So remember back, after the big Sony hacking fiasco, when Sony pushed a PlayStation Network update that required all users to surrender their right to sue Sony? Well now Sony is getting sued over it. There were a lot of questions about whether the move to include the clause was actually legal, and now we're set to find out. Sony did provide a way to opt-out of the clause, but it was hard to find and even harder to excute; you had to send them a letter snail-mail, which as we all know, is an activity bordering on impossible. Seriously though, it's kind of a pain and that was a pretty sketchy move on Sony's part.
In a move to make Xbox Live a more useful and active social network outside of simply playing games with your buddies, Microsoft has released a new Xbox Live app. Of course, this app has been around on the Windows Phone for a while, but now Microsoft is aiming for a larger audience, and in doing so, creating some content for their chief rival: They've created an iOS app. The app is available for free and lets you do stuff like mess with your avatar, stare at your achievements, and chat with your Xbox Live friends.
Things We Saw TodayIt's that time of year. The time of year you need to think of stuff to bring to parties. Bring a batch of Superhero Men and Women and no one will ever forget you. Learn how to make them on Sugar Swings. (via GeekMom) Now what else did we see today...
As you may be aware, Kmart accidentally started selling some copies of the much awaited Modern Warfare 3 yesterday, ahead of its November 8th release date. The mistake was discovered pretty early on, and the sales were stopped, but there were still a number of copies that managed to make it out into the wild, and what happens when a commodity like this becomes available in a very limited quantity? eBay-ing, and lots of it.
The Microsoft Zune is officially dead and will no longer be produced according to a Microsoft posting on the Zune support pages. One might argue (and fairly successfully) that the Zune has been effectively dead for years now and since the iPhone changed the mobile music landscape and took what little weight was on the Zune's shoulders and placed it squarely on Windows Phone 7. What makes it officially dead is that Microsoft seems to have come to that conclusion as well. From Microsoft's statement:
We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players. So what does this mean for our current Zune users? Absolutely nothing. Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today. And we will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices. Customer service has been, and will remain a top priority for us.
Word on the street is that Microsoft is in talks with various content companies, Comcast, and Verizon about getting some TV content for its Xbox Live service. The initial report comes from Bloomberg, which reports that an Xbox Live streaming content service might be announced as early as next week, according to someone who is not authorized to speak publicly on the topic. According to another report by Digiday, Microsoft is also working on an agreement with Comcast whereby Xbox Live users can sign up (and pay) for Comcast content that can be streamed through the system itself. As for now, Xbox Live users can get streaming content through Netflix or purchase movie and show rentals through the Zune Store. It makes sense though, that Xbox would want to broker some streaming deals of its own so it can get a little closer to the real action (and the real money).
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.
Things We Saw TodayMore images at BuzzFeed. Also: George Takei has tweeted instructions on how to donate $10 to the Red Cross via text message:
Reportedly, hackers figured out a fairly easy method to obtain free Microsoft Points, which supposedly cost Microsoft up to $1.2 million. Generally, as any soul without a dime to his or her name but really wants some DLC is aware, there are various sites that offer free MS Points after one fills out various surveys (their legitimacy usually in question), but this method discovered by hackers actually worked: They found an algorithm to add to used MS Points codes which would generate fresh codes that users could exchange for MS Points. Supposedly, not every single generated code would work, but a majority of them did, which resulted in people continually generating and amassing new, 160MSP codes.
Along with the site that offered the generated codes, a program was released--via the general piracy community--that would generate and obtain the codes for users, which offered the choice between 160MSP codes, or a code for a Halo: Reach Banshee avatar prop or a 48 hour Xbox Live trial.
Microsoft quickly discovered and subsequently squashed the exploit, though one user of the exploit claimed he managed to steal about $150 in MS Points in 20 minutes of attempts. For more details on the exploit, head on over to The Tech Game forums, which is where the exploit originated.
A Microsoft representative responded to the situation, claiming that the exploit resulted in much less stolen money than the reported $1.2 million figure, and gave a pretty uninteresting response regarding how they will handle punishing the guilty parties:
At least Microsoft claims they will accurately evaluate and punish the appropriate parties, rather than the way certain other ridiculously popular teams handle money hacks.
(Save And Quit via GamesIndustry.biz)
Angry Birds, somewhat of a phenomenon of mobile gaming where you fling birds at structures that house hiding pigs, is headed out of the mobile market and toward the console market. Developer Rovio is planning on releasing Angry Birds for the PlayStation Network, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii.