Features// SPOnG's Review of the Year 2011: April

Posted 29 Dec 2011 16:13 by
We drift into April 2011 with gaming taking something of a back seat in the face of what has been called ?Hacktivism? in some circles - and in others as ?Untargeted screaming kiddies?. Yes, the PlayStation Network was down and hackers were responsible.

Back then, as Spring decided not too bother so much, and the Internet filled with various well-made arguments such as, ?Sony r deserve it LOL? and ?Wouldn?t happen to Xbox Live!? and ?Hackers are kidz and i wil killzorz thems!?, we reported:

?Hacktivist? group 'Anonymous' is launching a 'Cyber' war against Sony. The attack is codenamed '#OpSony' and is said to be a retaliatory attack on behalf of PS3 hackers George 'GeoHot' Hotz and Graf_Chokolo.?

The hackers themselves announced that, ?Congratulations, Sony. You have now received the undivided attention of Anonymous. Your recent legal action against our fellow hackers, GeoHot and Graf_Chokolo, has not only alarmed us, it has been deemed wholly unforgivable.?

We pointed out that, ?Couched in equally semi-judicial, some may say pompously self-aggrandising language, comes the message that by chasing down Hotz and Graf, Sony, "has violated the privacy of thousands. The company will, in fact, ?experience the wrath of Anonymous. You saw a hornet?s nest and stuck your penises in it.??

For its part, Sony remained damagingly quiet on what was going on and how the hack would be resolved.

Before we continue with the disgrace and the Dark Days of the PSN Hack, let?s take a moment to give thanks that at least one truly great game took the Number 1 spot in the UK games charts.

Yes, Portal 2 - the follow-up to a game that came as what seemed like an after-thought to the Orange Box stood proud at the zenith of the Gfk Chart Track All Formats charts in April.

Back at PSN-a-pocalypse! One of the most hilarious pieces of conspiracy theory to arise from the downtime came from VentureBeat with:

?Sony shut down its Playstation Network after a new custom firmware version for the console let users download games and content with a fake credit card number, according to a moderator from Playstation fan-site PSX-Scene."

This was due to a custom firmware release (CFW) called ?Rebug? that came from the site.

PSX-Scene followed up with:

?Ok, it looks like some various news sites have picked up this story and taken it out of context. Once again, this is all speculation and information gathered from various devs in the PS3 scene. It might very well not be the real reason PSN is down, but as the timeline fits, it's a reasonable explanation.

"Now, as to Rebug directly allowing this to happen, that's not the case at all. Different CFW's have had access to the dev network the whole time. This is not new news for people in the PS3 scene. It's what people have figured out what to do with the said network that has caused all the recent issues. Saying that Rebug is what did this is like saying a gun manufacturer is responsible for every death that happens with a gun."

Back out of the PSN Hack and into other areas of what PRs like to call ?Rumour and Speculation?, DICE owned up to the actual FACT that it hadn?t seen the Xbox 720.

DICE executive producer Patrick Bach stated that despite Battlefield 3 and its Frostbite 2 system pushing both Xbox 360 and PS3 to their "absolute limits", he's not aware of any new console from either Microsoft or Sony.

He pointed out that, "I don't know what the big corporations are thinking but definitely we are desperate to move on into the next generation. I think Battlefield 3 will look like a next-generation game and all the technology we're building, the whole Frostbite 2 system - the animations, audio, everything - is trying to aim for a couple of years in the future, rather than looking at what we have today.
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