All posts tagged playstation

Call Of Duty: Black Ops II Brings in $1 Billion In Only Two Weeks

Whenever something, be it an achievement, person, or product, sets new, unprecedented marks within any field, there are always those few skeptics ready and waiting to cast fresh doubt wherever an opportunity arises. With the Call of Duty franchise having continually blown other titles out of the water in terms of sales statistics during the past couple of years, there were still plenty of question marks pondering whether the famed CoD series had lost its touch. Today, publisher Activision has answered that question by delivering the crazy news that the latest installment – Call of Duty: Black Ops II – has passed the billion-dollar holy grail in a mere 15 days!

To gross a billion dollars is, by itself, a massive achievement – no matter what your specific niche may be. However, such has been the increasing of CoD’s popularity, that we as consumers and tech fans have come to expect these kinds of numbers from Activision’s record-shattering new title.

 

The hardcore Black Ops II fans numbered up for the thousands of special midnight launches – an event to many similar to the gatherings seen prior to the launch of an Apple iDevice. So many turned out to be among the first to play the latest CoD, that $500 million was grossed in the first 24 hours – topping the record of $400 million set by last year’s Modern Warfare III.

Activision neglected to publish its five-day total, prompting many to suggest Black Ops II wasn’t making the same waves as previous releases, but how little did they know. The concerns analysts and perhaps even shareholders may have had with regards to Black Ops II must now have been put well and truly to rest, and although other titles have sold impressively this year looking back at 2012, they will make for yet another footnote in this seemingly endless story of one certain first-person shooter.

 

Activision once again did the film thing – where it compares the gross sales figures of its flagship title with the amounts of money made by box office smashers. Apparently, the $1 billion mark was reached by Black Ops II quicker than James Cameron’s Avatar movie, which took a grand total of 17 days haha.

Perhaps more importantly, Black Ops II has, outperformed Modern Warfare III, which took about 16 days to reach nine zeros. MW3′s failure to continue in the trend of outdoing the previous release suggested the franchise was about to slide, but by the looks of things, CoD is still going very strong & seems as though it will stay that way for sometime.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops II Will Allow Players to Live Stream Gameplay Via YouTube

Call of Duty Black Ops II xbox 360 & Playstation 3

The world of eSports is continually growing, with Starcraft possibly the biggest of the lot. Activision has always wanted the Call of Duty games to be part of the eSports movement, but with its proliferation of run and gun gamers, the gameplay and level of competition has always just fallen short. With Call of Duty: Black Ops II however, Activision is hoping to change all that. To be released on November 13th, the affectionately named BLOPS2 will feature a new League Play live streaming feature that will potentially help propel the game onto a whole new level for multiplayer gamers.   Using the power of YouTube, BLOPS2 will allow gamers to stream their matches live, across the internet, allowing people to watch the action unfold in real-time. The new feature has been mooted for a while now, but this is the first confirmation we have had, just five days before the game goes on sale. Interestingly, the live streaming feature has only been confirmed for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game, with no mention at all of the PC flavor. That may simply be an oversight, or it may be a case of console gamers receiving an improved version of the game when compared to their PC-toting counterparts. Those who subscribe to Activision’s Call of Duty Elite service will also be able to dig deeper into gamers’ history, with the ability to view match data and the like. This comes at a $50-per year premium, however, but Call of Duty’s diehard fans will happily pay up.

The use of YouTube as the game’s live streaming partner is an interesting one, with plenty of competition around the multiplayer streaming world these days. Google is perhaps best suited to streaming to large numbers of people, however, and we’d be interested to see if there is some kind of shared ad revenue model in place for the streamed matches. Google does like to make money, and this could be a great way of doing just that. With just a few days to go before BLOPS2 hits store shelves, we won’t have to wait much longer before all our questions are answered.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Gameplay Trailer Preview (Video Here)

COD:MW3 Screen Shot

Activision has released a new trailer for their upcoming game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Although there is still much unknown about the COD:MW3, gamers are finally getting a feel for what the game will look like.

In addition to the trailer, we have learned a few details about the game’s release: it’s going to be a direct sequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and it’s coming on November 8th this year (then again, titles get delayed for various reasons).

The title was first announced on May 13, along with several video/audio clips posted on YouTube, all named after countries: France, Germany, America and England. Thestory  is expected to take place in those four countries.

Thanks to an excellent write-up by Kotaku, thanks to the site’s vast arsenal of sources, we’ve learned a lot more information than we wouldn’t otherwise know about at this point. As explained by the article, the sequel will dramatically change the franchise’s landscape and bring most unanswered questions from the previous two games to a close:

Multiple sources have shared details of the game’s story, art, sounds and game modes with Kotaku, noting that the game will reshape the landscape of the Call of Duty franchise, bringing an impressive number of eclectic settings, deep multiplayer gaming and a story that ties up nearly all loose ends from previous titles, including the final moments of key figures in the series’ history.

Modern Warfare 3 picks up when the previous title left off: with the US desperately trying to avoid a surprise Russian attack. On single-player mode, the player will move back and forth from country to country under many roles, including SAS Operative, Russian Federal Protective Services agent, and tank gunner. There’s going to be a total of 15 mission this time.

The single-player campaign will include several new characters:

The single-player campaign, which appears to wrap up most of the unanswered questions and character fates of the first two Modern Warfare titles, also introduces new characters who appear to be destined for future Modern Warfare games, especially two Delta Force operatives codenamed “Frost” and “Sandman”.

Multiplayer includes several new maps, as well as two new modes: “Mission” and “Survival”.

The title can be pre-ordered now from retailers such as Amazon and GameStop, for the Xbox 360, PC and PS3.

Sony Music Greece And Japan Sites Hacked, Over 8500 Accounts Were Compromised

Sony-Music

This year has been a pretty terrible one for Sony. With 1 break-in and a detected exploit last week, following many more over the last month, we’d expect nothing to get worse, but it has: another Sony web service got broken into, this time Sony Music Japan, the Japanese music label.

The group calls itself “Lulz Security”, left a message saying their intention was to “embarrass Sony some more”, and it seems that they have managed to. This is the same click that hacked Fox.com earlier this month and published hundreds of usernames and passwords belonging to employees.

Sony was in the news last month when PlayStation Network was haxxed and sensitive information, including usernames, passwords and credit card details were leaked. The services were taken down, only to be hacked again shortly after.

Last week, Sony’s Thailand website, sony.co.th, was used to store a live phishing website targeting customers of a bank in Italy. That came after an exploit was found on some of Sony’s web servers that same week and brought them down until the vulnerability was fixed.

Thankfully, this hack didn’t reveal any sensitive information. Still, it does reveal the poor state of Sony’s online infrastructure, at least as far as security is concerned. Since Sony is such a huge company, it’s often hard to maintain consistency over all properties, but one thing is clearly consistent: a poor security infrastructure.

The company has come out multiple times to defend itself, calling this situation unpredictable and unprecedented (which is bullshit, if your a company that big with that many web services handling millions of peoples sensitive data, you should have your security on lock, period). The company also tried to apologize to its customers by giving away free downloads and Sony Network Subscriptions.

In Sony’s defense, there might be an organized effort to destroy Sony’s reputation since the original attack took place. That’s the story Sony executives are trying to have the public follow, and in some ways it’s plausible. Other websites might have the same or worse exploits, maybe they’re just not being targeted right now. Either way, in 2k11, we deserve better from huge web services companies like Sony Inc.

One thing we can say for sure is that Sony will have quite a hard time cleaning up this PR mess, on top of the $171 million it has already lost . Hopefully the attacks will end now. (Which seems doubtful since this click seems to be on a ownage spree against Sony’s systems).

When are you going to step up and get your security game proper Sony?

Sony PlayStation Network Hacked Again. Reset Password Site was Compromised

Playstation Network

The last few months have been a PR disaster for Tech giant Sony:  last month, the system got hacked for the first time, and information leaked, including emails, passwords and even credit card numbers. Then, after a period of downtime, the system gets hacked again, multiple times, and just after it was just starting to be phased back in, behold: an unresolved exploit has been publicized.

It all began when Nyleveia, a popular gaming site, reported on the exploit. According to the publisher, they had sent Sony an e-mail when the post was made. 15 minutes later, user login onto virtually all of Sony’s gaming services, including PlayStation.com, Qriocity.com and even gaming title websites, according to a post on PlayStation’s European message boards. This means that if you’re hoping to play your favorite games today, you’re out of luck.

Of course this really raises the issue of whether Sony actually knew about the breaches and left them unpatched, or just didn’t do enough to ensure their system’s security. Sony’s CEO Howard Stringer dismissed those fears at an interview:

“This was an unprecedented situation,” Stringer told reporters on Tuesday, speaking publicly for the first time since the April breach.

“Most of these breaches go unreported by companies. Forty-three percent (of companies) notify victims within a month. We reported in a week. You’re telling me my week wasn’t fast enough?”

Of course there is a cost to all of this, aside from the obvious maintenance costs. The company said it would be offering perks to its affected customers, including free downloads (which haven’t been announced yet) as well as a 30-day extension and upgrade to subscriptions. But of course this won’t mean much to those who rushed to the bank to cancel their credit cards in fear they might have been leaked.

There’s also the question of whether limited information about the exploit should have been publicly disclosed before it had been patched, but Nyleveia defended itself by pointing out that such information had already been publicized among the hacker community and bringing it to light of day was the best way to put a stop to it.

Will PlayStation subscribers say “enough” and move away from the service despite the exclusive offerings? Will Sony be able to recover from this PR nightmare? Definitely not until the system remains stable for over a week.

Update: Sony has issued an official statement on the situation, dismissing reports that there was any hack involved. Both the PSN and Qriocity password reset pages were taken down by Sony because of a URL exploit, which was subsequently fixed. Full statement can be read here.

Instead of suing hackers & security auditors, Sony should just hired them to do the security for their systems rofl.

Sony Announces Details Of Welcome Back Package For PlayStation Network Users

Sony today released details of their PSN ‘Welcome Back’ package for North American customers, with free games the order of the day and PlayStation Plus service.

Playstation Network

Offered to angry & disgruntling customers as a thank you for sticking with the beleaguered company through their horrid PlayStation Network affair, Sony is offering a free month’s subscription to their PlayStation Plus PSN upgrade for users who don’t currently subscribe. Existing customers will have a month’s usage added to their account free of charge.

Most interesting is the offer of two free games to download from a list of 5 for PlayStation 3 owners and 4 for PSP owners. There is no mention about whether owners of both consoles can take a total of 4 free games though, so we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.

The games available (for North American gamers, remember) are:

PS3:

  • Wipeout HD + Fury
  • inFAMOUS
  • Super Stardust HD
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Dead Nation

PSP:

  • Pursuit Force
  • ModNation Racers
  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
  • Killzone Liberation

Alongside the offer of free games and a PS Plus subscription, Sony is also offering an “On Us” weekend where a selection of movies will be available for free to watch. Available Titles have not yet been announced (at time of post).

Fans of Sony’s PlayStation Home will be happy to hear the company is also giving away 100 free virtual items for your enjoyment.

Sony fans in North America can read the full press release here, while European and Latin American users should check their respective PlayStation blog posts for information on what they’ll be offered.

While an after thought of free stuff is always welcome, we keep thinking that many customers would of rather had Sony just prevented the security hole in the first place.

People need to start putting security first, not as a afterthought when zerodays happen. *sigh*