Other People's Misfortune

Sony Is Using Its PlayStation Network To Build A New Online ServiceWhatever is going on over at the PlayStation Network seems pretty serious. The company just revealed, via a blog post, that the PlayStation Network may be down for a day or two. Here's the post, from the company's U.S. blog: 

"While we are investigating the cause of the Network outage, we wanted to alert you that it may be a full day or two before we’re able to get the service completely back up and running. Thank you very much for your patience while we work to resolve this matter. Please stay tuned to this space for more details, and we’ll update you again as soon as we can."

Sony previously commented that the apparently worldwide network outage may be more than a simple technical error, saying that they are looking into "the possibility of targeted behaviour by an outside party."

More news as it develops...oh, and sorry, PlayStation 3 users.

PlayStation NetworkThe PlayStation Network is down across the globe, with users across Europe and the United States  reporting an inability to log in or use the PSN. While Sony says it's looking into the matter, the company acknowledges it could be a cyberattack.

On Sony Europe's official site, the company posted the following notice:

As you are no doubt aware, the current emergency outage is continuing this afternoon and all Sony Online Network services remain unavailable. Our support teams are investigating the cause of the problem, including the possibility of targeted behaviour by an outside party. If the reported Network problems are indeed caused by such acts, we would like to once again thank our customers who have borne the brunt of the attack through interrupted service. Our engineers are continuing to work to restore and maintain the services, and we appreciate our customers’ continued support. For further information, please refer to updates on PlayStation.com, here on PlayStation.Blog and via our @PlayStationEU twitter feed.

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Stephen ToulouseXbox Live director of policy and enforcement Stephen "Stepto" Toulouse has both the best and worst job on earth. On the good side, he's a big time, important guy at Xbox Live, so he probably makes a ton of dough, plus, he can ban anyone he wants. But on the negative side, Stepto has to deal with gamers with grudges, some of whom take it way beyond a nasty email or two.

Recently, Stepto's blog and Xbox Live account were compromised by someone named "Predator," who gained access through social engineering. Basically, he sweet-talked passwords out of someone at Stepto's hosting company, not exactly "hacking" in the classic sense, but the result is the same.

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Nintendo 3DS

Updated: 12:42 PM EST: It is always best to be skeptical of British tabloids, especially when they're reporting on video games. In spite of The Sun's claims of "record return levels," British retailers say they've received very few requests for returns of the Nintendo 3DS handheld console. GAME told MCV that is has received "fewer than five" returns, while mega-retailer HMV reports no returned 3DS systems. HMV issued a statement saying:

"Contrary to a report in today's media - which has since been corrected - we would like to make clear that we are not aware of any manufacturing fault with the 3DS console - which we have seen huge demand for, and that we have not issued any refunds for it and nor are we doing."

Orignal Story:

British tabloid The Sun is reporting "furious users" and "record return levels" of the Nintendo 3DS in the U.K.

Since the release of the 3D handheld, some gamers have reported headaches when playing with the device, and apparently some British folks are not only having headaches, but are also having trouble getting full refunds of the purchase price of the device from some retailers.

Overall, The Sun's report seems misleading. The article mentions "record return levels" but doesn't offer any evidence of these records, and in fact goes on to quote Nintendo as saying returns are "in single figures per retailer." Also, The Sun reports that "thousands" of gamers have headaches and dizziness, presumably from the device, without offering any actual backup of that statement. Plus, British tabloids are notorious for overly sensationalizing stories.

Source: The Sun

All of the best people are following Steve Johnson's twitter feed. Also, email me if you wanna.

This Week's New Releases: Madden NFL 11

Robin Antonick, the creator of the first Madden football game, is suing Electronic Arts for tens of millions of dollars he says he owed for royalties as well as, potentially, billions in profits.

In the suit, Antonick says he created the Madden football video game in 1988 when he made the first 11 on 11 video game for the Commodore 64, MS Dos, and Apple II platforms. He says he "developed the game both with programming expertise and knowledge of former Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden's behavior in calling plays in certain game situations."

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Duke Nukem Forever

If you're been on the gaming-fence about whether you'll buy Duke Nukem when it comes out, maybe this will tip the gaming scales: Duke Nukem Forever features poo-flinging. Given the history of the game, I don't think this is a joke.

That's right, finally in gaming, like a monkey, you'll be able to find pieces of excrement and hurl them at walls and whatnot. They splat.  How you feel about this feature is like a gaming Rorschach test that reveals a ton about who you are as a person. There's a video under the cut, as well as a look at the game's jet-packs.

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'The Agency'

Sad times, MMO fans. Along with confirming layoffs at Sony Online Entertainment, the company has stated that it is no longer developing spy-based MMO The Agency.

Here's the statement:

"SOE is discontinuing production of The Agency so it can focus development resources on delivering two new MMOs based on its renowned PlanetSide and EverQuest properties, while also maintaining its current portfolio of online games."

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Mega Man 1 sprite

Citing "various circumstances" on its Japanese website, Capcom announced that Mega Man Universe will not be coming out, ever.  And it's a day before April Fool's, so you it's not even a joke.

MMU was scheduled for release on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, and would have given users the opportunity to build their own levels, customize characters and otherwise take Mega Man apart and put it back together again. Which all sounds cool, but will never see the light of day. Check out the game you'll never play in a video below the break.

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KOEI Graffiti

G4 has given games from KOEI some terrible scores in the past, to be sure, like this one-star notice for Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2, for example, but we are NOT to blame for the graffiti you see above. Someone (who was NOT affiliated with G4) sprayed the above message on one of KOEI's buildings in Japan.

According to Andria Sang's translation, she spray-paint scrawls read: "Die, garbage" and "Crap game" and "Tenchu."

That last word, "Tenchu" translate to "Divine Punishment," but it could be a reference to the Tenchu series of games, too. Tenchu (the game franchise) has nothing to do with KOEI, but people who spray-paint stuff on the sides of buildings usually aren't very bright, and they may have mixed up the publishers. We can't be certain.

One thing we do know for sure: People in Japan take their games seriously.

Source: Andria Sang

Nintendo Responds To Error Reports, Headache Complaints

The day after the launch of any system is usually marked by complaints -- things just don't work out quite as advertised in the real world. The Nintendo DS is no exception. So far, there have been two major complaints about the system: A widely seen error and headaches.

As we reported earlier today, some corners of the internet are abuzz with reports of freezes of the system, dubbed the Black Screen of Death. According to a statement just issued by Nintendo, there is a simple, time-tested solution to the problem: Make sure your software is up-to-date.

"If anyone is experiencing any problems with their Nintendo 3DS console, we recommend that in the first instance they download and install the latest system update, now available online... If the problems still persist we recommend they contact their local Nintendo Customer Service center to investigate the problem further."

The second problem, headaches, is a bit trickier to solve.

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Links of TheFeed: Goku vs. The Jersey Shore

This week’s Links of TheFeed is all about the mashup. First, we get to see how legendary Saiyan Goku would handle the infamous Jersey Shore cast (hint: not well). Not enough mashup for you? Good, because we also have a brilliant Disney/Sucker Punch crossover that will make you wish every classic Disney film was directed by Zack Snyder. And if that’s not enough, well, you can always waste five hours on YouTube. Check it all out in this week’s links! 

  • FilmDrunk's podcast discusses the disaster that is Rebecca Black and more. [FilmDrunk]

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Gun Loco

Square Enix has just revealed that the company's out-there shooter Gun Loco, announced back August, has been canceled.

This game was always a bit of a head-scratcher, with its weirdo style and art, but when you add in the fact that it was in development at a house known for creating RPGs instead of shooters, it's even stranger that it ever existed at all. Of course, many, many great games have come out of inexplicable ideas, and I'd much rather game companies cancel more mundane games than something like this, which would have at least been amusing.

So, I'm a little sad. No Gun Loco. But, hey, check out the video below for a glimpse at what could have been:

Gun Loco Mifune Trailer »

Pretty crazy, right?

Angry BIrds Halloween Tops 1 Million Downloads In Under A Week

According to one of the fathers of ubiquitious, insanely profitable mobile game Angry Birds, console gaming is dying.

Speaking at the South By Southwest Interactive conference, Peter Vesterbacka, who leads business development at Rovio Games, said innovation has moved into the mobile gaming space, because mobile game companies are more "nimble." Vesterbacka wasn't fond of the price tag of traditional console games either, pointing out that $40 to $50 is a lot of money for a game that is hard to update.

It's almost as if Vesterbacka's analysis is a direct response to Saturo Iwata's words at the 2011 Game Developers Conference. Iwata made the point that mobile game distributors have no vested interest in creating quality products, and that the industry is fracturing so much that developers may soon have a problem making enough to get by and keep making games.

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Links of TheFeed: Kitty Capcom

My experience with Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has been frustrating to say the least. I'm not going to lie; I've come close to throwing my controller at the flat screen a few times due to my inability to not suck at the game. But you know what stops me every time? This adorable poster depicting every MVC3 character as a tiny anime kitten. Honestly, who could be angry when they look at a picture of a cute, feline Galactus? Check out the poster in this week's links. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with Sentinel's overpowered fist.

  • The science of getting kicked in the balls. [SuperBooYah]
  • These new X-Men: First Class posters will make you throw up. [FilmDrunk]

Links of TheFeed: Superhero Love

Between pummeling bad guys and saving the world, superheroes rarely have the time to seek out romantic relationships. So how does a crime fighter find true love? By logging onto SuperHarmony.com, a web site designed to pair superheroes and villians with their soul mate. Check out this week’s links to see the hilarious testimonials from Batman, Wonder Woman, and the lovable Lex Luthor.

  • Super mutated rats with laser eyes. [FilmDrunk]



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