There’s been something of a price war between PS4 and Xbox One, as seen regularly in our daily deals. If you’ve been eyeing up a new Xbox One, then prices are about to drop right across the board.
The price of Xbox One at UK retail is £299.99, say Microsoft. The console last had a price drop in September where it fell to £330. While it was initially supposed to be a temporary promotion, prices stuck around the £330, until now.
This means we’re all in for some good prices and decent bundles from retailers as the Xbox tries to keep up the pace set by Sony’s PlayStation.
Regarding the £299 offer, a Microsoft spokesperson said: “This is a UK-only retail promotion and offers great value for fans looking to buy an Xbox One ahead of the launch of 2015’s highly-anticipated games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Batman: Arkham Knight, along with Xbox exclusives such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza Motorsport 6 and Halo 5: Guardians.”
There’ll be TV adverts rolled out, backing this up. Will it be enough to tempt PS4 fans away from the PlayStation or will Sony follow suit and drop the price of their console?
Ever wanted to be chased by ghosts down your own street while you hoover up pellets in an endless loop of stress? Of course, some of you already have a life that’s is exactly that, thanks to your delusions.
For the rest of you, there’s hope. For April Fool’s Day (one of the more trying days of the year), Google have decided to turn Google Maps into a playable Pac-Man game.
Of course, the rules of the game are simple – charge around while the famous music plays and eat power pills and get chased by Blinky, Inky, Pinky, and Clyde. And when you die, you get that infamous noise that has frustrated so many over the years.
All you have to do is go to Google Maps, hit the Pac-Man icon and you’re away.
The app is available today (which means, hurray, yet another update to do on your PS3 or PS4) and you’ll be able to listen to albums over the top of in-game audio. That means you can play a super bleak horror game while listening to ‘Yakety Sax’ by Boots Randolph. And who wouldn’t want to do that?
Of course, if you like tutting about things like Spotify, you can always ignore all this and play Solitaire with some playing cards while listening to an LP.
For those of you interested, the app is available even if you don’t have a premium Spotify account.
Gustav Soderstrom, chief product officer at Spotify, said: “Music has always been a big part of gaming. I remember playing computer games like Quake and Counter-Strike with my favourite tunes on in the background, taking the experience to a whole new level. With today’s launch, we’re bringing back that magic of gaming with music – all in a beautifully-designed and smooth experience that looks great on the big screen.”
You’ll get all the usual features through the app, as well as a new the option to control the music in-game via a pop-up volume menu. Spotify Connect technology will be part of the app too, which means other people in the room with access to your account can control the tunes with their phones or whatever.
Ever wanted to learn a new language, but hate the idea of doing a class that will make you take irritating exams? Want to be able to converse abroad without having to sit on your sofa with the headphones on, repeating inane phrases?
Well, you might be in luck if you’re tired of simply shouting in staccato English and have an Xbox One.
The successful language learning tool, Rosetta Stone, has been launched as an app on the Xbox One, which is a good idea.
The app will visualise real-world situations for you, so you can learn phrases that matter to you. Presumably, phrases like “Can I have a beer please?”, “where is the nearest cash machine?” and “I’m sorry, but I’ve soiled myself – please stop laughing.”
For the time being, there’s only English and Spanish that are available, but obviously more languages will be added.
The developers say: “You explore several locations in the Discovery Zone and chat with the characters you find there. In the Training Zone, you’ll solidify the concepts you encountered with study recommendations, cultural tips, phrase books, and of course, more games! Keep track of your achievements, and keep practising until you get a perfect score.”
Everyone is looking at Lizard Squad, who hacked Xbox as well as Lenovo. They’ve got previous with Twitch as well, when they carried out a DDoS attack, which was only resolved when (get this) four Twitter users gave in to the Squad’s demands to post selfies with “Lizard Squad” daubed on their foreheads.
However, this latest hack doesn’t look like the handiwork of Lizard Squad because, mainly, they crow about their actions very readily and they’re not really about stealing personal information, which is what’s happened here.
It appears that login details, passwords and some credit card information has been stolen in this particular hack. Twitch themselves have confirmed the hack, saying that all users will be forced to reset their passwords. They said: “For your protection, we have expired passwords and stream keys and have disconnected accounts from Twitter and YouTube. As a result, you will be prompted to create a new password the next time you attempt to log into your Twitch account.”
There’s no word on just how many people have been affected by this, but seeing as Twitch has over 45 million monthly viewers and in advance of 1 million people streaming videos, it is likely that this’ll be a large number of people who have had their security breached.
Twitch say that they’ve warned users and told them that the information that may have been swiped includes usernames, email addresses, the IP addresses from where people last logged in, credit card types, truncated card numbers and expiration dates, first and last names, phone numbers, home addresses, and dates of birth.
If you’re a Twitch user, it’d be worth changing the password for any sites you use that has a similar password to the one you use with this lot.
The gaming company are teaming-up with DeNA to develop games for smartphone devices. With Mario and Pokemon in their armoury, Nintendo could make a killing. As a result of this news, Nintendo’s shares shot up by 21.3%.
Their model of keeping titles to one platform has been desperately old-fashioned for a while now, and now they’re branching out, the market is very happy indeed. Could this mean we end up seeing Zelda on the PlayStation?
This is a big deal for Nintendo as President Satoru Iwata had previously stated that any moves toward mobiles and tablets would see the company risking a hollowing out of their core business and what has been described as ‘cannibalising’ the value of their creations.
Later this year, there’s going to be a launch for an online membership service which will be accessible on mobile devices.
“This will allow us to build a bridge between smart devices and gaming consoles,” Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told reporters, adding, “It doesn’t mean smart devices will eat away at gaming consoles, it will create an entirely new type of demand.”
GAME have been fighting back from the brink rather well after knocking on heaven’s door for a while. Of course, it still has an almighty scrap with Amazon to contend with, but with that, they’ve taken a leaf from their rival’s book.
The video game vendor has just announced ‘Marketplace’ for third-party sellers, which will allow people to sell games, gaming memorabilia, clothes, smartphones and classic old gaming titles through their new online store.
Naturally, GAME will be taking a cut – this is business after all.
For the time being, GAME will be limiting sales to around 30 or 40 merchants, so they can police the whole thing properly. Then, when consumers trust the service and the reputation has built-up, they’ll throw the doors open to everyone who wants to sell stuff.
Can GAME compete with Amazon though? Maybe they’re not thinking that big just yet and are just offering an alternative for anyone who has Amazon fatigue.
More relevant is that this could be bad news for CeX, who have been routinely hammered by disgruntled customers on these pages.
Well, that’s been questioned after one PS4 owner had some problems.
A Reddit user named Kadjer had their account hacked, with $600 worth of content bought through his account. In addition to all that, their console had been unlinked from their PSN account and replaced with a different one.
What was PlayStation’s solution? Well, depressingly, they apparently have a maximum refund policy of a paltry $150, which is offered as PSN credit, rather than cash in the bank.
Have you spotted the problem with this? Seeing as the customer is locked out of their account, they can’t even use the PSN credit. It doesn’t stop there either – if they decide to challenge the illicit purchases with his bank, Sony has stated that they will ban his PSN account and erase his licenses, which means he’ll lose everything, forever.
“As the transactions came in, one-by-one, it became immediately clear that my account had been hacked. I immediately logged into PSN and removed my card from the account, changed my email and password, and simultaneously launched support chats with both Sony and my bank,” Kadjer explains.
“My account will not be able to activate a new system for six months, per Sony policy. I’m completely locked out of my own account until that date. I then asked about what would happen if I got my bank to reverse the charges, and he informed me that it would result in a banned account. I asked if there would be any way to restore my purchases, and he told me that there would not be.”
“Absolutely furious. Change your passwords, everyone. Better yet, don’t have your credit card on file with Sony – if something were to happen, you won’t be taken care of.”
Sony, dropping the ball again.
HTC and Valve have teamed-up for their thing, but the one making us really giddy is Sony’s Morpheus VR set. Coupled with the PS4, this could make for some mindblowingly great and daft games.
And, the good news is that it will be launched properly in early 2016, according to Sony bigwig Shuhei Yoshida.
The improved Morpheus has an OLED display with 1080p resolution, which can notch up 120 frames per second, which is twice as good as the one shown off last year. There’s less than 18 millisecond latency too, which is thought to be indistinguishable from the way you move and react in the real world.
With Facebook buying Oculus Rift, the race for VR is well and truly on.
Yoshida said: “Over the last year we have all seen the virtual reality world explode. Whether it’s Morpheus, Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR, an increasing number of people are looking at moving virtual reality from the realm of science fiction into our living rooms.”
Sony have shown off a number of game demos, with The London Heist showing off some gangster shoot-’em-up action, as well as a ‘street luge’ game. There’s also Keep Talking And Nobody Explode, a bomb-disposal affair too.
Yoshida continued: “VR is a new medium: the demos that we have been creating are just the beginning. We will deliver a VR experience that pushes boundaries of play, and ignites a passion in players. Creativity is thriving in this industry.”
Here’s some gameplay involving a shark. We can’t wait!
Of course, eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that there’s been an increase in cheaper Xbox consoles in our Deals of the Day for a while now, but it looks like these prices drops are going to be more widespread.
One thing that looks like it is going to be consistently cheaper is the handsome Xbox One that comes in white (a bundle that comes with Sunset Overdrive Bundle) and the Xbox One with Kinect Assassin’s Creed Bundle.
So, instead of being around £350, the average price looks like it’ll now be around the £280 mark. Not bad eh?
These deals won’t last forever, sadly, so get on it asap if you’re after a new console. Through the Microsoft Store, you’ll be able to buy the console and get a £20 voucher with it too. Like most things, this is a case of ‘while stocks last’, so don’t dilly dally.
If you miss out, we’ll have more deals from elsewhere, so don’t fret.
See, the outage was a result of those adorable hackers known as Lizard Squad, or at least, they’re the ones claiming responsibility after the network went down for a number of hours. Of course, the Lizards have previous, as they attacks the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live last year.
On Twitter, they said: “Xbox (360) Live #offline”, adding: “Haha ‘Xbox’ is trending worldwide. We’re back ”
Why did they do it? Well, you can only assume they did it for a laugh. You can assume that’s the case as, last time they took networks offline, they said they did it “mostly to raise awareness” and “to amuse ourselves.”
This particular hack was done in conjunction with a number of groups, including some people who call themselves ‘Like No Other’. And while they chortle into their Doritos, there’s people who have paid for a service which keeps getting interrupted and is increasingly unusable. At the moment, Microsoft aren’t commenting on this disruption.
The last time this happened, the infamous Kim Dotcom offered the hackers some vouchers for some of his services, in the hope that they’d stop ruining his gaming time. However, Lizard Squad tweeted: ”One more thing: Tell KimDotcom to take his vouchers and shove them up his fat ass.”
There have been arrests over these attacks, with two kids getting their collars felt by the long arm of the law. As yet, neither have been charged.
Either way, if you’ve been having a nightmare when trying to access the network from your console, it isn’t your broadband providers fault and you’re not being really thick – Lizard Squad are just yanking your chain. Hopefully, the gaming companies will do something to try and eradicate these things, if they can think one step ahead of some hackers with a cute name.
Lizard Squad, incidentally, remind us of this sketch.
Remember us telling you about the 20th anniversary PlayStation that Sony were putting out, which made us have a gigantic nerdgasm? Well, one has just been sold for a massive amount!
The special edition PS4 sold at auction for an eye-watering £85,000. Still, if we had that kind of money to burn, we may have spend stupid money on it too.
The limited edition console was numbered ‘1’ of the 12,300 that were made. For the thrifty, you could’ve bought around 270 normal PS4s for that amount of money.
As you can see, the anniversary PS4 was coloured in the same grey as the original PS1 and was generally lovely looking, for those of a nostalgic persuasion.
The auction was in aid of Save the Children Japan and, in a nice touch, Sony said they’d match the winning bid, which means the charity will be getting a bumper £170,000 in their account.
The gaming industry is having a nightmare since consoles discovered they could flog their own wares as downloads through their bespoke online stores. GAME is under Deathwatch again and now, with AOL looking at restructuring, Joystiq might be set for the chopping board.
Basically, AOL are rejigging their media business and its sales team, and that looks likely to lead to the closure of multiple websites.
TechCrunch, which is owned by AOL, say that the company are “preparing to lay off staff and close or fold up underperforming titles as part of a bigger restructuring, aimed at simplifying the company around ad tech, stronger content operations and video.”
Sites that are struggling for traffic are KitchenDaily, Pawnation and Joystiq.
Joystiq themselves said: “‘AOL is likely to shutter’ Joystiq… Hey, wait a minute… that’s us! Well, we may as well handle this the same way we’ve been covering the video game industry for ten years.”
“”We do not comment on rumor and speculation,” one staffer told us, wishing to remain anonymous, preparing for their lucrative PR career. Others are still trying to figure out next steps. Another anonymous staffer said, “We’re still working until we can’t.” Sources tell Joystiq that the staff is aware of the closure, but corporate hasn’t officially told them, so they are unable to acknowledge anything out of concern that it will cause immediate shutdown. We’ve reached out for more information. We will update, as we always have, when we know more.”
January has been a bleak month for retail and media and it doesn’t look like it is going to quit any time soon.
Remember when some nerds hacked the PS4 and Xbox systems on Christmas Day, spoiling everyone’s fun and forcing them to talk to their racist relatives? Well, all offhand, glib comments made by the hackers are being put to the test as a teenager has been arrested in Merseyside.
The FBI and British officials went after the teenager from Southport and he was nicked on suspicion of unauthorised access to computer material. It gets worse for the kid – they have also been detained because of threats to kill according to the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU).
Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman said that this was a “significant” arrest, adding: ”This arrest demonstrates that we will pursue those who commit crime with the false perception they are protected within their own homes or hiding behind anonymous online personas.”
“As we continue to build capability and develop skills across wider policing, we still need industry, communities and individuals to protect themselves by implementing basic security measures whilst taking full advantage and enjoyment of the opportunities the world wide web provides.”
Get that. They’re going after your anonymous online personas!
Craig Jones, head of the Cyber Crime Unit at SEROCU, said: “We are still at the early stages of the investigation and there is still much work to be done. We will continue to work closely with the FBI to identify those who commit offences and hold them to account.”
“We are pursuing cyber criminals using the latest technology and working with businesses and academia to further develop specialist investigative capabilities to protect and reduce the risk to the public. Cyber crime is an issue which has no boundaries and affects people on a local, regional and global level.”
We told you about the new console being made by Sir Clive Sinclair a while ago, and now, we can confirm, it is going into production after a successful crowd-sourcing project.
The Spectrum Vega is a little different to the old ZX Spectrum – the iconic rubber keyboard has been updated into a retro joypad. There’ll be no tapes to load up either, as that would be magnificently stupid in 2015.
Instead of being a thing designed to get you interested in home programming, the Vega is a joy machine, meant only for playing classic Spectrum games. Of course, there’s a load of online emulators that you could have, but they’re not as nice as the Vega.
The machines are going to be built by a company in the UK (SMS Technologies, if you’re interested) which is something Sir Clive was very keen on.
Bob Pitchford, SMS Technologies’ sales and marketing director, fizzed: ”The original Sinclair ZX Spectrum is a gaming product that we all remember, so it is very exciting to be working with such an iconic brand.”
The Spectrum Vega will have access to a huge collection of classic games, which is good news for all.