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.
The retailer is suffering after heavy discounting after the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas period. Basically, the group got more bodies through the door, but sales actually fell.
Of course, GAME went bankrupt two years ago, but last November, profits were up and they looked like they were going to get things rolling again.
Chief executive of GAME, Martyn Gibbs said: “Our strategy is to grow customer lifetime value and over the Christmas trading period, starting with Black Friday, we invested margin in offering gamers competitive product propositions through the bundling of games with hardware and reduced pricing, to recruit as many new generation customers as quickly as possible.”
“We now have a huge customer base within the new formats, to sell both mint and pre-owned physical and digital content and accessories to over the long term.”
“We have a solid line up of new physical and digital games being launched in our second half and have already secured a number of key exclusives. Our teams remain focused on delivering our unique specialist gaming experience for our customers.”
Trying to woo people back through the door is one thing, but shooting yourself in the foot while you do it, is quite another.
Boomerang said: ”Following an initial enquiry at the end of last week, we have had a number of customers raise concerns regarding fraudulent payment attempts on their card details that are also registered with us.”
“We are fully investigating this issue and have temporarily removed access to our website while this continues. We have contacted our Payment Provider Sagepay and our Merchant Bank World Pay and neither have any reported concerns relating to us.”
“However, please be assured we are treating this with the utmost urgency and can provide more information on our findings as they become available. If you have any concerns, please contact your card issuer. We apologise for any inconvenience the removal of our site has caused and thank you for your patience as we continue to investigate further.”
Obviously, a lot of customers aren’t happy with this response. One spat: “How comes it took you 3 or 4 days to acknowledge this? I had over 2 grand took out and if you would have warned us all, hell by even a email, we could have cancelled our cards. It is not the money I am pissed about, it’s the fact you ignored the complaints you were getting on the thursday and friday that annoys me. For such a great games company, your customer service is sorely lacking. It is such a shame it happened this way. Customers first Boomerang. …you should have warned us straight away, instead of keeping quiet. Very disappointed.”
Another added: “I had money taken out my bank as well, i closed my boomerang account months ago so you shouldn’t even have my bank details stored still.”
There’s a thread on Reddit also, where there’s a good volume of complaints. Some are suggesting that the company got their bank details from a free trial, and now, potentially thanks to a leak/hack, money is going out of accounts from people who hadn’t planned to spend any money.
We’ll keep an eye on this, until then, it is worth contacting your bank about any payments you believe to be fraudulent or indeed, if you’ve used Boomerang, check your bank statement to see if there’s any erroneous funds missing.
And you won’t need to dust down a floppy disk or mess around with command prompts as they’re playable in your browser.
The MS-DOS Software Library has gathered up games in advance of 2,300 titles, including Street Fighter II, Golden Axe, Prince of Persia (pictured), Metal Gear, SimCity, Maniac Mansion, Arkanoid, ZZT, Micro Machines and Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Naturally, there’s a load of rubbish in there, but of course, for gaming nuts, that’s not entirely bad news either as there’s something rather sweet about reliving the frustrations of playing something that you thought was complete crud, way back when.
The site is exempt from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) because it is hosting games that are on a format that is effectively dead.
Not that you should care about that as such. You should rummage around and see what games they have and coo at the graphics and remind yourself how tricky gaming used to be.
What has happened is quite odd – even if you’ve paid for the game, it isn’t launching for a number of users thanks to the small matter of the game itself not being listed on the Xbox Marketplace. That’s right. The same place you bought it from.
If you check the Xbox Marketplace, you’ll find the game does show up in the searches, however, it is impossible to get at it.
Microsoft haven’t said what’s going on, but the developer - Ubisoft – have acknowledged the problem on a message board, saying “we are investigating”. Kotaku report that one customer bought the game on the day it came out, unlocked all the achievements, but can’t get back into the game thanks to an error message when trying to load it up.
At £49.99, that’s an issue not to be sniffed at. The advice here is that, if you’re thinking of buying the game, it would be wise to hold-off and let Xbox and Ubisoft sort the issues out. There’s no point forking out for a product if you can’t use it. If you’ve already bought it, but can’t gain access to the game, hang tight or complain about it all in our comments.
Like you do, on Christmas Day.
Ryan didn’t do it alone. He told Sky News that a small group of people undertook the cyber attack and that they had no regrets about irritating everyone who wanted to play video games. In fact, Ryan said that it was fine that the hackers forced “a couple of kids to spend their time with their families instead of playing games”.
Says the lad who has invariably burrowed away from his family to piss around on computers, so he can get smart enough to undertake a hack of a worldwide system.
Ryan – who is rumoured to be a member of Lizard Squad – thought of the hack as a “sort of a game”, and partly did it for the fun of it.
In an interview from Finland, Ryan said: ”We have massive capability to take down networks like this. This attack was basically done by three people. We had a couple of people from outside the group helping with the attacks, helping us a little bit, but most of the traffic was coming from one or two people.”
And why did they do it? “Mostly to raise awareness – to amuse ourselves. Also one of the big aspects here was raising awareness regarding the low state of computer security at these companies, because these companies make tens of millions every month from subscriber fees and that doesn’t even include purchases made by their customers.”
“They should have more than enough funding to be able to protect against these attacks. And if they can’t protect against the attacks on their core business networks then I don’t think they’re really doing that much on their overall level of security. And these customers are still giving these companies their credit card numbers and such.”
“It is sort of a game for us I have to admit. I completely understand that it’s a bit unethical.
“I’d be rather worried if those people didn’t have anything better to do than play games on their consoles on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I mean I can’t really be [inaudible] feel bad. I might have forced a couple of kids to spend their time with their families instead of playing games.”
Everything is back to normal on the networks now, and Ryan has been on the news. That’s where we are in the world.
Apparently something they’re calling ‘inventory challenges’, which translates in the normal world as “we’ve not made enough of them”.
Speaking to Reuters, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House, who sort of obfuscates the actual truth and mists it over with the nonsense of “kind of hand to mouth in terms of that market”.
It’s not all lost though, you could get an Xbox One, as Microsoft’s pricing campaign in recent months has made that particular console outsell Playstation for the first time ever in the UK and US this November.
The PlayStation 4, which launched in November last year, has sold over 13 million units globally as of September, and has opened a wide lead over the Xbox One.
The figures make the PlayStation 4 the fastest selling console from Sony since the original PlayStation back in 1994. However, panic not, the company are doing all they can to supply the demand.
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.