Trailer: Wonderbook: Book of Spellls

PSN Returns

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It’s not a joke. It’s really happening. The official Playstation Blog writes that PSN was phased back into service inside the United States and Canada in the last several hours.

The official Playstation Twitter had even given a play-by-play on which regions were coming up first, apparently starting in the northeastern states and then jumping to California after that. An updating map was also provided and was colored in as PSN came back to life.

PSN will also prompt PS3s to update with newest firmware which was made available several hours prior to the network relaunch on the official site. If you didn’t download it from there, it will prompt you for the update when you try to get back on PSN. It will also prompt you to change your password, so be sure to think of something creative.

I’ll admit, I didn’t feel as affected as some that had gone as far as to trade in their PS3s for Xbox 360s. After updating my PS3 and changing my password, there wasn’t much fanfare after that. Granted, people will finally be able to blast each other in the face in online match ups now that it’s back, but with the Store still down, it’s still a mixed blessing for some that can’t redeem certain codes for DLC through it.

But for PSN’s team of engineers, I’m sure that it has been a long and stressful road to get to even this point. Despite the bad press and further threats against the network, they had pushed on. A lot of the new improvements that Sony promised will be transparent against the backdrop of Fatalities and co-op. There won’t be a virtual ticker tape parade here, other than in watching players sign back in. Yet for Sony and its team, that might be reward enough.

The fun side of nuclear war: Bethesda reveals Fallout: New Vegas DLC

The first “Fallout: New Vegas’” next three DLC packs will be released May 17, Bethesda Softworks reported today.

The new episodes follow December’s release of “Dead Money” for XBox Live players and remind this writer that he has not even finished all of Fallout 3′s DLC. (I’ll get into that spaceship someday.)

Fallout fans may remember (perhaps bitterly, if they play on PC or PlayStation 3) that “Dead Money” was a timed exclusive for Xbox and did not arrive on other platforms until late February. There’s no such arrangement this time, so all players who want to give Bethesda their money for more Fallout action can give Bethesda their money at the same time.

Here are descriptions of each episode from Bethesda’s press release:

Available
on May 17, “Honest Hearts” takes you on an expedition to the
unspoiled wilderness of Utah’s Zion National Park. Things go horribly wrong
when your caravan is ambushed by a tribal raiding band. As you try to find a
way back to the Mojave, you become embroiled in a war between tribes and a
conflict between a New Canaanite missionary and the mysterious Burned Man. The
decisions you make will determine the fate of Zion.

 

In
Old World Blues
, releasing in June, you will discover how
some of the Mojave’s mutated monsters came to be when you unwittingly
become a lab rat in a science experiment gone awry. You’ll need to scour
the Pre-War research centers of the Big Empty in search of technology to turn
the tables on your kidnappers or join forces with them against an even greater
threat.

 

Lonesome
Road
,
available in July, brings the courier’s story full circle when you are
contacted by the original Courier Six, a man by the name of Ulysses who refused
to deliver the Platinum Chip at the start of New Vegas. In his transmission,
Ulysses promises the answer as to why, but only if you take one last job
-a job that leads you into the depths of the hurricane-swept canyons of
the Divide, a landscape torn apart by earthquakes and violent storms. The road
to the Divide is a long and treacherous one, and of the few to ever walk the
road, none have ever returned.

Each DLC episode will be sold for $9.99 American or 800 Microsoft Points, for those doing business in the Republic of XBox Live.

Obsidian Entertainment developed the New Vegas games for Bethesda.

Today’s Big Story: Sony confirms user data breach

Sony Computer Entertainment confirmed today that the hacker (or hackers) who broke into PlayStation’s Network and Qriosity systems accessed users’ personal information.

PlayStation 3 owners have not been able to access PSN or Qriosity services for about one week. A GamePro
editorial accuses Sony of an “astounding breach of trust” for the delay
in acknowledging the compromise of sensitive information.

The following is from Sony’s  letter to customers  to acknowledging the data breach:

“Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we
believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following
information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip),
country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password
and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your
profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city,
state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security
answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for
your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have
been obtained.”

“While there is no evidence at this time that credit card
data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided
your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of
an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number
(excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained,” the letter continued.

Sony shut down PSN and its Qriocity video and music streaming service on April 20. The data breach happened sometime between April 17 and April 19, Sony reported.

Additional coverage:

Today’s releases, March 29, 2011

  • Shift 2 Unleashed (EA Sports) Racing title for PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.
  • Tiger Woods PGA 12: The Masters (EA Tiburon). Golf title for Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.
  • WWE All Stars (THQ San Diego) Wrestling title for Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, and XBox 360.
  • NASCAR The Game 2011 (Eutechnyx/Activision). Racing title for PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.
  • Country Dance for Wii (High Voltage Software/GameMill Entertainment). Dance title for Nintendo Wii
  • Mayhem 3D (Zoo Entertainment/Rombax Games) Demolition derby title for PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.

“Dead Money” gets release date for PC, PS3

“Dead Money,” the first DLC release for “Fallout: New Vegas” is scheduled to be released PC and PlayStation 3 on Feb. 22, Bethesda Softworks announced.

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XBox 360 players got first crack at Dead Money way back on Dec. 22. Bethesda reports that they will release three additional New Vegas expansions within the next few months with simultaneous release dates for all three platforms.

Sony posts new trailer for MLB 11: The Show (Football is over!)

Here’s one for all the video baseball fans out there. The new “Yankee Killer” trailer for “MLB 11: The Show” lets a digital version of Minnesota Twins star Joe Mauer step up to the plate against the New York Yankee’s C.C. Sabathia.

In this writer’s opinion, any scenario in which the Yankees lose is a good one.

The game is set for a March release.

Review: God of War 3

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God of War 3 is a revenge tale, and not the kind with the happy ending that leaves you feeling fuzzy about everything that happened. This is dirty, nasty payback, fueled by the kind of single-minded rage that can take even the noblest of heroes to a dark place.

Sony Computer Entertainment’s latest (and presumably last) installment of its famed franchise is also its most ambitious, exploring the powers of the PS3 as much as the mental and physical odyssey of its hero, Kratos.

It accomplishes both tasks in impressive fashion, giving players an grand action-fest with bloody fun, guilty pleasures and even some brains — as in smarts, not what ends up smeared on the wall.

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