Sony’s PlayStation online store was hacked on Monday, and the company are still investigating the cause of the attack, after it knocked out the store for two hours. Handy, as they’re currently in the middle of a huge 20th anniversary sale.
Some visitors to the online store were greeted with the message: “Page not found. It’s not you. It’s the internet’s fault.”
Some tweet from a user calling themselves @LizurdPatrol tweeted “50 RTs and we will hit off PSN. 50 FAVs and we will hit off XBOX LIVE.” Whatever gets you hard, dear.
This follows Sony Pictures Entertainment, who were winded by a large attack knocking the studio’s network out for a week, and the added bonus of hackers leaking all manner of embarrassing details about Sony staff. The staff also got emails that they and their families were in danger.
Some sources reckon it has something to do with North Korea being a bit upset about a forthcoming film called The Interview, which stars Seth Rogen and multi-purpose irritant James Franco… but then that itself could be a load of cobblers and part of some plan to flog what sounds like quite a terrible film.
North Korea has denied responsibility for the cyber attack, but called the hack a “righteous deed”, state media reported. Because when you have something like state media, you have the optimum creepy factor.
And in addition to all that, the group has released the pseudonyms used by a host of celebrities. So, if you want to add some famous people and see if you can whoop them at FIFA, here are some names (which they’ll no doubt be changing today):
Tom Hanks goes by “Harry Lauder” and “Johnny Madrid”
Sarah Michelle Gellar goes by “Neely O’Hara”
Tobey Maguire goes by “Neil Deep”
Natalie Portman goes by “Lauren Brown”
Clive Owen goes by “Robert Fenton”
Rob Schneider goes by “Nazzo Good”
Jude Law goes by “Mr. Perry”
Daniel Craig goes by “Olwen Williams”
Jessica Alba goes by “Cash Money
Ice Cube goes by “Darius Stone” and “O’Shea Jackson”
Debra Messing goes by “Ava Harding”
Looks like some celebrities are going to need new fake-names for booking into hotels with.
If you’re doing all your shopping online this Christmas, and miss the mayhem of the high street, don’t worry your peculiar little head about it. That’s because GAME (stop shouting) have released a game you can play called ‘Christmas Shopper Simulator’.
So what exciting things can you do? Well, you can buy things and go up escalators and, most importantly for the Christmas shopper, you can walk into people and be a thunderous pain in the hole by stopping abruptly. Basically, GAME have made something a bit like Goat Simulator, taking something mundane and making it utterly preposterous.
And it is completely free.
GAME says: “Prepare to be mildly thrilled and as excited as is reasonable to expect… Introducing Christmas Shopper Simulator! Embark on an epic quest to do a bit of Christmas shopping, complete with all the disappointment, frustration and suspension of the laws of physics that you’d find in a real shopping centre!”
They add that you can: “Complete missions in order to give your day, and indeed your entire existence a whole new degree of meaning!” as well as; “wonder constantly whether there’s something more important you could be doing!”
Not a bad little PR stunt and you can watch the video below or, if you’re wanting to go straight to GAME to get it for nothing, click here.
People of a certain age may be about to make a mess of themselves as Sir Clive Sinclair, the man behind the revolutionary ZX Specrum, is at it again, bring us the ZX Spectrum Vega.
So what does it do?
Well, this little device will enable you to play all 14,000+ games that were developed for the original ZX Spectrum, but thanks to modern circuitry and technology, the innards have been replaced, which means the Vega has shown “big cost savings” during manufacturing.
The console itself comes with roughly 1,000 games built-in and it plugs straight into your telly. How much? Well, it will, according to the makers, cost “well below £100″ and, better yet, 10% of the sales price will go straight to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. That’s nice isn’t it?
Sinclair says: “I have been thinking about this idea [to bring the Spectrum back] for 15 years or so, because so many people I met and articles I read were telling me that the Spectrum had made a big difference to their lives.”
“Also in Russia, until recent years at least, the Spectrum was the most plentiful computer in the country, which made me realise that even nowadays the Spectrum is a great-value product.”
“In the 1980s it was necessary for computer enthusiasts to spend quite a lot if they wanted to build up a good-sized library of games, but with the current technology we can provide the games free, already in the Vega’s memory, and we can give away more games later.”
“The most serious games enthusiasts might buy both a Vega and a modern-day console. For them the Vega would be an extra console on which they can replay some of the games from their youth. I also believe that the inclusion of around 1,000 games in the Vega makes it such good value that many people who do not want to spend the cost of a modern games console plus the cost of a range of games will buy the Vega instead.”
The project has already passed the £100,000 needed for production via Indiegogo. Have a look at it below.
We’re not daft. We know that some people don’t understand video games and indeed, can’t grasp the notion of limited edition stuff that is marked up and ultimately pointless. To those that are down for both of those things, get ready to jizz wildly.
Sony is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first PlayStation console with a special PS4 model THAT LOOKS LIKE THE OLD ONE OH GOD OH GOD.
It is hard to believe that the PS1 is 20 years old, but there you go. It was released in Japan on December 3rd, 1994. So with that, Sony have produced a limited-edition PlayStation 4 in original grey and with the old logo on it.
There’s only going to be 12,300 of them for sale, which means they’ll be on eBay for massively hiked-up prices this week.
In a blog, Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios, wrote: ”The mid-90s were an exciting time for game developers, driven by the explosion of powerful but affordable 3D graphics rendering hardware and the birth of many young and adventurous development studios.”
“The original PlayStation was meant to embody that sense of adventure and discovery, that sense that anything was possible.”
What we think he means is: ‘The first Silent Hill game was great and made everyone poo in their pants and the FIFA games got really, really good too.’
If you want to see it and look at all the detailing and that, watch an unboxing of the 20th Anniversary Edition console video below.
Sony posted an advert on their YouTube channel last week, but thanks to a load of criticism, they’ve decided to pull it. The commercial, which uses a console for a masturbation euphemism was yanked offline after people were displeased at the depiction of a ‘sexy’ doctor going on like she’s talking about pud pulling.
The clip talks about being able to play your PS4 games on your Vita. It seems, the more you play with it, the harder it gets.
There’s criticism that adverts for games in 2014 shouldn’t be just aimed at randy teenage boys anymore, but the real criticism should be that the advert is thoroughly rubbish.
Sony haven’t said why it took the ad down, but you can assume it was the knee-jerk ranting about sexism and the like. That said, the gaming industry is very, very jumpy at the minute, what with all that very unpleasant #gamergate business still doing the rounds.
Of course, this isn’t the first time a console-vendor has used a bit of nudge-nudge-wink-wink to flog some games. Microsoft did pretty much the same skit in 2010.
Give us a shout when everyone’s stopped being so offended.
For years, people have said that video games make people violent. Of course, it was Pac Man, running around chasing pills to repetitive music in a darkened cube that kickstarted Acid House, and Jet Set Willy was wholly responsible for toffs to drink so much booze that they saw all manner of hellish visions while tidying up the glassware.
However, a study (along with thousands of other studies that both support and contradict each other) is showing that violent games (and films) aren’t making people violent at all. It is almost like human beings are able to differentiate between real life and fiction!
The report, published in the Journal of Communication, involved two studies which looked at how we’re influenced by games and also questioned previous studies that have linked real-life and pretend violence.
Christopher Ferguson, a psychologist from Stetson University in Florida, headed up the two studies. The first investigation saw a comparison between US homicide rates between 1920 and 2005 to instances of violence in motion pictures. Ferguson found that there was a vague correlation between the two during the ’50s, but since then, it was reversed.
The second study looked at the consumption of violent video games to see if they correlated with youth violence rates over the past 20 years. They found that playing video games actually contributed to a decreasing of figures of violent crimes committed by 12-to-17 year olds.
Ferguson said: “The degree to which laboratory studies faithfully capture the media experience is also debatable. Many such studies provide exposure to only brief clips of media, rather than full narrative experiences, in which violence exposure is outside of a narrative context. The resultant aggressive behaviours are also outside a real-world context, in which the aggression appears to be sanctioned by the researchers themselves, who provide the opportunity for aggression.”
“Society has a limited amount of resources and attention to devote to the problem of reducing crime,” said Ferguson in a press statement. “There is a risk that identifying the wrong problem, such as media violence, may distract society from more pressing concerns such as poverty, education and vocational disparities and mental health. This research may help society focus on issues that really matter and avoid devoting unnecessary resources to the pursuit of moral agendas with little practical value.”
Oxford University also conducted their own research into this, and found that video games only make people more aggressive if there’s bad in-game mechanics and glitchy programming, rather than the actual violence in the game. And violence invariably only translates into someone swearing at the ether and throwing their joypad across the house.
Still, while we’re at it, let us remind ourselves of the toe-curling Alan Titchmarsh Show where they debated violence in games, which also starred the very anti-gaming Julie Peasgood, who of course, did voice work for the game ‘Martian Gothic’, which features zombies eating human flesh and huge amounts of violence.
GTA is a franchise bigger than most films, so it is surprising that they haven’t merched the crap out of it. Well hipsters, you’re in for a treat because there’s going to be a vinyl set of the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack.
It’ll be released on CD as well as vinyl, but to make them more sought after, they’ll be in limited runs. Buy one now, flog it for loads of money on eBay in a couple of months.
The 59 tracks are all original music, and sadly not the licensed songs from the radio. However, GTA had some original music from stars on the game, so expect to get A$AP Rocky, Tyler The Creator, Wavves, Flying Lotus, and Yeasayer on your record. There’s also some of the incidental score from Tangerine Dream and DJ Shadow.
There’ll be six records, a full colour booklet and an exclusive lithograph poster. The CD collection meanwhile, comes on three discs and will have a Grand Theft Auto V gold brick-shaped USB drive, as well as artwork and a poster.
They’ll be on sale on December 9th. No price has been announced as yet. They won’t be cheap though.
While you’ve been going nutso in your favourite games, there’s a chance that you may not have delved into the useful features inside your PS4 yet. If you have, well done you. If not, don’t worry, we’ve cherry picked some of the best things for you to muck around with.
The PS4 has a load of cool features and here are some of our favourites. If you have your own that we’ve missed, leave a comment and we’ll add them to the list!
Quick Switch Between Apps
If you need to switch between apps quickly – so, say you’re playing a game and you want to go look up some cheats for it – instead of messing around with your phone, you can swap between apps by double tapping the PS Home button. That means you can get from a game to the browser without any faff.
A lot of people find the Xbox One’s voice control thing a bit creepy, but if you’ve been wanting it for your PS4, you can! You’ll need a PlayStation 4 Camera and, with it installed, go to Settings, then Login Settings and select Enable Face Recognition. Then, you’ll go to Face Recognition Management and complete the set-up. You can also use the camera’s microphones to issue voice commands so you can speak your way through the menus and the like. For that, hit Settings, System and select the Operate PS4 With Voice option. For voice commands you can do that without the camera – you’d just need any microphone connected to your console.
Save Money And Power
Want to save how much power your PS4 is using? Go into the console’s settings menu and find ‘Power Save Settings’ where you can set your PS4 to shut down after periods of inactivity. Great if you’re the kind of person who would fall asleep while playing games, meaning that the thing isn’t left on all night.
Standby Mode Tips
This is well known, but worth mentioning for you console newbies. In standby mode, you can enable auto downloads and uploads which means you don’t have to put up with tedious timebars. Go to Settings, System, Automatic Downloads and Uploads and then access Settings, Power Save Settings and Set Functions Available in Standby Mode. Now, when you turn your PS4 on to play games, you won’t have to wait for a load of updates or whatever, as it will have already done them.
You can also charge your controller in standby mode, which is great seeing as the new Dualshock 4 has a pretty crappy battery life. To switch this on, go to Settings, Power Save Settings, Set Functions Available in Standby Mode and tick the box for Supply Power from USB Ports.
Are you the kind of person who likes to make walkthrough videos or what have you? Well, as well as the fact that the PS4 continually records your previous 15 minutes of gaming automatically (which is great), you can also enable microphone audio recording through the Share menu. Go into the options, hit ‘Share Settings’ and ‘Video Clip Settings’ and you’ll see the option for ‘Include Microphone Audio in Video Clip’.
Save Hard Drive Space
You can upload system data to online storage or a USB drive, which is nifty. Go to Settings then Application Saved Data Management and you’ll find a straightforward menu for uploading and downloading data.
Want to take a screenshot of your game? Well, you have to press and hold the share button for a few seconds normally, but there’s a tweak you can do to streamline the whole process. You can change your setting so that a brief tap of the share button creates a screengrab and holding it down loads up the share app. To do this, open the share menu, hit ‘Options’ and go to ‘Share Settings’. From here, choose the ‘SHARE Button Control Type’ and go through your options. If you like showing off your gameplay, this will save you loads of time.
If you plug a pair of regular headphones into your DualShock controller and adjust the settings on your PS4 after holding down the PS button, you can listen to the game without having to mess around plugging your ‘phones into the telly or having to much about with wireless audio.
Someone called Ordnance Survey, recreated 224,000 sq km of Britain using 83 billion blocks, with each block representing 25m of actual real life Britain.
The map is available on the site so that people can put their address in and see what their area looks like and witness actual roads and houses and that.
The original Minecraft UK map was created by intern Joseph Braybrook over two weeks in September 2013. Now Mr Braybrook has joined the Ordnance Surveys, he has now updated the map.
Braybrook said that increasing the scale of the map had made it more detailed and given it a “more expansive appearance that is closer to real life.”
“I’ve attempted to re-create Great Britain to be more realistic, while maintaining the gameplay elements people love from the game,”
Ordnance Survey announced that the one-gigabyte map would be made available for download for users to play on. The original version has already been downloaded more than 100,000 times.
So you can go to your neighbourhood and do whatever it is you do on Minecraft in your actual endz.
Or at least it has in the world of video games, which now shows that women account for 52% of all gamers in the UK.
That’s an increase from the 49% of three years ago.
This has been driven by 25-to 44-year-old women downloading free puzzle-type stuff and trivia game apps onto their smartphones, according to a report from the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB).
According to a survey of over 4,000 individuals, half of the women in this age group cited puzzle, trivia and word games as their favourite genre, compared to one third of respondents overall.
Steve Chester, director of data and industry programmes at the Internet Advertising Bureau said: “The internet and mobile devices have changed the gaming landscape forever.”
“They’ve brought down the barriers to entry, making gaming far more accessible and opened it up to a whole new audience. In the past you needed to go out and buy an expensive console and the discs on top to get a decent experience, now you can just download a free app.”
The average gaming Briton who games spends six hours per week playing games, across three different devices.
The study also reveals there are now more people over 44 years old playing games than children and teenagers, with 56% of the 45-54 age group, 44% of the 55-64s and 32% of the 65-74s admitting to have played a video game in the last six months, the mucky herberts.
Now, where’s the rage from men spitting their Wotsits out saying “oooooh, they’re not proper games!” and saying that they haven’t met any women who play games via their dirty Call of Duty headsets?
Microsoft have been shopping and have bought Mojang, who own Minecraft. The computery GIANT has shelled out $2.5 billion (£1.5 billion) for it too.
The Swedish-based company Mojang’s popular Minecraft has sold over 54 million copies, and lets players build structures in their own little world, but can connect up with other users and have battles and the like.
Mojang’s three founders will leave the company – possibly to build a house made out of gold – but have assured fans that “everything is going to be OK”.
It is hoped that now owning Minecraft will be enough to woo anyone who is on the fence about owning one of Microsoft’s Windows Phones, but the company have assured gamers that Minecraft will still be on all the other platforms.
Minecraft is one of the top-selling apps on both Apple’s iOS store and and Android’s Google Play, and has recently been released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It was the third most popular console game last month, too, according to market research firm NPD Group.
Mojang, who’ve been knocking around since 2009, made over $100 million in profit in 2013, and has a staff of 40. Microsoft said the Mojang team would join its game studio, which is responsible for titles such as Halo, Forza and Fable.
Microsoft chief executive, Satya Nadella, said: “Minecraft is more than a great game franchise – it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”
While everyone in the know is getting a cheap PS4 or Xbox One from our Deals of the Day, there’s good news for football fans as FIFA15 is due out, which means, basically, new kits and boots for people to salivate over.
Of course, there’s going to be a load of tweaks and other subtle improvements, which non FIFA players won’t at all understand. And some FIFA lovers might not really understand it either. Doesn’t matter. Once you’re in with EA’s famous football franchise, it hooks you in like you’re a smack fiend.
The latest is that there’s going to be improved AI for the goalkeepers.
As you can see from the trailer, EA has promised that goalies will be smarter and more realistic, and not only that, they’ve utilised Team USA and Everton’s Tim Howard to talk about it.
No. He doesn’t do a load of involuntary swearing, you monsters.
Is FIFA 15 going to be the best one yet? We’ll find out when it gets released in September. Will it be the same as all the others, but everyone will buy it anyway? Of course it will.
This billion-odd are watch 6 billion hours of video, and 40% of them are watching it on mobile devices [as an aside, anyone who makes their videos unavailable on mobile devices should be beaten with a rubber hose and left unconscious in the street as an example to anyone else thinking of doing it - Ed].
YouTube channels have grown by 80.5% in the last year, according to new data published by online video industry site Tubefilter and analytics firm OpenSlate.
Tubefilter’s Top 100 rundown of the most viewed channels saw that they collectively raked up 9.46 billion views in July 2014, up from 5.24 billion the year before.
No.1 is some herbert named PewDiePie, whose monthly views have gone from 221.6 million to 438.9 million.
Let’s see what all the fuss is about, eh?
DisneyCollector, are at No.2, racking up 268 million views in the month, edging it past Shakira’s frankly pathetic 226.6 million views. Seems some people think her hips do lie.
In fourth place there’s gaming effort Stampy (199.6m views) and The Diamond Minecart (186.1m views) gets fifth. Gaming is still quite the thing though, with content generating 4.34 billion viewings in July.
They’d been in a bidding war with Google for Twitch, which allows gamers to broadcast live streams from PCs, XBox and PS4 consoles of themselves playing video games.
Twitch, who we banged on about here, also run gaming events and redistributes content from Joystiq, Gamespot, and Destructoid, Manvsgame and more.
Twitch also has 55 million visitors, which might have something to do with the keen interest from both companies.
This is seen as another step in Amazon’s strategy to big up their entertainment services, and video games are a big old market where cash literally grows on trees (especially in the online game ‘Cash Trees’ where you play a tax-dodging entity having to hoover up as much cash off trees or something).
But what has Jeff Bezos to say, hmmm?
“Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon, and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month.”
Tens of millions. Bet his pants tightened at that.
The British intelligence agency GCHQ, have launched an online game to test whether you’d be any good at stopping a fictional attack.
GCHQ are hoping to find some masterminds among the gameplayers, and then use them, USE THEM FOR THEIR MINDS.
And it’s not a piece of puff, winners of previous missions have gone on to work at the agency.
In the game, called ‘Assignment: Astute Explorer’, users must protect a fictitious aerospace technology company threatened by imminent attack from imaginary cyber terrorists called The Flag Day Associates. There’s even YouTube threats and all sorts. Fancy that!
The story goes that fictitious company Ebell are concerned about the threat of an imminent attack and have asked GCHQ operatives (the public playing the game) to assess the scale of the threat. Sounds like fun.
If you fancy your chances at, you know, one day possibly saving the world, head here.