Posted on

UPDATES: Sony releases statement on PSN and Xbox Live issues; PSN service slowly recovering

Update: 10:00 pm Saturday

I am now able to sign into PSN on my PS4 as well as my PS3. So I recommend all PSN users to try signing on and if problems persist, keep checking the @AskPlaystation page on Twitter for official updates.

Update: 5:00 pm Saturday

After three days in the dark from a DDOS hacker attack, Sony has issued a statement on the takedown of their online network. Many Playstation Network and Xbox Live users are still experiencing connectivity and functionality issues.

Catherine Jensen, vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) Consumer Experience, offered the following statement at 12 pm ET:

“The video game industry has been experiencing high levels of traffic designed to disrupt connectivity and online gameplay. Multiple networks, including PSN, have been affected over the last 48 hours. PSN engineers are working hard to restore full network access and online gameplay as quickly as possible.

From time to time there may be disruptions in service due to surges in traffic, but our engineers will be working to restore service as quickly as possible.

If you received a PlayStation console over the holidays and have been unable to log onto the network, know that this problem is temporary and is not caused by your game console. We’ll continue to keep you posted on Twitter at @AskPlayStation and we’ll update this post once the problems subside.

Thanks again for your patience.”

Early Friday morning, the @AskPlaystation page on Twitter had reported that PS3, PS4 and Vita services were “gradually coming back online” but that report proved futile as the day progressed.

 

Xbox Live is back online since late Thursday and has finally returned to normal status on the Xbox Live Service page.

The XBL Service Status page is showing core services and social/gaming up and running smoothly as of 6:30 pm ET Saturday.
The XBL Service Status page is showing core services and social/gaming up and running smoothly as of 6:30 pm ET Saturday

Meanwhile, I can say that my Playstation 3 is working with some services working better than others. Sign-in on my PS3 is working fine and I can access all apps (Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, IGN, etc.), as well as the Playstation Store. But online multiplayer, although functional, is a bit sluggish.

On the other hand, I am still unable to sign into PSN on my PS4.

Stay tuned to Pixelpine for further updates. Playstation owners keep checking the @AskPlaystation page on Twitter for updates.

Friday, Dec. 27 9 pm ET

After a frustrating Christmas for gamers that saw the shutdowns of PSN AND Xbox Live, Xbox owners saw a little bit of relief as the core services for Xbox Live were restored but are still limited due to the amount of users trying to access the servers. Meanwhile, Playstation’s support page on Twitter offered a somewhat dismal message to its followers, stating there is “no ETA” for when services will be back up and running.

Lizard Squad, the presumed hacker group that claimed credit for the attacks, tweeted out around noon Friday that the attacks were over:

Since then, both Microsoft and Playstation have been working effortlessly (or so they say) to fix the issues plaguing their respective networks. Both companies took to Twitter to inform console owners of their progress.

PSN and Xbox Live responses?

Although both companies have acknowledged the vast complaints and problems that have been reported, neither company has verified the culprit behind the attack. This may be that they are still unsure (not likely) or that they do not wish to concede that they have suffered another cyber attack. Xbox Live was supposedly taken down earlier this month by the same hacker group using denial-of-service attacks.

Many questions on the minds of gamers that have not been able to play their newest games is, why? And the indirect answer from Lizard Squad: denote the incompetence and injustice of Sony and Microsoft’s programming.

This type of statement from the hacker group seems to be defending their actions as righteous and intended to teach the corporations a lesson. But at the same time, the cyber-vigilanteism is also harming millions of innocent users that just like to play games.

Stay tuned to Pixelpine for more updates.

Posted on

PSN and Xbox Live receive hacker attacks and outages for Christmas

More repercussions for Sony; Microsoft along for the ride

Around 3:00 pm on Wednesday, Playstation and Microsoft users began experiencing problems accessing their respective online services, Playstation Network and Xbox Live. Log-in and content purchasing problems and online multiplayer issues were among the most complaints on the PSN and Xbox Live outages.

Lizard Squad, an anonymous hacker group that has previously attacked PSN back in August and earlier this month, has laid claims to this Christmas gift on Twitter:

The hacker squad tweeted out prior to the initial attacks that they were preparing for something big:

After Sony Pictures Entertainment was attacked last month for its controversial upcoming picture The Interview, which centers around the assassination of North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un, Lizard Squad promised another “Christmas gift” if the company released the movie.

After an initial delay, Sony began distributing the movie Thursday in a little over 300 theaters across the United States, and managed to pull in $1.04 million. The movie is also available online.

Xbox Live, which began offering The Interview on demand, was targeted by the hacker group as well. Lizard Squad offered a hint on Twitter on Wednesday of the impending trouble:

On Thursday, reports were flooding the support pages of both Xbox and Playstation for answers as both were experiencing problems. And once again, Lizard Squad had a bit of fun mocking gamers who were attempting to access the PSN and Xbox Live networks on Xbox One and PS4.

Stay tuned to Pixelpine for updates.

Posted on

GTA V on PS4 comfirmed to be 1080p per the latest Official Playstation Magazine (Update – The Xbox Will too)

The beautiful vistas of Los Santos look even better this time around at 1080p.
The beautiful vistas of Los Santos look even better this time around at 1080p.

GTA V’s upgrades in the upcoming next-gen release goes beyond just in-game additions and improvements — a significant visual upgrade will be included as well.

Grand Theft Auto V is coming to Xbox One and Playstation 4 in just a few more weeks, and the newest copy of the Official Playstation Magazine states the game will have a “glimmering 1080p presentation.”

With so many additions — new jobs, more songs, animals in GTA Online, character transfer upgrades, improved driving experience, and new easter eggs that make the title worth a buy (or a second buy), the reveals regarding the game seems to just get better and better.

No details regarding the Xbox One’s resolution or frame rate — nor the PS4’s frame rate, but 30 FPS will likely be the case for both titles. The Xbox One’s resolution may trail slightly behind the PS4 as well, but Rockstar is an incredible developer who might be able to squeeze the Xbox for all it’s worth and match the PS4 resolution… but Xbox fans shouldn’t hold their breath.

GTA V will be available November 18th for both the Xbox One and PS4 and will come to PC in early 2015.

Update: Rockstar’s official report shows that both the Xbox One and PS4 will run at 1080p 30 FPS.

Posted on

Free digital upgrade for Destiny available for previous gen purchases

Bungie and Activision look to be on pace for one of the most successful games in gaming history.
Bungie and Activision look to be on pace for one of the most successful games in gaming history.

For those that are still holding off purchasing either the Xbox One or Playstation 4, Bungie is giving fans an opportunity to easily transfer over their Destiny experience to the new generation.

While some gamers are still holding on to their Xbox 360s or Playstation 3s, they’ll now be able to bring at least one game with them over to the new consoles. Bungie will be giving all buyers of the digital version of Destiny on the Xbox 360 or PS3 the ability to upgrade their game to the new generation for a limited time.

Whether you buy just the base game, the limited edition, or the Ghost edition, you’ll be given the same rendition when you upgrade while all your in-game possessions, stats, and character progression completely transfer over as well.

Even after you transfer to the new console, you’ll still be able to play your game on the previous gen console with no draw-backs.

Bungie and Activision are preparing for a massive blockbuster with Destiny, and their incredible popularity gives them the ability to give fans what is essentially two copies of the game next week as the game releases (September 9th).

Posted on

Tom Clancy’s The Division | new details

Tom Clancy games have commonly taken similar settings and art styles.
Tom Clancy games have commonly taken similar settings and art styles.

Ubisoft has revealed new details for highly anticipated open-world shooter, The Division, and their new specialized engine looks to bring a true next-gen experience to the Xbox One and Playstation 4.

In a world where society has collapsed within days, a classified unit of tactical agents is activated. The Division is designed to protect society after a major collapse.

The narrative within the game is certainly going to be a major key to enjoying the gameplay, but the cooperative experience will likely be the true heart of the game.

With seamless player vs player action developing as you play and player to player trading system as well, the game will likely be best played with friends and allies to support each other.

For those who want to try and different approach to the multiplayer, you’ll also be able to join the game with an app for mobile devices. You’ll play as a small drone that can attack enemies from above and mark targets for your allies.

You’ll be able to customize your character and loot fallen enemies or allies as you battle throughout the collapsed New York City.

“Customize your agent with thousands of weapon types, skill combinations, gear and much more.” (Tom Clancy’s The Division Press Release)

With a city like New York as your world of exploration, the environment should certainly be vast enough to witness a great variety of combat.

 “A persistent and dynamic environment that combines the Tom Clancy series’ core authenticity and tactical decisions, RPG action, trading and much more” 

Powering that the lighting effects and procedural destruction of that dynamic environment is Ubisoft’s new Snowdrop game engine. This new engine may be the most exciting quality the game has. The Snowdrop engine is “tailor-made for next-gen consoles” and because of that next-gen focus, Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment can bring a truly remarkable experience to the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PCs in 2015.

Posted on

A remastered Resident Evil is en route to Xbox One and Playstation 4

The original Resident Evil will be undergoing an astounding visual upgrade.
The original Resident Evil will be undergoing an astounding visual upgrade.

Capcom is returning to the roots of the Resident Evil series with a new remastered version of the original Resident Evil.

It’s been nearly two decades since the release of Resident Evil and twelve years since the release of the remake back in 2002. The incredible presence it gave to the survival-horror genre is certainly not forgotten, and Capcom will be looking to give former fans and newcomers alike an exciting and delightfully creepy experience to follow through.

With incredible resolution improvements, new 3D model tech, and options to opt for either the classic 4:3 aspect ratio or the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, the remastered third person thriller looks to create an even more immersive experience. For fans that want to keep in touch with the classic roots, the original control scheme will be available to select as well as a new updated control scheme that fits with more contemporary styles.

Get ready to revisit Raccoon City as Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine and take on the terror uncovered within the city.

Coming 2015, the remastered Resident Evil will be available on PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, and Playstation 3.

Posted on

Can a videogame “Netflix” work?

Playstation Now gives PS4 owners access to old Playstation 1, 2, & 3 games through a videogame streaming service.
Playstation Now gives PS4 owners access to old Playstation 1, 2, & 3 games through a videogame streaming service.

It’s only $8.99 a month and gives you some of the best shows, movies, and documentaries. With nearly 30 million customers, you’re bound to know at least one person who uses Netflix, but as the new generation of consoles focuses more and more on digitally downloaded games, is now the perfect time for a videogame “Netflix” to arise?

Currently the only popular videogame rental service, Gamefly, requires you to play with the physical disc, while also limiting the amount of games you can possess at one time. It’s not a particularly bad deal, but it is a far cry from the convenience and practicality of a digital focused service like Netflix or Hulu Plus.

Onlive has attempted the streaming approach with relatively disappointing results. Their pricing plan was ideal at $14.99 a month, and their selection of games was solid as well, but the latency was far too significant for the average gamer to handle.

Onlive got the foundation of a game-streaming service right, but it isn't good enough for wide-spread popularity right now.
Onlive got the foundation of a game-streaming service right, but it isn’t good enough for wide-spread popularity right now.

The $14.99 a month price point seems very reasonable and should be where the company who inevitably will attempt a gaming subscription service should aim.

But right now it seems a streaming game service is out of the question — unless one of the big three game companies’ server capacity is truly up to one of the biggest tests you could imagine.

But you don’t necessarily need to stream the games. You just need to be able to play them within a time frame quicker than the week it takes for gamefly to deliver. The next logical conclusion would be to simply download each game one at a time and store them on your hard drive until your subscription to the service ends.

One of the greatest concerns for a user would be their internet service struggling to keep up with the large downloads. With most videogames being as large as 40 or even 50 GB, a high quality internet connection would be a must to give users a streamlined experience. This puts a major hole in the idea of a videogame “Netflix,” but it doesn’t entirely deter the idea.

For movies that stream through Netflix, or any streaming service for that matter, you receive content that is instantly processed and enjoyed. Videogames are certainly different. With their inclusion of a single player story that can last for multiple days, and a multiplayer gamemode that lasts for as long as the player enjoys it, the amount of content received through a single game download is much greater than that of a movie. Waiting an hour or two for a game to download becomes a lot more reasonable when you look at the content you receive.

If a service like this were to form, it would likely start with either Microsoft or Sony. The Playstation 4 is experimenting with Playstation Now, which streams games to the console and shows similarities to the Netflix model. The Xbox One continues to grow their ‘Azure’ servers system, and seems more prepared in regards to their server capacity. With Microsoft’s focus on digital gaming and the introduction of EA Access, it may be best for the videgame “Netflix” to begin on Xbox One.

EA Access gives Xbox One owners a small collection of the top EA games as well as other discounts for $5 a month.
EA Access gives Xbox One owners a small collection of the top EA games as well as other discounts for $5 a month.

So yes, a videogame “Netflix” can work, but it would need a different approach and a lot of commitment on the part of what ever company is up to the task.

Most would say a streaming/on-demand gaming subscription service likely won’t fully develop into a feasible, easy-to-use product for some time, but with the love of Netflix so prominent and the greater focus on digitally downloaded games this generation (EA Access, Playstation Now, etc.), it shouldn’t be a surprise if it comes sooner than you might expect.