Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weekly Famitsu interviews Nobuo Uematsu

   This week's issue of Weekly Famitsu features an interview with Nobuo Uematsu where the famous Final Fantasy composer talks about his recent work and current projects. In an old issue of Next Generation Magazine, I recall Nobuo talking about how he worked at a music store where he was "discovered" by a Squaresoft employee. Nobuo figured he'd make some extra cash freelancing for Square while keeping his day job at the shop. The rest is history...

    I'm not sure what Nobuo is wearing on his head for the interview though. It looks like mesh or or maybe a fishnet that he saved from the ocean. Someone in our office said it might be a potato sack but I told her to shut up. A potato sack doesn't have the fine intricate weaving that is evident on the garment that Nobuo has appointed upon his storied head. Whatever it is, you keep going Nobuo and continue creating those sweet melodies that ring in millions of homes around the world.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nintendo 3DS

   After months of speculation on the Nintendo 3DS, a torrent of news was released overnight which sets the release date of Ninty's new DS for February 2011 in Japan. The rest of the world will get the 3DS in March. Pricing was set at JPY25000 which is about $298 based on this morning's exchange rate.

   Destructoid was kind enough to gather together all of last night's news from Nintendo on one convenient page. I'm psyched about the new Zelda Skyward Sword on the Wii but the announcement of a new installment of Rhythm Heaven which is going to appear on the Wii is great news. Can you say, "Wii Remote rhythm action?" I knew you could. Good dog.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

AOL Buys TechCrunch

   The company I work for owns about 2000 shares of AOL from Time Warner's spinoff last year. Based on today's rise of about $0.68 in AOL shares, the company made about $1400 on paper. I'm not privvy to the firm's complete holdings but I get to open the mail every once in a while so it's all good. AOL's buying technology blog Tech Crunch for what appears to be $25 million. In Tiernan Ray's Barron's article on the acquisition today, he writes:

"AOL’s official release doesn’t disclose terms. Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson says sources close to AOL say the company has said it paid $25 million for TechCrunch. A CNBC report this afternoon, however, pegs the figure at $40 million.
Carlson thinks the figure is surprisingly low, given that TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington has said the company’s revenue is running at $10 million a year."

   Carlson might want to ratchet down his valuations of news sites. If Tech Crunch is bringing in $10 million in revenue every year, a 2.5X buyout isn't out of the ordinary for a network of news sites. Tech Crunch also operates MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, TechCrunchIT, GreenTech, TechCrunchTV and CrunchBase.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Fast Striker for Dreamcast

   I'll preface today's post by saying I'm not a big fan of NG:DEV Team's shooters. They look good but something's missing in the gameplay. I'm supposed to hype the game up to drum up preorders for my company but I'm not going to do that. NG:DEV's next game is going to sell based on its own merits and J-Sonoma isn't going to pump anything.

   Admittedly, the Youtube video that they uploaded looks pretty good but I'm going to reserve judgment until we get the game and put it to the test. The official website for the Fast Striker shows off a bunch of screenshots and the stages have that unique European visual style. I've seen it in old time European Commodore 64 games, Amiga games, and anyone remember the Atari ST? It's a distinctive visual style that I like but it might not suit gamers who are used to the clean and crisp lines of a shooter like Gradius Gaiden.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jailbreak Clones Hit $10

   PS3 Jailbreak clones are being dumped into the market and they're $10 in bulk. That's cheaper than I thought they'd reach since my last price update but as of last night, the prices of the Atmel-based Jailbreak clones reached $10 if you buy in quantities of 200 pieces and up. The updated prices look like this:

Qty         Price
50pcs      US$15/pc
100pcs    US$12/pc
200pcs    US$10/pc

   In another week, I wouldn't be surprised if the biggest discount is $7.50 for 200+ pieces. This is what I would call a market in flux because the price is dropping so quickly from week to week. Eventually, the Jailbreak clones will reach a stable market price which I would assume is $5. From the original Jailbreak price of $160 to $5 in about a month. Is that a highly efficient market pricing mechanism or what?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sony to Unlicensed Controllers: F.U.

   You know that knockoff PS3 controller from Hong Kong that you bought for $10? The one with the fake Playstation logo and the rubbery d-pad? Thanks to Sony's recent firmware update to v3.50, that PS3 knockoff controller has been rendered obsolete. It won't work and the Playstation 3 won't recognize it as a controller. Sony's official word:

"SCEA does not support continued functionality of counterfeit or unlicensed controllers in system software updates and these devices may cease to function in the future because of system software updates."

I normally support Sony but this is a nutty move. Locking out unlicensed controllers makes sense from a business perspective in that it forces consumers to purchase officially licensed controllers which Sony earns revenue and licensing revenue from to fill the corporate coffers. However, from a common sense standpoint, it creates a lot of pissed off customers who're going to be flooding Sony's customer help line with complaints that their knockoff controllers no longer work. That's a nightmare scenario for their phone staff as well as their online support staff who have to answer the same question from a few thousand people.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pirates Smack Down Capcom's PC SSFIV plans

   It's easy to pirate on the PC. EASY. Of course, I've never done it but I have friends who do that shit. My neighbors pirate too. My cousin does it but I don't do it. I'm in the industry by way of my employer so I see first-hand how piracy affects software sales and our livelihood. 

   It's easy to pirate on the PC so it's no big surprise that Capcom has scrapped its plans to release Super Street Fighter IV on computers. Sales for the original Street Fighter IV on PC were good but Capcom reckons they could've been so much better if it wasn't for torrents, Rapidshare, newsgroups, and binsearch allowing anyone to leech the game and play without paying a damn dime. That sort of thing got in Capcom's craw. Sort of like how Jailbreak is busting on Sony's craw. So, what is the consequence of all that PC SFIV piracy? NO PC SSIV FOR YOU. Dismissed. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sony requests dismissal of Other OS suit

   Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) is calling for the dismissal of a lawsuit filed in April pertaining to the removal of the "Other OS" function from the Playstation 3 firmware. David Verner, the plaintiff, filed the suit arguing that Sony deceived PS3 customers when the Linux operating system or "Other OS" functionality was removed from the console with the firmware 3.21 update.

   Playstation 3 consoles with firmware 3.15 are still capable of "Other OS" functionality. I'm guessing that Sony's going to have their way with the dismissal. Ultimately, they're in control of the product that they sell and they have the right to patch/upgrade the firmware to mold and shape the way their product operates. I remember thinking to myself, "WTF are they doing?" when I read about Sony's "Other OS" plans. There was a Linux Kit for the PS2 that included a hard drive which sold relatively well and there was a dedicated fan base but what was the business sense of adding the capability of running Linux on the PS3? Remember, I'm looking at it from a business perspective. Not a hobbyist's perspective. I can understand the hobbyist's perspective perfectly but from a business standpoint, it made zero sense.

   Maybe Sony can do a Steve Jobs and text David Verner with, "Please leave us alone" and call it a day.

Playstation Network Down for Maintenance

   The PSN is down today from 11AM to 8PM EST for maintenance. Until the network is back again, here's a listing of what's new on the PSN for this week:

PSone Imports
Cho Aniki ($5.99)
Gaia Seed ($5.99)

Game Demos (free)
Blade Kitten Demo
Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue Demo
DJ Hero 2 Demo

Add-on Game Content
EyePet – Farm Animals DLC ($2.99)
Clash of the Titans – Zeus Challenge Quest Pack ($1.99)
Sonic Adventure DX Upgrade ($4.99)

   I already have the PS1 Cho Aniki game but for the hell of it, I'm going to download the file from the PSN for $5.99. The full listing of this week's PSN updates may be viewed on the following link:

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Road to DL

   The NPD Group issued a press release earlier today that basically reiterated what everyone in the industry already knew. More people are purchasing their PC games and downloading them rather than buying physical product from a shop. Salient quotation from the press release:
"During the first six months of 2010 (Jan.-June), 11.2 million PC Game full-game digital downloads were purchased online compared to 8.2 million physical units purchased at retail during the same period."

   This trend will only continue. I wrote a opinion titled, "The Future of Gamestop is Blockbuster" a few months ago which outlined how Gamestop was doomed to the same fate as Blockbuster Video. It is inevitable that any bricks 'n mortar software supplier is doomed because the business model favors direct downloads. Why shlep to a shopping mall to buy a PC game when you can buy it and download it within the span of an hour or thereabouts? It's a very convenient and fast proposition for the consumer. When you shlep to a shop, there's no guarantee that the game you're looking for is in stock. A download is always available online and a vendor can sell a million copies and never worry about keeping inventory on hand.

   Console games are still at least a two or three years away from following in the same footsteps as the PC software market but the domination of console software downloads is inevitable. Of course, there'll always be consumers who prefer the physical product and there will always be a market for physical product but the primary revenue driver for publishers in the next few years will be in direct downloads.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kotaku Covers Cosplay

   Kotaku's been covering the Tokyo Game Show 2010 this week with the latest news on what's being shown at the exhibition. Outside of the main venue, they've also posted a cosplay gallery from the show which includes some WTF moments for curious outsiders to enjoy. The Japanese cosplayers are dedicated and a little fanatical to create elaborate costumes that look like they'd take at least 100 hours of labor to create, accessorize, and refine to the point that they look pretty much like the character they're miming. That's otaku-behaviour but whatever.

   Some of the better cosplay photos include:
1) Guy dressed up as the Slime Tower (3 stacked slimes)
2) Dude cosplaying Gilgamesh from Fate/Stay
3) Girl (?) playing Vanessa from KOF

   Click the title or the link at the end of the sentence to go to Kotaku's cosplay gallery.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Announced

   So, after a 11 year span of time since the first Tekken Tag Tournament (1999), Bandai Namco are doing a sequel? That was what game director Katsuhiro Harada announced at the Tokyo Game Show earlier today. I have mixed feelings about this because in my opinion, TTT was an almost perfect game. It was fast, brutal, and well executed so Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has a lot to live up to. Guess I'm just afraid of being disappointed. The teaser is embedded to the left and the release date is Summer 2011.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bolthouse Carrot Juice

   I got back from the Korean market about an hour ago and I got the carrot juice seen to the left. The bottle that I bought looks a little larger but I wish they sold them in a one gallon size. That bottle was $4.99 but I'd pay $8.99 if I had to. The carrot juice is so good. So good. I know "carrot juice" sounds nasty but Bolthouse Carrot Juice is amazing. Although there's no white sugar added, the juice is sweet and smooth as it washes down my gullet. I remember that they had a botulism scare a few years ago but that didn't scare me away. The information from their website:

The Bolthouse Difference

Our juice’s fresh taste begins in the fields. We plant our carrots in California's finest farmland, which is known for yielding sweet carrots. After being harvested, the carrots are juiced within 24 hours to ensure maximum quality and freshness.

  • Baby-cut carrots with smaller cores and sweeter taste.
  • Juiced within 24 hours of harvest.
  • Carrots cold-pressed to preserve freshness.
  • No preservatives and nothing artificial.
  • Flash-pasteurized and cold-filled for longer shelf life and farm fresh taste.
  • 100% Juice, 100% Natural.

Baby Chun Li

   Baby Chun Li. Can you believe it? Cuter than anything I've ever seen! Are you serious, Wendy?

   Only people who've read the infamous Wendy's review would get the reference from that last sentence. Fryer chicks are always mean and pissed off, by the way.

   I don't know where the Baby Chun Li photo comes from. A friend sent it to me and it's probably been making the rounds. Baby Chun Li appears to be inside an airport hangar or something. Maybe she's in a Metro somewhere. Who knows but the photo made me laugh today after a busy day at work. The company has been making acquisitions and buying smaller companies that aren't even in the field that we're in but there's a diversification plan in place. The smaller companies aren't even on the internet but more in the distribution part of the supply chain but whatever. I'm not going to sweat it and I'll continue doing my part as a cog in the machine. Click on Baby Chun Li to get a bigger picture and use it as your wallpaper.

Official Jailbreak seller also selling clones

   A vendor in China who supplies the official Jailbreak has also started selling clones at roughly $10 below the price of the genuine article. I gotta laugh whenever I use the word "genuine" in reference to a product that enables piracy.

   Sellers in China are merchants at heart so they're going to sell whatever attracts the market audience. I have to assume that everyone's buying the clones at this point. A blurb on the sales letter also mentions that the Jailbreak clones are upgradeable and will be compatible with firmware 3.42 soon. Anyway, the current price breakdown for the Jailbreak and clones is as follows:

Official Jailbreak
10-50pcs      US$25/pc
51-100pcs     US$22/pc
Above 200pcs  US$21.3/pc

Clone Jailbreak
10-50pcs     US$15/pc
51-200pcs     US$13/pc
Above 200pcs   US$11.5/pc

   We're getting closer to my target price of US$18.00 for the Jailbreaks in bulk but maybe in 2 weeks, they'll drop below that level. Lots of clones coming out and everyone is getting into the game. As mentioned before, the company I work for will not sell the Jailbreak or clones because we're not going to get on Sony's shitlist.

Gran Turismo 5 Cars

Volkswagen typ2(T1) SambaBus
   I don't have the final Gran Turismo 5 vehicle list yet but Polyphony has released a sampling of the cars that are drivable in GT5. They include:

Aston Martin Vanquish ('04)
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 ('09)
Chevrolet Corvette C5-R (Le Mans, '00)
Ferrari California ('09) Premium Download
Ford Mustang GT Premium ('07) Premium Download
Honda NSX Type-R (2nd Gen, '02) Premium Download
Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 ('07)
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 19" Option ('09) Premium Download
Nissan Fairlady Z Version S (Z33-gen, '07) Premium Download
Tesla Roadster Sport ('08)
Zele Skyline 370GT Coupe Gran Turismo Edition (V36-gen, '09)

   Needless to say, those are some sweet rides and GT5's gonna be ruling the sales charts when it ships in November of this year. There's a bunch of cars that are premium downloads but Sony's gotta make their money somehow now that the Jailbreak is going to ruin a chunk of their PS3 software sales. New features for GT5 were also announced at the Tokyo Game Show yesterday and they include:

● Interact with friends, on and off the track
● Simple Communication Via the Friend List
● Online Racing Between Friends

● Lend and Borrow AI Drivers to Gain Experience
● Experience Real-Time Weather Changes with Realistic Rain
● Popular Tracks From the Past, Rebuilt to GT5 Quality
● Brand New Cars to the Gran Turismo Lineup (Volkswagen typ2(T1) SambaBus!!!!!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Radiant Silvergun headed to Xbox Live Arcade

   I've heard about Microsoft trying to get Radiant Silvergun on the XBLA for at least 2 years. At least. The Xbox 360 is the default console for shooters at the moment so it was a no-brainer to get Treasure's little treasure onto the Xbox.

   Radiant Silvergun was originally released on the Sega Titan ST-V arcade hardware so the code probably needed to be ported over, tweaked, cleaned up, and tweaked some more but Treasure's on the job. Microsoft and Treasure announced the availability of RS on XBL sometime in 2011 and the game will include new features such as updated graphics, a cooperative mode, and a SuperPlay feature where players can download play-data from other gamers and watch them in the game. I'm assuming that the resale value of Radiant Silver (Saturn) on Ebay's going to drop from the current average of US$250 to a more reasonable $150 or maybe even $100. Widespread availability of popular and rare games tends to kill the price.

Doperi Petapeta Aru Unchi

   I've mentioned that the company I work for gets a lot of sales listings and product offers every day. It's a little daunting to watch what comes in from around the world every morning in terms of preorders, toys, movies, and software.

   Undoubtedly however, the most interesting and weirdest shit (excuse me) comes from Japan. In the case of the "Doperi Petapeta Aru Unchi," toy, it's literally shit in an assortment of colors. I hear that if you eat a lot of carrots, your poop will look like the crap on the upper left corner of the photo. If you consume a lot of peas as in pea soup, you'll eject the mass that located below the carrot poop. I have no idea what kind of food creates the greasy and shiny black mess that's located on the bottom row, second from the left but it can't be healthy. Maybe fast food that's been double-fried and then reheated and then deep-fried again.

   Yes folk, these toys are on sale in Japan. What's the price you ask? Each piece of crap may be had for a measly JPY100 which is about $1.50. Come and get it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Twitter is a fad

   Yeah, it's a fad. F-A-D. I said it when the service first started gaining critical mass and I said it again when Ashton Kutcher became the King of Twitter. This is the third time I'm saying it and that's because I tend to reiterate when I'm right. I'll list some other recent fads that have faded:

1) Crocs
2) Wheelies Sneakers
3) Scooters

   Okay, maybe the most recent scooter phase died down a few years ago but it's late and I'm about to wind down for the night. Fads blaze brightly for a short while before they die down and they never regain their popularity ever again. In the midst of a fad's prime, everyone thinks it's going to be the next big game-changer but it never is. It's just another short-lived pop culture phenomenon that's adopted by a lot of people but abandoned after the fad is over.

   How long before Twitter is relegated to the abandoned phase? Give it another year. By then, Twitter will be like Friendster. Remember that social network which used to be THE social network before Facebook ate everyone's lunch? That's Twitter in another year. Come to think of it, that's Groupon in another year too.

Criminal Girls PSP

   Awwwww, don't they look cute? Well, they're not. They're evil girls. CRIMINAL GIRLS. They've been sent to the depths of hell for unimaginable crimes and they're going to suffer for their transgressions.

   That is, unless you get them on the right path to redemption. Punish the girls when they get out of line and spank their bottoms if they get uppity. The PSP Criminal Girls game is an adventure with softcore tendencies and adult themes but lest you think there's going to be any anime-girl-nudity, be forewarned that there's liberal usage of a mosaic filter in force so that any explicit scenes are fuzzed out.

   The Playstation Portable once enjoyed a library of Japanese UMD pornos from a company called Glay'z but sales weren't that great. Criminal Girls isn't porno but it'll probably provide for a few minutes of tittiliation and tease. Just a few minutes, but for some people, that's more than enough.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Belated Birthday Greetings to Mario

   Yeah, Mario turned 25 years old yesterday. He doesn't look a day over 35 but who's counting. Reflecting on my wasted youth, I have good memories of the original Nintendo Entertainment System and all the games my brothers and sisters played on the thing. We even had the Gyromite Robot which we used once and then shoved into the attic. It's probably still there if it hasn't gone into the trash.

   The hottest game on the NES was Super Mario Bros 3. It had everything - running, jumping, raccoon cosplay, and the kind of platform excitement that hooks impressionable kids. SMB3 was released before the age of the internet so only way kids could trade information was by calling each other or by logging into bulletin board systems like GEnie, Prodigy, or CompuServe. Those systems were the precursors to the internet and I recall lively gaming discussions on PC games as well as console games. There was no GameFaqs back then so hunting for information on games wasn't as easy as it is today. It's safe to say I grew up with Mario and I've known him all my life so I had to break down and wish him happy birthday.

Widespread PS3 Piracy

   With news that the PSGroove has been ported over to the iPhone 1G, iPhone 3G, and iPod Touch (first-generation), even more devices are now capable of breaking the Playstation 3 wide open for piracy. I knew Sony was in trouble when I heard from my tweenage cousin (who's hardly ever online or tech-savvy) that he was able to get someone from school to Jailbreak his PS3 with a phone. He didn't specify which phone but I'm guessing an Android phone. I reminded him that piracy was unethical and he responded with the following, "Well, I'm just a kid and I can't afford to pay $60 + tax for a game."

   If the lay people like my little cousin are getting their Playstations hacked, then the malaise of piracy is going to spread fairly far and wide over the course of the next year. I foresee a lot of banning, a lot of patches, and a lot of firmware updates in the PS3's future but the genie's out of the bottle and there'll be no way to trap him inside ever again.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Toyota Got Me in Trouble

   The post from Friday got me in a little trouble at work. No, not the edited picture of Kaz with his middle finger up but the blurb about Toyota drivers.

   It was not my intention to disparage Toyota drivers who got into accidents. That unfortunate "unintended acceleration" episode was brought up as an example of a small subset of the population having issues with a product while the greater population doesn't. If all Toyota cars were subject to unintended acceleration, the highways of America would be a collision course with much more accidents reported than there were. My family owns two Toyota vehicles including a Cressida from the late 80s that still runs fine and looks great. The other Toyota is a 2008 Lexus which has never had a problem. Based on Toyota's track record, the majority of their customers don't have problems either. If I offended Toyota drivers who were involved in accidents, that was not my intention.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Playstation 3 Firmware 3.42 is FINE

   Read the title again if it needs to be reiterated. I upgraded my PS3 to 3.42 as soon as it was released and everything's fine on my 60GB OG. I've been playing Japanese games, European games, playing Blu-Rays, and watching DVDs on the Playstation 3 for the past week without a glitch. Ya heard me? Not a glitch.

   What about the people who are complaining that their PS3s with 3.42 are crashing like Niagara Falls? They're what I call a "Vocal Minority." You know those people. They make a lot of noise but they represent a minority. Sort of like those Toyota drivers who were claiming that their cars were mysteriously speeding up were a vocal minority who got paraded in front of the news crews. Remember that one middle-aged guy whose Toyota sped up and crashed into another person's car? He was found to be a con artist who was heavily in debt and was hoping for a Toyota payout. I'm not saying that the people who're claiming their PS3s are clamming up are con-artists but maybe they're Xbox fanboys who don't even have a PS3. Maybe they're Jailbreak resellers trying to get into Sony's craw. Maybe they have a lot of time on their hands. Who knows. What I do know is they're a vocal minority.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Jailbreak sellers in Sony's sights

If you're dumb reckless enough to continue selling PS3 mods after Sony's legal victories in multiple jurisdictions around the world, then you probably deserve to get sued. Sony has started legal action against three PS3 Jailbreak vendors in Sweden - Manzzon, Rejoy, and Wechip. Sony is seeking damages of 1 million Swedish Krona (SEK) or US$137,483.50 based on this morning's forex spot. If the Jailbreak is priced at about US$30, the companies would need to sell 4,582 Jailbreaks to pay Sony.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Official Jailbreak Mods Discounted to US$30 Wholesale

The company I work for gets a lot of offers every day from suppliers in Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Last night, a mod supplier based in China sent out an email that's offering to sell the official Jailbreak USB device for a measly US$30 each in bulk. Compare that to the price of US$130 just last week before the news of the PSGroove broke. Guess there were a lot of cancellations especially when Sony basically outlawed the device by winning in Australian Federal Court.

   My company won't touch the Jailbreak since we'd like to stay in business and avoid getting sued but prices are going down and they're going to drop even lower in the next few weeks. My target is US$18 on the wholesale market but prices below that are inevitable since people can basically make their own Jailbreaks now with the PSGroove software.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

PSGroove Options Expanding

Dingoo A320
   The PSGroove exploit has been ported over to even more devices and phones over the weekend. New additions include:

Dingoo A320 Handheld Game
Google Nexus One
HTC Desire
HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1)
HTC Sapphire Magic 32A
HTC Sapphire Magic 32B 
Palm Pre
Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus / TI-84 Plus Silver Edition

   News of a Playstation Portable version of the PSGroove has also been circulating.

PS3 Firmware 3.42 Released

   Sony released the PS3 3.42 firmware yesterday. The update patches the security exploit that was present in firmware 3.41 which allowed the PS3 Jailbreak and the patched PSGroove to circumvent the Playstation 3's security measures against "backups" and replay of those backups. The official announcement is linked below:
PlayStation 3 System Software Update v3.42 Now Available

Posted by John Koller // Director, Hardware Marketing
Hi everyone! A minor update to your PS3 system is now available via system software update v3.42 that includes additional security features. For more details and instructions on how to update the system software for the PS3 system, please visit the PS3 System Updates page.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Jailbreak Clampdown Aftermath

   Now that Sony has succeeded in stopping Jailbreak sales and distribution in Australia and is suing a mod reseller in the States, the outrage has begun. Y'know the outrage from pirates. Two of the more common comments from the outraged message board participants over the past few days are listed below in bold.

All I wanted was to do homebrew on the PS3
Homebrew's available on the PC and you can do all the homebrew you want on that. Homebrew's also available on the Xbox 360 and the Wii but most people with modified consoles don't really use them for homebrew. They have modified consoles so they can play pirated software.

I can make my own "Jailbreak" by using the PSGroove open source code
   The guy who asked if he could burn the source code onto a disc and Jailbreak his PS3 that way probably wouldn't get the job done but yes, there are alternative hacks weeding their way through the net now. One recently announced method is Jailbreaking the PS3 by using an Android phone while another uses a Nokia N900 mobile phone with the PSFreedom source code (patched to play backups). The cat's out of the bag so DIY Jailbreak is a reality at this point. Sony's hope is that most aspiring pirates won't have the reading comprehension or the ability to follow the instructions in order to perform the mod themselves.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sony sues US-based Jailbreak seller

   Sony has filed a lawsuit in California against a US-based reseller of the PS3 Jailbreak. The defendants named in the lawsuit are Zoomba LDC and WWW.SHOPPSJAILBREAK.COM.

The filing may be viewed through the link below.

The ADR Scheduling Order, VRW Standing Order, Standing Order, and the Summons Issued related to the lawsuit may be purchased for 0.99 cents each through the following link:

   Sony has accused the defendants of trademark and copyright infringement and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Specifically, the DMCA criminalizes the distribution of devices that are designed to circumvent the security measures that protect a copyrighted work from being copied or in the case of the Jailbreak, "backed up" to hard drive. Zoomba LDC's contact address as listed on their Jailbreak sales site is located in Houston, TX which places the company within the jurisdiction of the DMCA.

Jailbreak injunction upheld

   Sony has prevailed against the Jailbreak - an Australian Federal Court has issued an order that prevents the mod resellers named in Sony's injunction from selling, distributing, or offering the Jailbreak in Australia.

The text of the court order follows below:


1. Upon the Applicants undertaking to the Court to:

(i)submit to such order (if any) as the Court may consider to be just for the payment of compensation, to be assessed by the Court or as it may direct, to any person whether or not a party, adversely affected by the operation of Orders 3 to 5 set out below or any continuation (with or without variation); and

(ii)pay the compensation referred to in (a) to the person or persons there referred to.

1.2 ORDERS that, until further order, the First, Second, Third and Fourth Respondents and each of them, whether by themselves, their servants or agents, be restrained from doing any of the following acts with respect to all and any Universal Serial Bus devices described as "PSJailbreak" in Exhibit PJC-1 of the affidavit of Peter John Chalk sworn on 26 August 2010 and filed herein, as packaged, and distributed or threatened to be distributed by the Respondents (PSJailbreak Devices):

(i)importing them into Australia with the intention of providing them to another person;

(ii)distributing them to another person;

(iii)offering them to the public;

(iv)providing them to another person; and/or

(v)otherwise dealing in them.

save that it will not be a breach of Order 2(a) for the First or Second Respondent to import all and any PSJailbreak Devices in respect of which any orders were placed prior to 27 August 2010, provided that any such importation is subject to the undertaking in paragraph 5 below.

1.3 ORDERS that, the First, Second, Third and Fourth Respondents and each of them deliver up to the solicitors for the Applicants, to be held until further order, any and all PSJailbreak Devices in those Respondents' possession custody or control.

1.4 ORDERS that, until further order, the First, Second, Third and Fourth Respondents and each of them continue to deliver up to the solicitors for the Applicants, to be held until further order, any and all PSJailbreak Devices that come into those Respondents' possession custody or control (including the sample device referred to in paragraph 7 of the Affidavit of the Second Respondent affirmed on 2 September 2010), forthwith upon them doing so.

1.5 NOTES the undertaking to the Court given by the First and Second Respondents by their counsel:

(i)forthwith to notify the supplier of PSJailbreak Devices (identified as China Sun Trading Limited of China, being the beneficiary of account number 817-374473-838 at the HSBC Hong Kong branch, 1 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong with SWIFT Address HSBCHKHHHKH) that any goods ordered by the First and Second Respondents are to be shipped to Blake Dawson to the attention of Peter Chalk at Level 26, 181 William Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000 and not to the First or Second Respondents; and

(ii)to deliver up in accordance with Order 4 above to the solicitors for the Applicants any PSJailbreak Devices received.

1.6 NOTES the undertaking to the Court of Blake Dawson:

(i)to hold any such goods securely subject to any further order of the Court; and

(ii)promptly to notify the solicitors for Respondents of the receipt of any such goods and to supply copies of any documentation received with them.

1.7 RESERVES LIBERTY to the parties to apply on 24 hours' notice, including for the purpose of the First and Second Respondents giving notice on or after 9 September 2010 that they wish the matter to be relisted for the resumption of the Applicants' application for interlocutory relief.

1.8 ORDERS that costs be reserved.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jailbreak Injunction Decision Tomorrow

   An Australian Federal Court will decide tomorrow if the injunction against the sale of the Playstation 3 Jailbreak becomes permanent. I've bet $30 on a wager against a scenester that the ban stays and the mod sellers are SOL. Why $30? That was all I had in my pocket at the time we were shooting the shit about mods and pondering the history of the universe. The Jailbreak issue is probably moot however because the PSGroove is out and in the wild.

   The PSGroove project was revealed a couple of days ago but it's an ethical hack. Piracy isn't enabled on the USB injection code but it's only a matter of time before someone re-enables the piracy features so that game dumps to HDD and backups are playable. Once a hack like that is released, it's out there forever and free for anyone to use, modify, and engineer for whatever reason. That's the nature of the internet where all of your embarrassing photos, dumb lines, and dick jokes are saved on someone's server or hard drive for all of eternity.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

PS3 Jailbreak Broken

   A software developer who goes by the name Mathieu Hervais has apparently hacked and dumped (copied) the contents of the Jailbreak USB dongle and released it as an open source project under the name "PSGroove." The exploit files are listed on Github under the psgroove subfolder. The zip file that's been released into filesharing networks contains five hexadecimal data files which can be programmed into the following Atmel AT90USB microcontrollers:


   The microcontrollers plug into the USB port of a PC or console to retrieve on-board documentation and run AVR program code. Disane explains the code injection process below:

"This is the disassembled PPC code more like the shell code that is being injected. The best way would be to use the lv2 dump and this to figure out how the stack overflow exploit works in the USB buffer of the PS3 after that it can be reproduced on any FW. On both slim and fat PS3s.
The JIG ID is probably passed to trigger some code pathern which the Configuration Descriptor overflows and injects the shell code after that the code gets executed. The shell code patches lv2 to run fselfs and all kinds of interesting flags which I haven’t noticed yet…"

Skimming over the message boards and IRC, there's obvious excitement brewing today over the possibility of low cost Jailbreak clones. One poster on a popular message board asked if he could burn the .hex files onto a disc and Jailbreak his PS3 that way.

   From the instructions that were released last night:

To use this exploit:
• Hard power cycle your PS3 (using the switch in back, or unplug it)
• Plug the dongle into your PS3.

• Press the PS3 power button, followed quickly by the eject button.
After a few seconds, the first LED on your dongle should light up. After about 5 seconds, the second LED will light up (or the LED will just go off, if you only have one). This means the exploit worked! You can see the new "Install Package Files" menu option in the game menu.


• A programmed dongle won't enumerate properly on a PC, so don't worry about that.

• This software is not intended to enable piracy, and such features have been disabled. This software is intended to allow the execution of unsigned third-party apps and games on the PS3.

Love Plus game inspires micro tourism niche

   Konami's Love Plus game has already inspired a Japanese Romeo nicknamed "Sal9000" to get married to a video game character named Nene Anegasa. Now, the Love Plus phenomenon has made its way to the Breeze Bay Seaside Resort Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture. Konami has teamed up with the resort to install 12 "Augmented Reality" panels in scenic spots - the panels are capable of displaying images of Love Plus characters such as Rinko Kobayakawa and Manaka Takane on smartphone cameras.

   When a young man in love stands next to one of the Augmented Reality panels, a passerby or a like-minded friend may take a photo that shows a Love Plus character standing next to him. According to Konami, the campaign has been a success with over 2000 visitors since its debut on July 10 through the end of August.