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PlayStation Network down for scheduled maintenance November 17

PlayStation Network is down

If you're having trouble accessing the PlayStation Network this evening, you're not alone. PSN is undergoing scheduled maintenance until 10:00 PM PST:

During the maintenance, you will be unable to access the following services:

PlayStation Store on PS3 and PSP.
PlayStation Network Account Management.
PlayStation Network Account Registration.

In about five hours, everything should be back to normal!

Read More | PlayStation Blog

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Xbox Live Gamertags and passwords purportedly leak

Xbox Live hack

UPDATE: Microsoft responded to our request for comment with the following statement from a spokesperson, which indicates that the company regards the "xbox dump" user information as a minor phishing incident, not a major network breach:

"We do not have any evidence the Xbox Live service has been compromised. We take the security of our service seriously and work on an ongoing basis to improve it against evolving threats. However, we are aware that phishing attackers will occasionally post small lists of victims on public channels, and we will work directly with the impacted members to resolve any unauthorized changes to their accounts. As always, we highly recommend our members follow the Xbox Live Account Security guidance provided at www.xbox.com/security to protect your account."

Microsoft may be sweating out a possible rehash of Sony's PlayStation Network nightmare from earlier this year if an anonymous posting of dozens of purported Xbox Live Gamertags and passwords is what it claims to be.

We've seen an anonymous Pastebin.com data dump called "xbox dump" posted Monday that contains more than 90 supposed gamertags, most with associated email addresses and passwords.

Microsoft had yet to respond to a request for more information and it couldn't be confirmed Tuesday if the Pastebin document contained real Xbox Live user information. Even if a number of Xbox Live members had their private information compromised somehow, it obviously would remain to be seen if the "xbox dump" document was part of a larger security breach or just a one-off affair.

Click to continue reading Xbox Live Gamertags and passwords purportedly leak


A look at Sony’s Playstation Network “Welcome Back” freebie package

sony PSN freebies

When Sony started restoring its PlayStation network this weekend, it promised a welcome-back consolation package for users who have been patiently waiting for its return since it went dark on April 20.

This afternoon, the company provided some details on what returning users will receive, including free games, movie rentals, and virtual items.

"We developed the program as an expression of our gratitude for your patience, support and continued loyalty during the service outage. From all of us at PlayStation, thank you and welcome back!" Patrick Seybold, senior director of corporate communications and social media, wrote in a blog post. "This package will be made available to all existing registered PlayStation Network and Qriocity users in North America (US and Canada), and will be made available shortly after we have fully restored the service."

What do you get? All PlayStation Network customers can choose two of five PS3 games: Dead Nation; inFAMOUS; LittleBigPlanet; Super Stardust HD; or Wipeout HD + Fury. PSP owners can select two of four games: LittleBigPlanet; ModNation Racers; Pursuit Force; or Killzone Liberation. All games will be available for 30 days after the store is restored and can be kept forever.

Click to continue reading A look at Sony’s Playstation Network “Welcome Back” freebie package


Sony Playstation Network back online in most areas

Sony Online Entertainment brought its PlayStation Network back online (after a major security breach took PSN down) in parts of Europe and the U.S. Saturday, but some 12 hours after the announcement many PSN customers were left wondering when it would be their turn.

At about 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Sony announced it would begin a "phased" return of PSN services to customers following a three-week outage caused by a hack of the network that forced the company to take it down. But a map of the U.S. that Sony is updating to reflect when its network goes live in individual states was left with numerous states without service in the Midwest, South and Northeast as of about 8 a.m. ET.

Several hours after the initial announcement, readers in Texas, Illinois and other states were complaining that PSN service had not been restored to their areas. Sony had warned that it would "take several hours to restore PSN throughout the entire country."

Meanwhile, PSN customers in Australia and the Caribbean wondered when their areas would go back online. Sony's Saturday announcement only referred to Europe and North America.

The company issued a further notice to PSN customers whose service had been turned on but who still weren't able to access the network:

Click to continue reading Sony Playstation Network back online in most areas


PlayStation Network down for a “day or two” after outside attack

Playstation network down

Sony said Thursday that its PlayStation Network, the online service that connects Sony's game consoles like the PlayStation 3, may be out for a "full day or two" due to an unexpected and unexplained outage.

Sony first confirmed the outage at 5:50 PM Wednesday night, when Patrick Seybold, the senior director of corporate communications and social media, reported that "We're aware certain functions of PlayStation Network are down," Seybold said. "We will report back here as soon as we can with more information."

At 9:34 AM on Thursday, Seybold added the latest information, which will be grim news for PlayStation players.

"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," Seybold added. "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."

Click to continue reading PlayStation Network down for a “day or two” after outside attack


VUDU coming to Playstation 3 on November 23

VUDU f2.0, playstation 3

As if having Sony's own Video Marketplace, Netflix, and Hulu to satisfy the film cravings of PS3 owners wasn't enough, Sony is now adding a fourth movie service with VUDU. 

Basically, VUDU is a video marketplace that allows rentals and purchases of movies through streaming. This is something that the other services on the system don't do, as it is the only one that allows you to purchase movies without downloading them, but it's not a big leap either. 

Rentals will cost about $2 for SD, while HD is a higher $4-6--those $6 rentals get you the HDX 1080p streaming content, which looks fantastic. Signing up with the VUDU service will earn you a $6 credit as well. 

VUDU is only available in the US.

Read More | Kotaku

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 release date

The long winded wait for the blue blur’s glorious return to form has been a grueling tale of teasers followed by long periods of nothingness. Finally, a light can be seen at the end of the tunnel, and for some that light is closer than it is for others.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 will be available first in the iTunes App Store beginning on October 7th. The next iteration will be available for download on the Wii Shop Channel October 11th, followed by the Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade versions hitting October 12th and 13th respectively.

Wii owners can expect to relinquish 1500 Wii Points; PSN users - $14.99; and XBLA - 1200 Microsoft Points. The iPhone price will be specified later this week.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 will be the first of an unspecified number of episodes. Game play is similar to the original Sega Genesis titles, namely the original Sonic the Hedgehog, with a few new twists and graphical enhancements thrown in for the modern age.

Click to continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 release date

Read More | IGN

PlayStation 3 3.10 firmware brings Facebook to PS3 today

Did you think the would be the only console to integrate Facebook functionality? If so, Sony has another thing coming for you, as they are launching firmware 3.10 for the PlayStation 3 today, and, you guessed it, Facebook integration is included. Check out the video above to check out how it works, but in a nutshell, you’ll be able to have the PS3 post different events to your Facebook feed, like purchases, trophies, and in-game happenings. Other changes in PS3 firmware 3.10:

  • You can choose a color for your PSN ID badge
  • Photos are now displayed in a grid rather than a single column
  • The friends list has been modified, based on feedback from the community

The update will be out today.

Read More | Sony

Pacific Rift Game Update and new Free DLC available for MotorStorm

Description

Starting this Thrusday, May 14th, the PlayStation Store will have an exclusive vechicle livery pack available to download every week during the next 8 weeks for the off-road racing game, . These free liveries will features new paint jobs for three vehicles, and the full set will give MotorStorm: Pacific Rift players a cutting-edge new look for every single vehicle class in the game: Mudpluggers, Quad Bikes, Monster Trucks, Rally Cars and more.

Update? Yup, that too. Game Update #2 was just released, and provides a number of useful fixes and updates for MotorStorm Pacific Rift. These include:

  • Sugar Rush short-cut removed – The short-cut to the left of the “keep right” arrows going into the sugar field was not intentionally included and has been removed
  • Sugar Rush respawn point fixed – Crashing at a certain point on the track no longer respawns the vehicle in a generous position
  • Inclusion of Microbadges

Read More | Playstation.Blog

Ratchet and Clank Future Officially Dated for October 23rd

ratchet and clank future boxart

On the latest episode of its Full Moon Show Podcast, Insomniac Games has disclosed an official North American release date of October 23rd for Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction.  The game is the fifth installment of the popular action/platform series (okay, so Deadlocked was more of a multiplayer shooter), and first for the .  A real next-gen mascot platform game (movie licensed ones don’t count) has been a long time coming, but luckily we have Insomniac around to temporarily rescue us from the glut of dark and mature steroid-addled first person shooters.

Insomniac has promised that a PSN demo will arrive before the final game, but all we have as far as a timeframe is a painfully vague, “Near future.”

Read More | Insomniac Games

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