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  1. New Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Trailer Revs You Up for More

    Valve has released a new trailer for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which is coming to Steam, PSN, and Xbox Live Arcade on Tuesday. While some folks may never let go of whatever specific version of Counter-Strike they've been playing all this time, the rest of us are going to go try something new. Also, it's worth noting that the entire video was made in Source Filmmaker, Valve's free video editor.

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  2. Awesomenauts is Awesome

    You may have recently heard of Awesomenauts, a PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade game that, unfortunately, might have gotten more press from its publisher, dtp entertainment, filing for insolvency a few days before the game released than because of the game itself. Well, I'm here to tell you that Awesomenauts takes a cue from its name.

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  3. Journey is One of the Best Games You’ll Ever Play [Review]

    Every now and then, you hear the old "can video games be art" discussion pop up, and as times goes on, the answer becomes more of a resounding "yes, stop asking," than something more nebulous. From the very first moment Thatgamecompany's downloadable PlayStation Network adventure Journey was shown off years ago, the video game world knew it would be one of those "art" games. It finally released to the masses on March 13, and not only is the game one of the best examples of video games as art, but it's one of the industry's finest instances of gaming.

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  4. PlayStation Network Goes Down Today for Maintenance

    Just a quick reminder for all you PlayStation Network users: The PSN will go down today for what sounds like a piece of heavy-duty maintenance. While previous maintenance outages have been limited in scope, today's will be different. According to Sony, users logged into the network prior to the outage will be signed out and no user will be able to login once the outage begins. And it will go on for quite a while.

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  5. The Embargo on Journey Lifted, Everyone Loves It

    It pains me to be writing this post in such a way, but way back when, I didn't make it into the Journey beta. This time around, I didn't receive any sort of review copy or early release. So, while my likely fangasmic review will be coming sometime shortly after the official release date of March 13 and no matter how broke I am, I will have $14.99, that isn't now, so we'll have to check in on the rest of the Internet. They love it, if you're wondering. Just how much, after the break.

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  6. Jet Set Radio to Come to XBLA and PSN? Yes Please

    As a die-hard Sega fan who had a Dreamcast and of all its games, pretty much the only one I ever have the urge to go back and play regularly is Jet Set Radio (or Jet Grind Radio, as it's blasphemously called here in the states). With its awesome art style, off-beat subject matter and approach, and its incredible, incredible soundtrack, Jet Set Radio is probably one of the most under-appreciated franchises ever, which is why its so heartening to learn that it's coming to XBLA and PSN.

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  7. What Will Probably be the Best PSN Game Ever, Journey, Finally Gets Release Date, Price

    After a very long, excruciating wait, thatgamecompany's Journey has finally been dated and priced. The game will release on the PSN, soon-to-be dubbed SEN, on March 13, 2012 in the U.S., and will cost you a most likely very well spent $14.99. All signs point to this game being one of the best game releases in a long while, regardless of its cheap price tag and digital download only status, so you probably want to mark that date on your calendar, and hide an emergency $14.99 somewhere just in case.

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  8. The Entire PlayStation Network (PSN) Rebranding as Sony Entertainment Network (SEN)

    Move over, venerable PlayStation Network, for Sony doesn't dig the sound of you anymore, and you shall forever be known as the Sony Entertainment Network (until Sony doesn't like the sound of that and changes it to something else). Starting tomorrow, February 7, all PSN accounts will be rebranded as SEN accounts. This shouldn't affect users too much, other than having to associate everything they thought they once knew with the SEN. Sony assures its users that this change is only a name change, and users' account information will stay the same.

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  9. Hackers Try To Hack PSN Accounts, Sony Fends Them Off

    Yesterday, a post on the Playstation blog reported that there was recently a hacking attempt against Sony online network family. It appears that the neer-do-wells managed to liberate a list of accounts and passwords from an unknown third-party and proceeded to throw them up against the PSN, SOE and, SEN walls to see if anything stuck. A scant 93,000 accounts (thats less than .1% of the global user base)  were affected, and Sony reports that those accounts were locked down with all due haste; very few had the chance to be active before being locked. Also, no credit card numbers are at risk. Phew. Considering their track record with this kind of stuff, it's good to see Sony be upfront about exactly what's going on with them. Of course, it also looks really good in this case, because they seem to have taken care of it well and it totally isn't their fault. The announcement stresses that Sony will reimburse any purchases that are confirmed to be unauthorized and also stresses the importance of using unique login-password pairings, gently suggesting "If your account was affected, it's kind of your own fault." It kind of is.

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  10. New PlayStation Network Terms of Service Don't Allow You to Take Sony to Court

    Today, Sony is asking PlayStation Network members (re: anyone who has ever made an account on their PS3 or PSP to log online) to agree to a new Terms of Service as part of Sony's unification of their online entertainment services. The PSN will be rolled into the Sony Entertainment Network, which shouldn't really affect users very much other than having to hear or see the new name every so often, except for one little detail. The new Terms of Service that PSN users will have to agree to in order to continue using the PlayStation Network includes a tidbit stating that users cannot take Sony to court over a dispute, and instead, must settle things with Sony outside of court. Most users will probably just immediately agree to the new terms without ever reading them, an act of which every single one of us is guilty, but hey, we really want to get online already, okay? If Futurama taught us anything, it is never leave your dog outside of your pizza place while you travel through time, never to return, but more recently, you never know what kind of terms are in an agreement and you should probably read them.

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  11. Call of Duty Elite Has a Price and that Price is $50

    The wait is over. Everything you ever wanted to know about Call of Duty's new social-networking, stat-tracking, DLC-content-delivering service, Elite, is now known to the public. Where do we start? For the sake of background, let's cover some of the features. Elite will allow users to track all kind of in-depth stats like weapon analysis, personal leaderboards, perk and screenshot sharing, advanced clan support and even video coaching in the form of tips and tricks. It also comes part and parcel with forthcoming MW3 DLC, all for the low, low price of $50.

    Is that such a low, low price? When Elite was announced, we were all assured that it would cost less than the "fees for comparable online-entertainment services," and to a certain extent that seems to be true. That's cheaper than a year of Xbox Live, PSN Plus, or Netflix, but the thing is that Elite gives you MW3 and nothing else. When you take the variety of content into account (or lack thereof) the comparability to other online services kind of dies down. Still, if you take your Modern Warfare extremely seriously, this pack will have things you'll want, and if you were going to get the DLC anyway, you might as well pick up the rest of the perks by purchasing Elite. Just beware, once they start getting you to subscribe to things, they're going to keep trying to do it over and over again.

    If that wasn't enough, Modern Warfare 3 is getting its own specially designed Xbox 360 model too. Check out a picture after the jump.

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  12. Spanish Police Reportedly Arrest 3 Men Suspected of PSN Hack

    According to the New York Times, Spanish police have detained three men "suspected of computer hacking in connection with recent cyberattacks on Sony’s PlayStation Network as well as corporate and government Web sites around the world." Sony's PSN woes have been the tech security fiasco of the year to this point, with the online gaming network brought down for more than a month following a breach that may left "customer names, addresses, usernames, passwords and as many as 2.2 million credit card numbers" exposed.

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  13. PlayStation Store Returns, PSN Now Fully Operational

    Our collective international nightmare is finally at an end: Sony made good on their promise and the PlayStation Store has been reactivated since being brought down during the great PSN hack of 2011. The PlayStation Store was the final piece of PSN that had yet to be reactivated since having the plug pulled back in April. From the PlayStation blog:

    The PlayStation Store is back online and thank you everyone for your patience. You will notice a huge lineup of new downloadable games, demos, add-on content, themes, avatars and videos. Also, PlayStation Plus has been updated with new full game trials, free games and DLC, free avatars and even more discounts.
    But if you're looking for your "Welcome Back" goodies, with which Sony hopes to buy back your trust and loyalty, you'll have to wait a little longer. (via PlayStation blog)

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  14. The PlayStation Store, Including the Rest of PSN Services, Relaunching By End of Week

    Reported straight from Sony's official PlayStation Blog, they expect the rest of the currently missing PlayStation Network services to return by the end of the week, which includes the most important part of the PSN besides online gaming -- the PlayStation Store. Sony plans to fully restore PSN services in the Americas, Europe/PAL territories and Asia (excluding Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea) by the end of this week. Yes, if the store isn't restored today, then Sony's original May 31 deadline for restoring the store will have passed, and yes, that does mean they missed yet another deadline that they set themselves regarding PSN service restoration, and yes, that means this new deadline might not mean anything either. No one would blame anyone for not exactly expecting full PSN services back by this new deadline, but hey, they've already been gone for so long, the estimated "by the end of this week" deadline seems spot on. I mean, what else is there to do, right? Right? Let me give you my money already, Sony! Jeez. (via PlayStation Blog)

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  15. PlayStation Network Hopes to Bribe You to Forgive Them

    For better or worse, it seems like the PlayStation Network is slowly recovering from its unannounced demise at the hands of some rogue hackers that may or may not be associated with the Anonymous hacker group. Barring some leftover exploitation of the computer’s password reset page, there’s been little to report in the way of horrible things happening to Sony as of late. That’s because they’re preparing to completely re-launch it all.

    Who knows what’s going to happen during the Sony presser at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in just less than two weeks. But we do know they are not just ignoring the crisis they, as a company, endured either.  Through a special Welcome Back promotion, they’re going to be offering two free downloads of a small list of popular games to show some kind of appreciation to their returning customers. In addition, they will be offering a month of PlayStation Plus access. That’s all supposed to happen at some nebulous point after the store comes back online. As of writing this, that has yet to happen. The store is still, as they put it, “undergoing maintenance” until further notice. Even so, the list includes some impressive titles. LittleBigPlanet and inFAMOUS are two major contenders for the absolute best of what’s being offered. Those are two titles that, regardless of other circumstances, one should probably be pleased with adding to one’s collection of well-crafted games. But that’s part of the problem.

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  16. It Never Ends: PlayStation Network Password Page Was Compromised

    A couple of days ago, we reported that Japanese authorities weren't allowing Sony to turn on the PlayStation Network in Japan because they felt Sony's promised security countermeasures were not yet completed. Well, it turns out said authorities may have been correct, as Nyleveia first reported and Eurogamer has seen video evidence that Sony's PlayStation Network password page was compromised. The hack allowed anyone to change any account password, so long as said account's email and date of birth was known, regardless of if said account had its password changed when the PSN returned. If a culprit did not know an account's email address or date of birth, said account remained safe, though the problem here is that the PSN went down precisely because that information -- along with a load of other sensitive information -- was obtained through the initial hack. Eurogamer reports they have seen video evidence that verifies the password hack worked, but luckily, Sony took down the password page shortly after Nyleveia began reporting the hack. As of now, users will still be able to sign into the PSN via their PlayStation 3 or PSP, but Nyleveia suggests "that everyone, regardless of if they have been affected or not, create a new password and change their account email to one they do not use anywhere else, and will not be sharing with anyone else just for additional security." (Nyleveia via Eurogamer)

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  17. PlayStation Network Free Games Detailed

    Not too long after the PlayStation Network went down, Sony promised two free games from a list of PS3 and PSP games, as well as 30 days of free PlayStation Plus service. Sony has officially released the details over on the PlayStation Blog, and they're not throwaway titles after all, though they may be titles you already own.

    Shortly after the PlayStation Store has returned (rumored to return by the end of this week), the following list of titles will be available to choose from for 30 days:

    • Dead Nation (PS3)
    • inFAMOUS (PS3)
    • LittleBigPLanet (PS3)
    • Super Stardust HD (PS3)
    • Wipeout HD + Fury (PS3)
    • LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
    • ModNation Racers (PSP)
    • Pursuit Force (PSP)
    • Killzone Liberation (PSP)
    Along with two of the above titles of your choice, Sony will be offering a free 30 days of PlayStation Plus membership, existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive a free 60 days, PlayStation Home will be offering users over 100 free virtual items, existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an additional 30 days, existing members of Music Unlimited Premium and Basic will receive an additional 30 days of service as well as additional days to cover time lost from the outage, and a selection of "On Us" movie rentals will be made available over one weekend that has yet to be named.

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  18. Japan Prevents Sony From Turning On the PlayStation Network

    Even though the PlayStation Network officially returned yesterday in North America and Europe, the service remains down in its homeland of Japan because Japanese authorities do not believe Sony's promised security countermeasures have been completed. Kazushige Nobutani, director of the Media and Content Industry department at the Ministry of Economy, states they met with Sony on both May 6 and 13 and wanted two things, the first being "preventative measures. As of May 13, Sony was incomplete in exercising measures that they said they will do on the May 1 press conference," and claims that he could not disclose exactly what the preventative measures are due to security reasons. The second topic discussed was how Sony will attempt to regain customer confidence after the hack and leak of subscriber personal information. Nobutani claims, "There were similar cases in the past that were caused by other firms, and we are asking Sony whether their measures are good enough when compared to countermeasures taken in the past," making Japan's blockage of the PSN seem a little overcautious, in that Sony's strategy for regaining customer trust should have more to do with marketing than security measures.

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  19. PlayStation Network Returns

    The PlayStation Network is back, thus ending a monthlong nightmare of having to play the passionately-crafted storymode of games and being forced to buy our games in tangible form at retail stores, having to put on clothes and interact with people. As of last night, Sony rolled out firmware update 3.61, which, after downloading and forcing users to change their previously hacked PSN passwords, allowed us back onto the network so we could obsessively compare our trophies with buddies on our friends list and finally get to PS3 Portal 2 co-op. The soothing green in the map above represents which regions have had PSN service restored. Last night when the announcement first hit the Internet, only a small portion of the northeastern United States was illuminated, though as one can see from the above map, service should be restored to rest of the country as of this morning. The official PlayStation Blog reports that if you are within a region that is supposed to have regained PSN service, but do not currently actually have PSN service, nothing is wrong, and the rollout may just take a bit of time to hit your area. The PlayStation Blog also reports that if there are certain features that are still down, such as the PlayStation Store, they are working on getting said feature(s) up as soon as possible. And what about those free games and service subscriptions Sony promised us as an apology for the PSN outage? Well, they haven't been announcement yet, but Kaz Hirai himself assured us the packages will be announced within the coming days, and that they will be region specific. Head on past the break to see Kaz Hirai's official announcement of the PSN's restoration, then quickly hop into Portal 2 and get testing. GLaDOS can't wait all day.

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  20. Report: PlayStation Network to Be ‘Fully’ Rebooted by May 31

    On April 30, Sony announced via its blog that PlayStation Network service would be back within a week: Well, it's May 9th, so so much for that. According to Bloomberg, Sony's plan "to restart the services fully by May 31 is unchanged," but a Sony exec said the company is "uncertain when it can resume the services." Meanwhile, a Wall Street Journal report, taken in conjunction with a new Playstation Blog posting, explains the unsurprising reason for the delay: More security testing, which is not a bad idea considering that Sony may already have opened itself up to waves of class-action lawsuits on account of the initial breach. Sony:

    Based on what we knew, we expected to have the services online within a week. We were unaware of the extent of the attack on Sony Online Entertainment servers, and we are taking this opportunity to conduct further testing of the incredibly complex system. We know many of you are wanting to play games online, chat with your friends and enjoy all of the services PlayStation Network and Qriocity services have to offer, and trust me when I say we’re doing everything we can to make it happen. We will update you with more information as soon as we have it. We apologize for the delay and inconvenience of this network outage.
    (Bloomberg via USA Today, WSJ. title pic via Penny Arcade.)

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