PlayStation 3 Hack Released Online

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

On Friday, George Hotz, best known for cracking Apple’s iPhone, said he had managed to hack the PlayStation 3 after five weeks of work with ‘very simple hardware cleverly applied, and some not so simple software.’ Days later, he has now released the exploit, saying in a blog post that he wanted to see what others could do with it.

‘Hopefully, this will ignite the PS3 scene, and you will organize and figure out how to use this to do practical things, like the iPhone when jailbreaks were first released,’ he wrote. ‘I have a life to get back to and can’t keep working on this all day and night.

Source: Slashdot


Google Might Get Into Hosted Gaming Via YouTube

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

There’s an interesting patent application from Google (GOOG) that was published earlier this month titled Web-Based System for Generation of Interactive Games Based on Digital Videos. Filed February 19, 2009 and published earlier this month, it describes a way to provide “the collaborative generation of interactive features for digital videos, and in particular to interactive video annotations enabling control of video playback locations and creation of interactive games.” And when you read through the description, it becomes clear that the games could be built atop videos submitted to a hosting site, which makes it sound as though Google plans to extend YouTube site into an associated gaming site


Mom calls cops for help with son’s gaming addiction

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A 14-year-old boy’s mother had enough with her son’s gaming over the weekend. After turning off the console hoping he would stop gaming, she called police to ask for their help in solving her son’s “addiction.”

Angela Mejia had enough with her son’s gaming when she found him playing Grand Theft Auto at 2:30 a.m. She told him to go to sleep, but he refused.

“Sometimes I want to run away, too,” Mejia told the Boston Herald. “I have support from my church, but I’m alone. I want to help my son, but I can’t find a way.”

After unplugging her son’s game console, she decided to call 911. Police came to Mejia’s home and coaxed the boy into going to sleep.


‘Spore’ set for the big screen

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Hit video game “Spore” is set to evolve onto the big screen as an animated movie, entertainment press reported Friday.

Daily Variety said Twentieth Century Fox was developing the film with video game publisher Electronic Arts. “Ice Age” film-maker Chris Wedge is set to direct, Variety reported.

“From every perspective — visually, thematically and comedically — the world of ‘Spore’ provides the potential to put something truly original on the screen,” Wedge was quoted as saying.

More than 65 million creatures have been created by players since “Spore” was released.


Nintendo cutting Wii price by $50 to $200

Filed under: — Aviran

Nintendo on Sunday will cut the price of its popular Wii console by $50, in a bid to broaden its appeal among potential new customers as it prepares to release the Wii Fit-Plus and New Super Mario Bros. games.

The Wii, whose game control senses motions without having relying solely on buttons and levers, is the top selling console worldwide. The new $199.99 Wii will include the Wii Remote controller, Nunchuk controller and Wii Sports software.

“Our research shows there are 50 million Americans thinking about becoming gamers, and this more affordable price point and our vast array of new software mean many of them can now make the leap and find experiences that appeal to them,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales & marketing, in a statement late Wednesday.

Sony to launch new motion controller next spring

Filed under: — Aviran

Sony is planning a spring release of its new motion controller for the PlayStation 3 video game console.

The controller, a prototype of which Sony unveiled in June, will work with the existing PlayStation Eye camera, which can track players’ voices, faces and body motion. The controller, in turn, has on its end a light-emitting sphere that can be recognized by the PlayStation Eye camera.

Sony did not say how much the controller will cost.

Motion controllers let people play video games without complex buttons and levers. They were popularized by Nintendo Co.’s Wii when the console launched in 2006.

Now Sony Corp. is pushing past that technology, as is Microsoft Corp. with its own motion control device, “Project Natal.” Natal, which combines a camera, depth sensor, microphone and processor, eliminates the need for any button-mashing device. Microsoft has not yet set a release date for Natal.

Sony’s announcement came in the heels of Nintendo’s decision to cut the price of the Wii by $50, to $200 beginning Sunday.


Startup lets you play console video games remotely

Filed under: — Aviran

As any a video game aficionado knows, it’s easy to pop a game into your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 and spend hours working your way from one level to the next. Without the hefty console, though, you’re out of luck if you want to keep blasting those aliens while away from home.

A startup called Spawn Labs thinks it has a solution to this problem. Starting Monday, the Austin, Texas-based company began selling a box that is much like a Slingbox - a device that lets you watch your home TV remotely - for video gaming.

Spawn Labs’ HD-720 costs $200, or about the same price as Microsoft’s cheapest Xbox console. Unlike playing a video game on a Web site, when the box is connected to one of several different gaming systems you can remotely access any video game disc already inside, along with any games stored on the console’s hard drive.

You can connect the HD-720 to up to two video game systems, including an Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3, and to a TV set to play games at home. If you install Spawn Labs’ free software on a computer, you can then log in to the company’s Web site and play games remotely in real time, using a video game controller plugged into one of the computer’s USB ports or a keyboard.


Microsoft drops price of Xbox 360 Elite, kills Pro

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

On the heels of Sony reducing the price of its PlayStation 3 and announcing the PlayStation 3 Slim, Microsoft announced Thursday that it too will be dropping the price of its console.

Starting Friday, the Xbox 360 Elite will be priced at $299, $100 cheaper than its current price. The Xbox 360 Pro, which currently retails for $299 will be priced at $249 starting Friday. Once retailers sell through their entire stock of Xbox 360 Pro units, that SKU will no longer be offered by the hardware maker.

Going forward, Microsoft will offer only the $299 Xbox 360 Elite with its 120GB hard drive, and the $199 Xbox 360 Arcade which comes bundled with five games and a 256MB memory unit.


Sony cuts price of PS3 by $100

Filed under: — Aviran

Sony Corp.’s move to cut the price of its PlayStation 3 console by $100 comes well ahead of the holiday season and should boost sales not just for Sony but the video game industry as a whole during this important period.

The 80-gigabyte PS3 will now cost $299 and a slimmer, lighter one is planned for the same price. Consumers have long been waiting for the price cuts, and sales have lagged in recent months as a result.


Video game site lets players bet on their skills

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Although you can win or lose real money, BringIt.com is not considered online gambling, and it’s legal in 39 states.

The site, which lets players challenge other gamers for money, says it is different from online poker and other games of chance because video games are considered a game of skill.

BringIt is set to emerge from its “beta” test version in the next few days. It’s free to sign up, provided you are at least 18. The site makes money by taking a 10 percent cut from people’s wagers and a $4 fee from winners when they withdraw their loot.

Founder and CEO Woody Levin, 30, said most of the players on BringIt play for small amounts of money, $5 or $10. It’s not really for “hardcore, crazy gamers,” he said, but rather, people who “want to put their money where their mouth is, a little bit.”

To ensure that first-time players don’t go pawning engagement rings, BringIt limits players’ entry fees to $25 for the first 10 games they play. The limit increases in steps until it reaches $500.

BringIt supports the PlayStation 2, the PS3, the Xbox 360 and the Wii. Players challenge each other on the site, but play on their consoles. BringIt holds players’ entry fees until the game is finished. After the game is done, it verifies the results and credits the winner, minus the service fee.


Hollywood sends 3D home - in videogames

Filed under: — Aviran

Coming to a living room near you — 3D videogames.

A spate of summer blockbuster movies like Disney/Pixar’s “Up,” 20th Century Fox’s”Ice Age: Dawn of Dinosaurs” and the upcoming Disney “G-Force” movie have introduced moviegoers to the latest stereoscopic 3D technology.

Now videogames are following suit, with moves to bring the third dimension home as some of the biggest names in Hollywood work on 3D videogames expanding on the stories of their 3D films.

Disney Interactive Studios’ “G-Force” game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, based on Jerry Bruckheimer’s live action 3D film featuring secret agent guinea pigs, will use Anaglyph 3D, the traditional red and blue glasses from the 1950s 3D craze.

Disney is using this same technology on a Wii game due out in fall, “Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story Midway Mania,” which is based on the Walt Disney World and Disneyland 4D theme park ride and comes out alongside the movie “Toy Story 3D” in October.

Pushing 3D technology even further, Ubisoft has developed proprietary stereoscopic 3D technology — the clear polarized glasses movie theater patrons receive these days — for “James Cameron’s Avatar” game.

The action game, which was shown behind closed doors at E3 in Los Angeles last month, will be the first Hollywood-licensed game to introduce stereoscopic 3D to gamers.


VirtualBox 3.0 Beta Adds Gaming-Level Graphics

Filed under: — Aviran

Windows/Mac/Linux: If you’re a gamer or heavy graphics user of virtual machines, VirtualBox 3.0 has an early beta out that introduces OpenGL 2.0 and Direct3D support. If you have no clue what that means, the release has other goodies, too.

The graphics support for Windows, Linux, and Solaris guest machines are the marquee features in the upcoming 3.0 release, but a lot of other fixes and tweaks are looking to make the cut, too, including a streamlined settings window, better synchronization of shared folders between Linux and Windows host/guest setups, and continued optimizing of virtual processors. The OpenGL and Direct3D additions will, of course, depend heavily on your hardware, and how much video memory you allot to your virtual machines, but it should clear up quite a few compatibility problems.

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