout HD + Fury. (The USA also has the choice of Super Stardust HD whilst the UK gets the choice of Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty) If you’re a PSP customer you get the choice of Little Big Planet PSP, Modnation Racers, Pursuit Force and Killzone Liberation for your troubles. All this free content is available to keep for free forever, is available for any registered member of the PSN who registered before the 20 April 2011 (When the network went down) and all games must be downloaded within the first 30 days once the Playstation Store is back online.

Secondly, both the USA and the UK will get 30 days of free usage of the Sony Playstation Plus service, which for those who don’t know, gives you the chance to try demos before everyone else, download classic PSOne games, watch video demos of upcoming releases and much more. Those who already are a member of the Playstation Plus service will get an additional 60 days service added to their account.

Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty Screenshot

Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty is just one of the choice of five free downloadable games

If you are a member of the “Music Unlimited” service you will be happy to know that you will get an extra 30 days, plus time lost of the service as way of an apology for not being able to use it during this downtime.

And as if that’s not enough, American users can also enjoy a free set of 100 virtual items in Playstation’s Home service. The UK may also get this offered as a freebie, but at the time of writing Sony hasn’t issued anything to say that this is the case.

That’s it for the UK (Or at least at this time of writing it is) but in the USA you get more. American customers get what is being called an “On Us” service where PSN users will be able to rent a choice of online movies for free, over one weekend, when video streaming services are re-enabled.

That’s quite an apology, and quite a compensation package, but does that make up for all the uncertainty over personal identity theft? Give us your thoughts. Are you happy with the so called “Compensation package”? Is the choice of games a good choice? Tell us what you think.

It’s finally back! Sony have announced today that they will be starting to resume Playstation Network services from today!

The PlayStation Network Logo

The PSN has been offline for over three weeks

The first regions to be getting services resumed are the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East, with Japanese and Asian services being restored after.  All Playstation 3 users are able to download the latest firmware update from now, so go and do it now if you haven’t already, and as soon as your region has Playstation Network services resumed you will be able to change your password. Both the firmware update and changing of password is required to be able to get online.

Services will take a bit of time to be turned on and sent out to each region but the first part of the online services restoration will be restoring online multiplayer functionality.

If you are on twitter follow @PlayStationEU for all of the latest updates about what has been restored and to what region.

Sony has said that they expect to have all Playstation Network and Qriocity services resumed by the end of May.

Sony has said that they have added “new and additional security measures”, which includes more firewalls and increased encryption levels to provide the users with more security and protection.

Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s executive deputy president has said “I’d like to send my sincere apologies for the inconvenience this incident has caused you, and want to thank you for all the kind patience you’ve shown as we worked through the restoration process”.

UPDATE: PSN is now available in the UK – You must change your password to Sign In

Nintendo last week announced that they will be showing off their new console (Dubbed the Wii 2) at next months’ E3 expo in Los Angeles. With many people still happy with the graphical power of their PS3 and/or 360 is this ‘master plan’ for Nintendo to release a console in this economic climate really a master plan. That coupled with Nintendo’s recent slump in sales, maybe this isn’t the time to release a new console, or as some fear just an updated Wii.

Nintendo Wii 2 Concept Art

Will the Wii 2 look something like this?

Whilst it is true that Nintendo almost always offer their consoles really cheap from launch, some people will wonder why the current console only lasted a matter of 5years (Or 6 by the time the release comes around in 2012) Yes it wasn’t ever going to compete with the 360 or PS3 but that’s Nintendo’s angle, make gameplay an important feature and the graphical power (Or lack of it) won’t matter to the end user.

Artist Concept of the new Nintendo Wii Controller

Could this be the new controller for the Wii 2

So with that in mind what do we know about the Wii 2? Not a lot is the answer. At the moment it’s all rumour this and ‘so and so’ said that which is exactly what you wanted to hear. From what can be gathered the Nintendo Wii 2 will have as much, if not more power than the PS3 and 360. It will (Again allegedly) only have 8 GB of storage for downloads, updates and game saves, which won’t make so many developers too happy. Other rumours are that the controller is having a makeover, and will itself have a HD screen built into the controller. In fact some people were saying that the HD screen controller will be touch screen. And if this is the case, will that make it a step forward or a step back from motion sensor,  and does this mean that Nintendo are moving away from their key demographic (Their demographic being old people and fat children). Other features an almost guarantee of a Wii backwards compatibility (Although this has yet to be confirmed) some new disc format capable of holding up to 25GB of data and no intention of a DVD or Blu-Ray player bundled in with it (Although Nintendo have never tried to market their consoles as an entertainment system).

Nintendo Wii 2 Mind Control Concept

How about a little bit of mind control as a new controller / console?

The latest rumour we heard here at Gaming Bytes was that it may be a 3D console, and you know our views on 3D. However, this rumour was quashed when it was reported that Reggie Fils-Aime chief of NOA (Nintendo of America) said that ‘We’ve not said publicly what the next thing for us will be in the home console space, but based on what we’ve learned on 3D, likely, that won’t be it.’ *Sigh of relief*

Whatever the case, somewhere in Princess Peaches castle; there is a vault, written ‘Keep out Wario, Microsoft and Sony’ where the secrets to the specification of the console and possibly even a prototype are being kept. But some people will still be in their homes thinking to themselves, how long will this one last if the predecessor lasted only 6 years. Until then enjoy some of the ‘artist conceptions’ of the console and the controller, tell us what you’d like to see in the Wii 2 and we will see you in June.