Jun 13 2011
Nintendo has taken the European Club Nintendo website down to investigate reports of a phishing threat.
The gaming giant assured registered users that their data is not at risk, maintaining that the inquiry is merely a precaution.
"We would like to reassure you that we do not hold our customer's bank, credit card or address details on the European Nintendo website and so this data is not at risk," a company statement said.
The studio went on to apologise for any "inconvenience this has caused", and said that users who are concerned about data theft should contact Nintendo customer services.
Earlier this week, development studio Codemasters released a statement confirming that its official website had been hacked. Personal data including names, addresses and telephone numbers were said to have been taken, though no credit card details were stolen.
Club Nintendo is inaccessible in Europe until further notice.
Jun 11 2011
An investor consortium involving Activision Blizzard chief executive Bobby Kotick is reportedly in talks with News Corporation about taking a controlling stake in MySpace.
The New York Post, which is owned by News Corp, is reporting a source as saying that Kotick's group is in "final talks" over a deal for the struggling social network.
The source said that Kotick's involvement in the venture is personal and nothing to do with video games publisher Activision Blizzard "at this stage".
Under the terms being discussed, News Corp would retain an equity stake in MySpace, possibly of about 20%, but the finer details of the deal have not yet been confirmed.
In March, it emerged that Rupert Murdoch's media giant had hired investment bank Allen & Co to evaluate strategic options for MySpace, including a possible sale, spinoff or partnership deal.
News Corp acquired MySpace for $580m (£363m) in July 2005, when it was among the world's leading social networks. However, the site has since suffered declining user figures and fallen well behind the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
Sources initially suggested that online music video giant Vevo had been approached about acquiring MySpace, under the arrangement of News Corp retaining a minority stake.
However, Vevo was understood to be just one of several parties interested in MySpace, and it now appears Kotick's consortium has swooped in to seal the deal.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 has been influenced by Red Dead Redemption, Square Enix has revealed.
"Among the millions of games that came out last year, Red Dead Redemption was adored by a lot of Japanese developers, including ourselves," Final Fantasy XIII-2 director Motomu Toriyama told RPGSite.
"Our game is not as open-field as that game, obviously. We did take some inspirations, however. For example, missions can happen anywhere rather than having to go to a certain shrine, or base or something, and that's from them."
He continued: "In this game you see lots and lots of chocobos and you can ride them. The kind of feeling you get as you ride the chocobo, it's a bit like the way you ride a horse. It's a really refreshing feel good experience, and that's one thing we learned from the game."
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the direct sequel to 2010's Final Fantasy XIII, and will see Lightning joined by a new central character.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 will be available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in early 2012.
Jun 11 2011
Codemasters has admitted that its website was hacked last week.
The personal data of its users, including names and addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, order histories, Xbox Live Gamertags and encrypted passwords, were taken from Codemasters.com, the DiRT 3 VIP code redemption page, the EStore and CodeM database.
The firm stressed that credit card information was not taken in the breach, as such data was stored elsewhere.
Codemasters said in a statement: "On Friday 3rd June, unauthorised entry was gained to our Codemasters.com website.
"As soon as the intrusion was detected, we immediately took Codemasters.com and associated web services offline in order to prevent any further intrusion.
"Unfortunately, Codemasters is the latest victim in ongoing targeted attacks against numerous game companies. We assure you that we are doing everything within our legal means to track down the perpetrators and take action to the full extent of the law."
Users are advised to change any passwords associated with Codemasters accounts and to be aware of online scammers or phishing emails.
Codemasters is a British publisher based in Warwickshire, and is responsible for developing games in the Formula 1 and DiRT racing franchises.
PlayStation Network went offline in April due to a severe breach in security that led to personal details and credit card information being stolen. Full access to the service was restored last week.
The Codemasters statement in full:
Dear valued Codemasters customer,
On Friday 3rd June, unauthorised entry was gained to our Codemasters.com website. As soon as the intrusion was detected, we immediately took Codemasters.com and associated web services offline in order to prevent any further intrusion.
During the days since the attack we have conducted a thorough investigation in order to ascertain the extent and scope ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Jun 06 2011
Apple has today unveiled its new iOS 5 operating system for iPhone and iPad, offering more than 200 new features including improved notifications and Twitter integration.
Due to be released this autumn, iOS 5 introduces the Notification Centre as a single platform for viewing and managing alerts, such as text messages, missed calls, calendar dates, apps and more.
It also includes iMessage, a new messaging system presumably designed to take on Research In Motion's popular BlackBerry Messenger. iMessage enables users to more easily send text messages, as well as share photos and videos between all other devices running iOS.
Newsstand is a "bookshelf" facility for displaying the covers of newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Positioned as a new section of the App Store, Newsstand allows users to browse a range of subscription titles, as well as automatically access new issues of their chosen publications.
iOS 5 more directly integrates Twitter, meaning users can sign in and tweet directly from all Twitter-enabled apps, including photos, Safari, YouTube and maps.
The operating system will work alongside Apple's new iCloud system, which enables users to access mail, contacts, calendars, photos, apps, books, music and more from the cloud.
"iOS 5 has some great new features, such as Notification Centre, iMessage and Newsstand and we can't wait to see what our developers do with its 1,500 new APIs," said Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive.
"Perhaps iOS 5's paramount feature is that it's built to seamlessly work with iCloud in the Post PC revolution that Apple is leading."
Other new features include AirPlay Mirroring for wirelessly displaying everything done on the iPad 2 on high definition television screens via Apple TV.
The Game Centre app, launched last September, has been improved to make it easier to purchase ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Jun 03 2011
PlayStation Network's Welcome Back offers are now available.
Two free PS3 and PSP games can be downloaded from the storefront, as well as 30 days' membership to PlayStation Plus for all PSN accounts created before April 20.
To redeem, users must go to the PlayStation Store, select the Welcome Back banner and select the offers shown.
Current PlayStation Plus subscribers will have an additional 70 days of membership added to their accounts automatically.
Elsewhere, a selection of free movie rentals will be available this weekend while Music Unlimited Premium subscribers will receive an additional 60 days of membership free.
Sony has defended its choice of free PS3 and PSP games, saying that it "tried really hard" to put together a quality list of titles.
The PlayStation Store returned yesterday for Europe and North America, and will receive several updates next week.
Chinese hackers have infiltrated Google's Gmail system and broken into hundreds of accounts, including those of senior government officials and political activists, the company said.
Google says all victims have been notified and their accounts have been secured.
"Through the strength of our cloud-based security and abuse detection systems, we recently uncovered a campaign to collect user passwords, likely through phishing," wrote Eric Grosse, engineering director of Google's Security Team, in a post on the company blog.
"This campaign, which appears to originate from Jinan, China, affected what seem to be the personal Gmail accounts of hundreds of users including, among others, senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries (predominantly South Korea), military personnel and journalists."
The news comes a day after the Pentagon concluded that computer sabotage from another country could constitute an act of war -- news that opened the door for the first time to a traditional military response to a cyberattack.
The attacks aren't believed to be tied to a more sophisticated assault that originated from China in late 2009 and early 2010. That intrusion targeted Google's own security systems and triggered a high-profile battle with China's Communist government over online censorship.
The tensions escalated amid reports that the Chinese government had at least an indirect hand in the hacking attacks -- a possibility that Google didn't rule out.
In the latest incident, Google believes Chinese hackers tricked people into sharing their passwords in so-called "phishing" scams.
"The Internet has been an amazing force for good in the world -- opening up communications, boosting economic growth and promoting free expression," Grosse wrote.
"But like all technologies, it can also be used for bad things," he said.
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May 31 2011
PlayStation Network will be restored in full this week, Sony has announced.
All features, including the PlayStation Store, online vouchers, in-game commerce and the Music Unlimited service, will be up and running.
Europe, the Americas, Australia and Asia excluding Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea will have all services resumed.
The Welcome Back service, which will include two free PS3 and PSN games, will be detailed region by region shortly.
"We have been conducting additional testing and further security verification of our commerce functions in order to bring the PlayStation Network completely back online so that our fans can again enjoy the first-class entertainment experience they have come to love," said executive deputy president Kazuo Hirai.
PlayStation Network services will go offline from 7pm GMT today until 1am GMT tomorrow due to scheduled maintenance.
Asian countries, including Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, saw the return of PlayStation Network over the weekend.
May 31 2011
Syphon Filter 4 will be unveiled at E3, according to several reports.
The latest in the long-running stealth series will "revolutionise" the genre, and will include a new engine created by SCE London.
Set for release in late 2012 on PlayStation 3, it will receive a full reveal at E3 next week.
Sony briefly announced the game last night before retracting its press release, according to forum posts at GameTrailers and GiantBomb.
The first Syphon Filter game was released on the original PlayStation in 1999, and was followed by two direct sequels.
Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain was then released on PlayStation 2 in 2004, followed by two PSP spinoffs.
Series developer SCE Bend Studio has been working on Uncharted for Sony NGP.
May 31 2011
Reports have indicated that the official title for Sony's Next Generation Portable has been leaked.
According to multiple sources, the new handheld system will be named PlayStation Vita.
Mega Rock Blog was allegedly the first publication to leak the name, although the post has since been pulled and an apology calling the article "one of the stupidest things [the poster had] ever done" uploaded in its place.
It is unknown whether the disclaimer refers to the leaking of the information or the accuracy of it.
However, Ripten has since claimed that in inside source has confirmed that the device will be named PS Vita. Furthermore, domain names for PlayStationVita.com and PSVita.com were registered with NetNames on April 20.
The site also stated that the previously announced Uncharted game for the platform will be subtitled 'Golden Abyss'.
The official name of the NGP will be confirmed at Sony's E3 press conference on June 6