Sure, you've played Final Fantasy VII, but what about Final Fantasy Extreme? You've played EarthBound, but what about Earth Bound (two words). You know all about Dragon Quest VIII, but are you familiar with Dragon Quest: Young Yangus and the Mystery Dungeon? There's a whole world of forgotten, canceled games out there just waiting to be discovered. Let 1UP's Jeremy Parish and Frank Cifaldi be your guides in an exploration of The Best Games That Never Were. (Previously)
Platypus Comix has compiled images from around the Internet of prototype game consoles and peripherals spanning from the original NES all the way to the Sony PlayStation 3. You'll see the NES's tape recorder, a touch pad for the Sega Genesis, the infamous Nintendo PlayStation, a PlayStation Portable you can clip to your backpack ("...or whatever reckless thing they thought you'd try."), a Wii controller with just one large button, and the embarrassing PS3 "serect" button. [more inside]
Citing security concerns, Sony has decided to release a firmware update that will disable the "OtherOS" feature on its older (non-slim) PlayStation 3 systems. This is almost certainly a response to the system finally being hacked two months ago by George "GeoHot" Hotz. To counter Sony's disabling of the feature, Hotz, who previously stated that he would not be releasing custom firmware for the PS3, now plans to do so: "The PlayStation 3 is the only product I know that loses features throughout its lifecycle. Software PS2 emulation, SACD playback, and OtherOS support are all just software switches you can flip. It's unbelievable you would go and flip one, not just on new boxes you are shipping, but on tens of millions already in the field."
Penny Arcade TV did an episode on game testing recently. It followed their thought process on coming up with a comic about Sony's reality show The Tester. [more inside]
Have you checked out Crackle lately? If not, you may want to go ahead and check out a couple of these goodies; The Bannen Way, Angel of Death starring Zoë Bell, or Star-ving with David Faustino and Corin Nemec. [more inside]
Should you ditch your dSLR? Wired thinks so. The recent introduction of EVIL cameras (Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lenses) is a revolution in camera design that has eliminated the original bane of photography, parallax error, without the use of a mirror (greatly reducing camera size). Canon, Nikon, and Sony are expected to introduce EVIL-type cameras within the year. [more inside]
Last year, Spotify made news as a revelation in music availability, by providing ad-supported free access or paid subscriptions to more than 6 million streaming songs. This year, Sweden is the home to another streaming media landmark, with Voddler. Currently limited to Sweden but with goals of reaching the world, the streaming video-on-demand provider was well-received, but initial movie selection did not impress all. That should change, as Voddler recently expanded the potential list of movies when they signed The Walt Disney Company Ltd and Paramount Pictures, netting access to the Disney assets and the Paramount library. A deal with Sony may be forthcoming. [more inside]
He was born in Israel, spent four years in Jamaica, studied cinema and worked as a voice actor. Now, at 29, he sings like Janis Joplin and is the first Israeli musician to sign a four-record label with Sony Columbia. Ladies and gentelmen, presenting Asaf Avidan[youtube]. [more inside]
Hulk-Margaret smash stupid Sony. Girls not stupid lilac people. Girls strong and awesome! AAAAARRRRR! Hulk-Marg like gems. Hulk-Marg like gem sweaters (previously). But Hulk-Marg no like pandering only to gem interests. Hulk-Marg well-rounded, has many interests and layers. Hulk-Marg give example: SMASHING. Let Hulk-Marg find PowerPoint and laser pointer. Hulk-Marg has PowerPoint here somewhere. Ahem. Hulk-Marg found PowerPoint. Made slides. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
Meet Scott Campbell, a 13 year old swapping his MP3 player for a Sony Walkman cassette player for a week. [more inside]
"It's a secret to everybody" -- an unbelievably comprehensive blog post about the etymologies of the names of famous (and not-so-famous) video game characters.
“You can’t roll a joint on an iPod” or how the iPod killed the music industry. First the music biz overlooked the computer CD rom when they put copy control on cd burners. Then they eliminated the single. Shortly after that "mp3" replaced "sex" as the most popular search term. Apple has become the largest music seller largely against the wishes of the music biz, but 99 cents beats free. Yesterday Apple announced they were eliminating DRM. The questions remains, who needs Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group, and EMI, does Apple? When is Apple just going to replace them? There were rumors a year ago that they would launch a record label with Jay-Z but that does not appear to have come to fruition.
HOME is out for the Playstation 3, and as Penny Arcade has observed, it really is "nothing more than a cumbersome menu, a rampart over which you must hoist yourself to accomplish the most basic tasks." But it's not a complete waste of time. Where else can you have the joy of observing someone being Quincyed? Here's a video of Quincying in action. Observe the quick change, the expedient retreat of the male suitors, the provocative pelvic motion. Here's how to master the art of the Quincy, should you be so inclined.
Playing Dirty: Greenpeace vs Nintendo, Microsoft, et al. "The Greenpeace scientific report Playing Dirty states that video games consoles have tested positive for hazardous chemicals and materials such as polyvinyl chloride, phthalates, beryllium and bromine." [more inside]
"Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone"
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has refused to rate Manhunt 2, Rockstar Games' latest controversial offering, effectively banning it from sale in the United Kingdom. This surprising decision comes only weeks before the game's July 10th release date. The last game to be blocked from sale in the UK was the 1997 classic Carmageddon. Appeal remains a possibility for Rockstar, “although it sometimes takes up to two months to get this happening.”
An Open Letter to Devs: "Minigame compilations. How many of these games can we possibly be expected to buy? On my Wii alone, I've already gone through Rayman Raving Rabbids, Super Monkey Ball, Warioware and Sonic, with Mario Party and who knows what else on the horizon. As for the DS, just about every other game I own has some kind of mini-game compilation."
On the Eve of the Big Release Just in case you haven't drowned in the flood of stories about the new consoles, Businessweek is offering a few more. For the PS3, we have a summary article giving information on Sony's current situation, along with a 4 (out of 5) star review. In the Wii's corner, we have an interview with two of Nintendo's developers, who discuss the rationale behind the controller redesign, pricing, and keeping their gamers happy. Call it a little light reading before you hit the lines tonight.
A sad day for import video gamers- online retailer Lik-Sang has closed its doors due to multiple lawsuits from Sony.
Wanna blow up a tower block? We all do. But some people wanna do it differently.
The Sony Reader is finally available for purchase. Those of us who cared enough to be annoyed by the over-hyped non-event that was the 'E-book revolution' have been waiting with baited breath for consumer level products featuring electronic paper. The Sony Reader isn't the only kid on the block though. At more then $800 versus the Reader's $350, the iRex iLiad can recieve Wifi, has a touch sensitive screen for note taking and marginalia, and is built around the linux kernal, allowing some pretty amazing hacks, making the whole thing rather irresistable. Many of us having been waiting to sell ourselves to the dark god of Electronic Paper + Project Gutenberg. This time seems to have arrived.
Due to recent fires, Dell is recalling over four million laptop batteries manufactured by Sony and sold worldwide in the past two years. Pictures of computers on fire (as well as their charred remains) circulated widely online, not allowing the company to easily dismiss the problem as an isolated incident. Other companies claim their products aren't affected by the same issues, but the nightmare might not be limited to Dell. The future of laptops on airplanes is not looking so good.
A splash of urban colour! A dilapidated tower block in Glasgow was the setting for a riotous splash of colour this week as Sony followed up their previous Bravia tv campaign of the bouncing balls down the streets of San Francisco with a new advert using a disused towerblock in Glasgow. Some beautiful urban explosion pics here, here, here, here and here.
The new Sony PSP adverts are stupid and offensive. Welcome to yet another chapter in sony's self inflicted annus horribilis. (More: 1, 2)
TANGO'D! remember that awesome sony advert with all the bouncy balls in san francisco? well british drink firm tango have made an great parody of it. however, the residents of swansea north, where the ad was filmed, are not too happy. beautiful music provided by josé gonzalez (review) . [via]
to my left is a youngish software developer from Yokohama, incandescent with rage. To my right is the finance officer of a major games publisher. Worryingly, he is tapping sums into a pocket calculator and shaking his head...It shouldn't have been a surprise (...) but yesterday's announcement (pdf) from Sony has crushed 14 year-olds of all ages. The Playstation 3 is shaping up as a great IT Disaster. The 'Times' man in Tokyo - Leo Lewis - elaborates, muses on being a games geek in Akihabara (with cash and a proper job) and explains the delights of "beer flavored alcohol", just what we need to drown our sorrows.
Sony BMG won't be held accountable for its dangerous DRM if music fans don't have an easy way to learn about the flawed software, the settlement, and how to submit claims. By posting a banner on your website or blog, you can help music fans protect themselves and get what they deserve. [via A Copyfighter's Musings]
Out of touch with today's 'yoof'? Fire your marketing team and get interns to do it for free. Sony's cynicism knows no bounds as they pollute the blogosphere with intern-generated progaganda for their artists, hot on the tails of launching their gay record label, to better plunder the pink pound. It's a shame they couldn't take the lead from the other parties burnt in the rootkit scandal and promise more transparency.
Make your own DRM CD! Nothing says "Merry Christmas" (or Happy Chanukah, et al) like a homemade CD with the same crippling DRM technology that Sony and BMG use. Let a friend or relative you know that you care enough to prevent them from stealing music you've already stolen, even at the expense of enjoying the CD at all. It's what the holidays are really about.
sony tries counter culture to sell playstations - and gets beat down
or was it all part of the plan?
or was it all part of the plan?
Sony steps in it again. In the midst of the uproar about the Sony rootkit previously mentioned here, J. Alex Haldeman found a second sneaky piece of work in Sony CD's. It's pretty clear now that the only safe way to listen to music from Sony is to steal it. [via]
Do you play Sony DRM-protected CD's on your computer? If so, you might be wide open in terms of security. It seems that Sony is installing an almost-impossible to find rootkit on the computers of purchasers of their music. Their EULA doesn't mention the fact that their "small, proprietary" program goes much too far, managing to bypass security software, firewalls, etc. You might want to do this, anyway.
Sony drops 250,000 superballs on San Francisco in a crass attempt to distract you from the outrageous price of flat-screen TVs. [quicktime, direct link here]
The best E3 wrapup I've read this year. Also the only E3 wrapup I've read this year. But there are pictures! And amusing musings! It's also by Our Boy Mefite kevspace.
The Playstation3... Theres a few images out, and so far its all looking official. Full specs here, and Engadget has coverage.
Sony Ordered to pay 90.1 million in damages, and immediately stop selling Playstation 2's that come with a dual shock controller. Why has this not been in the news?
Fiona Freed. Remember the Free Fiona campaign (discussed last month here)? Well, Sony hasn't caved (yet), but the entire album has been leaked online (get it here or via torrent.) I've listened to it a few times through, and all I can say is... wow.
Sony will copy-protect most of its new releases by the end of the year. Sony VP Jordan Katz cites a consumer study when claiming the market is ready for this development. Closer analysis of said study shows that the facts do not support this. Some interpretations of that analysis are also not supported by the facts.
Sony fesses up and admits that they've screwed up in the past. But they say they're sorry, and they promise that they'll stop hitting consumers with ATRAC, half-baked PSX units and flawed PlayStation Portables.
Jeopardy Going After Kottke. Jason Kottke has served as the web's source of news about Ken Jennings and Jeopardy, with his most-linked blog entries being his September report of Jennings' impending loss and his Sunday provision of the actual audio of Kennings' loss. Now Sony is taking legal action against him for his spoilers, and this makes him very sad.
Meet the new Walkman. 20GB HD, 25 minutes of cache for skip-free playing. Works with Sony's Connect music service. Sharp-looking little player.
The Walkman turns 25: the Sony Walkman hit the streets on July 1, 1979. History, photos and more at the Walkman Museum.
E-paper to make its consumer debut. A little Cambridge, MA firm called E-Ink is teaming up with 2 global partners (Philips and Sony) to introduce next month "the world's first consumer application of an electronic paper display module." The size of a paperback book, it will allow storage of the equivalent of 500 books, and display of up to 10,000 pages on a single set of batteries. The display technology comes closer to the appearance of a printed page than any previous electronic display. The future of this technology: "'expressive surfaces'-intelligent displays that are built right into everyday products." At the research level it is already capable of displaying color video.
Nintendo announces two screen handheld console. More details expected at May's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). It's due for release at Christmas, around the same time as Sony's PSP.
Custom Mix CD - Sony Music is burning to sell 12 track Bob Dylan and Train mixes to continental US customers. [via AO]
Sony writes 'article' for Salon. In an effort to find new revenue streams, Salon has published an ad/article written by Sony Corp. National Geographic and Parent Soup have also published ad/articles, though the New York Times said no. While the articles do not directly reference Sony products, the feature people who do fascinating things with technology... technology which, it just so happens, is advertised conveniently right next to the technology featuring passage. Is this sort of thing ever ethical? If so, what sort of disclosures are necessary. Clearly the ad/articles are intended to appear to be regular content.
PlayStation 2 launches online service - Hard-core gamers looking for new challengers will now have an Internet full of them. Sony on Tuesday released adapters that make PlayStation 2 the first console player to go online. Playstation 2 players who purchase the $39.99 connector can link to Sony's network through a number of new games, including the military shoot-em-up "SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs" and the football simulator "Madden NFL 2003."