Accused Sony hacker dodges prison by destroying evidence
I don’t condone the actions of hackers, but this was one smart dude. Todd M. Miller was suspected and accused of participating in the group that brought down Sony’s online game servers back in 2008. He potentially faced 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, both of which he dodged by destroying his machines and disposing of his hard drives before the FBI could come back with a search warrant.
He was, however, sentenced to a year of house arrest, three years of probation, and ordered to complete a high-school equivalent certificate for obstructing a federal investigation. That’s a much better deal than he would’ve gotten if he was proven guilty in the hacking case.
The judge, who presided over the 28-year-old’s case, said that he could ‘see no sense’ in sentencing him to prison since Miller had a troubled childhood and now had a stable job. Miller admitted in court that he was “immature and ignorant and caught up with the wrong people at the wrong time,” and that “[the judge] would never see [Miller] again.”
Second Vita Heaven event teased
A teaser for the second “PlayStation Vita Heaven” has been spotted in Famitsu this week. However, there’s no specific date as of yet.
The first event was held in March. It was a collection of YouTube videos that showed off upcoming Vita games like Persona 4, Metal Gear Solid HD Edition, Soul Sacrifice, Phantasy Star Online 2, and more.
It is not clear at this point if the event will be held before, during, or after E3, which is due early next month.
GameStop removing PSP inventory in 1/4 of all stores
It’s been seven years since the PSP launched, and the platform is only just retiring. New PSP games are still occasionally coming out, though it’s clear that gamers have moved on to new platforms such as 3DS and PS Vita, if not iOS or Android. Matching the diminishing demand for PSP games, GameStop is removing inventory from 25% of its stores.
The handheld and its games will still be offered at bigger GameStop stores, as well as online. The PSP may not be dead just yet, but it’s slowly fading away.
All Uncharted 2 DLC now free
If you have missed out on Uncharted 2 DLC, then today’s a great day for you: they’re all completely free now.
This includes Drake’s Fortune Multiplayer Pack, the Golden Gun Pack, the Sidekicks Skin Pack, Siege Expansion Pack, and the PlayStation Heroes Skin Pack.
It’s not known at the moment if EU gamers will join in on the fun as well.
Starhawk released today–MLG tournament announced, all map packs to be free
Starhawk is out today in North America exclusively on the PS3. Sony and developer Lightbox Interactive took the chance to announce a Major League Gaming tournament with $20,000 in prizes. You will find more details on MLG’s website.
They also announced that all map packs for the game will be free upon release. In fact, they noted that the first one is already in the works. The PlayStation Blog notes that there will also be paid DLC.
Finally, here’s a launch trailer. The game is due out in Europe on Friday.
Journey creator and Sony: PSN users are more ‘adult-minded’
Speaking to VentureBeat, Journey creator Jenova Chen commented that he believed the PlayStation Network has more adult-minded users, pointing out that Sony has a “more artistic and adult-focused taste. They care about how grown-ups feel toward their games.”
Jack Buser, senior director of PlayStation digital platforms agrees, too. “Our primary PSN audience is indeed more adult, and many of our best-selling titles appeal to this demographic,” he stated.
He pointed out the success of games like Heavy Rain, Flower and Journey, noting that “users enjoy the emotional and thematic sophistication of their games, especially with our digital offerings.”
While it’s true that Sony does have more ‘artistic’ games, it is difficult to define what “adult-minded” exactly means. If we take on the basic meaning, then games such as Braid and Limbo are definitely targeted towards the more cerebral users. I Am Alive and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare also, quite rightfully, fall within such a broad category.
Short Soul Sacrifice teaser
Feast your eyes on less than 30 seconds of Soul Sacrifice footage that’s reminiscent of Dark Souls. Not much is known about the title, except that the protagonist is a wizard who uses mind power (telekinesis?) and a sword. Further details expected on Thursday.
Land of the rising sun gets white PS Vita, Hatsune Miku variant too
Color conscious gamers can pick up a “Crystal White” PlayStation Vita in Japan starting June 28 for 25,000 and 30,000 yen for Wi-fi and 3G models, respectively. They amount to approximately $310 and $375 if you want to count in green monies.
Don’t like white? Sony is also releasing a Hatsune Miku handheld two months later for a 10,000 yen premium. Sega’s digital diva graces the handheld’s rear touch panel. The extra money will net you a 4GB memory card and a copy of Next Hatsune Miku: Project Diva. Check out the video.
Sony: "We might be the last to the next-gen console race"
The next-gen race is starting to heat up, but it appears Sony may be late to the party. Talking to OPM, Philippe Cardone, head of Sony France, stated that the company will likely be the “last” in announcing its plans for the next-generation console race.
Cardone points out that Nintendo rushed the Wii U announcement because “it’s in decline.” He adds that Sony is under a “lot less pressure”, and that they might be the last to announce the successor to the PS3.
Lots of rumors have been going around lately regarding the successors to Xbox 360 and PS3. However, it seems the PS4 is a long ways off, and we shouldn’t expect any announcements from Sony at this year’s E3.
Head of PlayStation Network leaves Sony
Sony’s Playstation Network has faced a lot of hurdles since its inception. But that hasn’t stopped the online service from gaining 77 million registered users worldwide. Susan Panico, the woman behind it all, has now left the company, hopefully for even greener pastures.
Panico was the head of PSN in North America. Sony has yet to comment on who is going to replace her. It was during her time that PSN grew to its massive userbase; the service was also hacked during her tenure.
PSN suffered an unprecedented six-week outage last year. Lots of gamers were angered at being unable to login. Sony has since then put up special offers and free games to bring users back on to the platform.