Sony Announces The Super Slim PS3; Available In 250GB and 500GB Variants

If you thought that the slim ware was limited only to smartphones and TVs, think again. Sony has announced a ‘Super Slim’ version of the PlayStation 3 at the Tokyo Game Show.

The new smaller and lighter PS3 will be available in two HDD capacities – 250GB and 500GB. Sony claims that the ‘Super Slim’ PS3 is 20% smaller and 25% lighter than the current model. It is also lighter by more than 1.1 pounds, and is power efficient as well (200W vs 190W).

Sony will be also be releasing a limited edition bundle 250GB PS3 bundle featuring Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and more than $30 of bonus digital content for DUST 514 on 25th September for $269.99 in the United States.

The 500GB version of the ‘Super Slim’ PS3 will cost $299 when it hits the U.S on October 30th and will come bundled with Assassin’s Creed III.

PS3 Firmware Update 4.00 Removes Support for the PSP. Oh Dear.

I have this theory that in the Tokyo headquarters of Sony Entertainment Corporation, a Gríma Wormtongue-like figure ominously whispers and fills in the ears of Kaz Hirai, who is reclining like King Theoden. (If you do not understand what I am talking about, then you really must read The Lord of the Rings. Please do so immediately!) Otherwise there is no explanation as to why some of the best features of the PlayStation 3 (PS3) console have been serially diluted over the years. The original PS3 was a brilliant console with backwards compatibility and hardware emulation for PS2 and older consoles, along with the ability to install a custom OS (Linux, to be precise) and connect a PlayStation Portable (PSP) and transfer compatible games to it. In the next sub-iteration of the PS3, called the PS3 Slim, the hardware emulation was replaced by software, and eventually a firmware update permanently removed the ability to install Linux on the system.

PS3

Now, it seems that firmware update 4.00 adds support for the PS Vita (due to be released on December 17th in Japan and parts of Asia) and, surprisingly, removes support for the legacy PSP.

Shacknews reports that the glitch(we are giving Sony the benefit of doubt here) removes the Copy function of every compatible game from the Xross Media Bar (XMB, the UI of the PS3 and the PSP) on the PS3’s screen, effectively disallowing the copying of a legally downloaded game on to a legally allowed secondary platform.

We await more news on this, but I really hope for Sony’s sake that it’s a glitch and not a feature.

PS3 OtherOS++ Firmware Releases After Three Months of First Announcement

After the announcement of OtherOS++ around mid-February, Gitbrew has taken a mere three months to release. Sony took another action against another hacker last month. It was Gitbrew and all his equipment was taken away, with his Git hosting pulled off.

ps3-image

A page on his website still says,

Sony visits Graf to Perform Tea Ceremony graf_chokolo has not been raided as claimed by ps3crunch and other sites. Sony has sent representatives with a court order to seize his equipment, the police were not involved. “I didn’t tell that it was a raid, I said they came and had a right to take my equipment. This time no police, because they knew I won’t do anything bad” ~graf graf has expressed concerns about the availability of his open-source software hosted on his Git repository at git.dukio.com. Update: LINK REMOVED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

However, that did not stop him from developing the hack and it is finally ready with a release now. Former Sony employee Geoff Levand has also worked on this project. All the OtherOS++ firmwares and tools are available at this page. This is a v1.0b1 release and finally, PS3 will be back as HPC supercomputer grids. For a tech company, Sony has a very poor understanding of hacker culture and its public relations team is not assuring either. The worst part of the entire matter is that while Sony is planning to bring back its PSN online, a group of hackers who are not Anon (as declared by Anon) are planning a third strike and in the midst of all this, OtherOS++ will bring back the hack and mod into PS3.

Hackers Hate Sony for Geohot Goof, While Sony Is On a Hiring Spree

Sony has gathered up loads of negative karma for the way they treated George Hotz (geohot). Hacker community world over hates Sony for making them feel so unwanted and insecure. Sony, on the other hand, is on a blatant hiring spree and has recently approached Android hacker Koushik Dutta.

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(Image via: Geekosystem)
Koush Dutta is a familiar name when it comes to Android. He has done extensive work, hacking the Android platform inside out and has flagship products like ROM Manager and Clockworkmod Recovery under his belt. This has made him a top favorite at many Android forums. However, the entire matter of Sony going ahead and asking him to join their company, and his resigning has made him a legend.

The incident took place a few days ago and has left enough time to fill up our mind-spaces with all sorts of speculations. Some are wondering if he would have made an addition to the anti-piracy army Sony is building (supposedly) while others are speculating that he would have been a valuable asset as a PS3 hacker.

However, we cannot overlook the fact that Koush is actually a mobile platform expert with development experience on Android, Windows Mobile and .NET. He has little interest in PS3, or so it seems from his profile information. Another PS3 hacker (on Reddit) claims to have been contact the same way. Seemingly, Sony is trying to get back some hacker-love by opening its doors to them. But, the damage has already been done irreversibly and

Sony Raids Prominent PS3 Hacker’s House

The Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) hacker scene got a shock recently when prominent German PS3 hacker graf_chokolo had his house raided by German Police due to a complaint made by Sony. The raid ended up with the confiscation of all his accounts, so to speak, and peripherals that might have been related to hacking the Sony home console. This harsh step up from Sony follows many put-downs of hackers and security researchers who have openly exploited the PS3’s security flaws.

PS3Versions

However, graf_chokolo had a ready last line of defense against Sony. The hacker had once claimed that he had quite a lot of knowledge about the PS3’s hypervisor (a virtualization technique), and that if Sony does annoy him, he will release it to the world. He made good on the promise as well by releasing the Hypervisor Bible (HV Bible) to the entire world. Using the HV Bible, other users can reverse engineer the PS3’s internal mechanisms to further open the console to the world:-

Guys, i don’t joke, it’s serious.
And to prove it, i kept my word and uploaded all my HV reversing stuff.
Upload it everywhere so SONY couldn’t remove it easily. Grab it guys, it contains lots of knowledge about HV and HV procs.

It is kind of sad that Sony is doing all of this if only they knew that piracy is not the main reason why these people work on Sony’s hardware; the homebrew scene is where most of their energy is focused. Let’s all hope this drama reaches a peaceful conclusion.

Geohot Raps To Sony’s PlayStation 3 Lawsuit

Up until now, Geohot has been known as a very talented hacker who unlocked the iDevices from Apple and hacked the PlayStation 3. However, Sony filed a lawsuit against Geohot at the beginning of this year for jailbreaking the PS3 and also requested for a restraining order (TRO) on the distribution of the jailbreak.

Now, George Hotz a.k.a Geohot has posted an explicit rap on his YouTube account explaining the lawsuit and challenging Sony as well. Readers can watch the video (NSFW lyrics) of the Geohot rap below :

Below are the full lyrics of the rap, for people who were unable to figure out what Geohot said in the above video :

Yo it’s geohot
And for those who don’t know
I’m getting sued by Sony

Let’s take this out of the courtroom and into the streets
I’m a beast, at the least, you’ll face me in the northeast
Get my ire up, light my fire
I’ll go harder then Eminem went at Mariah
Call me a liar
Pound me in the ass with no lube, chafing
You’re f*cking with the dude who got the keys to your safe and
Those that can’t do bring suits
Cry to your Uncle Sam to settle disputes
Thought you’d tackle this with a little more tact
But then again fudgepackers, I don’t know Jack

I shed a tear everytime I think of Lik Sang
But shit man, they’re a corporation
And I’m a personification of freedom for all
You fill dockets, like thats a concept foreign to y’all
While lawyers muddy water and TROs stall
Out of business is jail for me
And you’re suing me civilly

Exhibit this in the courtroom
Go on, do it, I dare you

First the jailbreak for iDevices, then the PS3 jailbreak and now this rap. Geohot sure is a talented guy!

Sony Aims to Send Harsh Message to Security Researchers

The hot topic in the Sony PlayStation community has been the security breach of the PS3 devices by computer security analysts and hackers as was revealed in the Chaos Communication Congress. When hacker George Hotz (of the legalizediPhone jailbreak fame) managed to use root keys to make the PS3 run unauthorized code, there was havoc. Geohotz’s method allows anyone with a PS3 to use his hack to run homebrew games or applications (software that is not authorized by Sony) and pirated games. While Geohotz claims that the purpose of his hack was to enable the running of homebrew software something the PS3’s smaller sibling, the PlayStation Portable, is highly sought-after for the inevitability of piracy landing on the unhackablePS3 is quite obvious.

800px-PS3Versions

Thus, Sony is suing George Hotz, and some other security analysts under certain laws of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA is supposed to be a champion for the cause of intellectual property rights and royalty rights, and is also the key support on which Digital Rights Management (DRM) stands.

However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization that tries to preserve our rights of speech and privacy in this age of electronic devices and networks, has always warned the general public about the DMCA. Corrynne McSherry and Marcia Hofmann of the EFF write:-

For years, EFF has been warning that the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be used to chill speech, particularly security research, because legitimate researchers will be afraid to publish their results lest they be accused of circumventing a technological protection measure. We’ve also been concerned that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could be abused to try to make alleged contract violations into crimes.

The DMCA is also strangely inconsistent. While Geohotz is being tried under this law, earlier he was released by the same law when he allowed the jailbreaking of Apple’s iPhone. Sony also words its complaint harshly stating that Hotz and his defendants breached the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well:

by transmitting in interstate and foreign commerce a communication containing a threat to obtain information from a protected computer without authorization, or to impair the confidentiality of information obtained from a protected computer.

(The entire lawsuit is embedded below)

Complaint

How Sony will ever remove the hack from the depths of the internet is something that will keep the tech world interested in the coming days. It would be the nearest that the net will come to seeing a slapstick comedy performed live by a huge technology company.

Portal 2 PS3 Version Will Include SteamPlay Version Free

Well this is a first for both Valve and Sony. The highly anticipated successor to the really awesome First Person Puzzle Solver That Ate Your Brains Out While Being Ridiculously Funny Portal will very probably be one of the firsts in gaming history; Portal 2‘s PS3 version will come with an activation key for the Steam version to play on your PC (or Mac), completely free!

Portal2GLaDOS

All you need to do is type up the key on Steam and voila, you’ll have Portal 2 waiting to be downloaded and played by you, the gamer on the go. Apparently, this cross-platform gaming will also include PS3-to-PC chatting between players, and might also involve a good deal of cross-platform play (obviously) and will include syncs between your PlayStation Network (PSN) ID and your Steam account.

However, the clincher is that the PS3 version will include SteamCloud support which means that if you save at a certain point on your PS3, it syncs to Steam’s servers, and you can start the game from the exact place on your PC! So, just in case GLaDOS screws you over at a certain level and you decide to throw your controller at your PS3 very forcibly (thereby killing it instantly), fear not for SteamCloud will come to the rescue (of your game, not your console).

Here’s to looking at more console and PC friendships!

Gamertrolls, the commenting area is your arena. Fight!

Amazon Cancels $40 PS3 Order Because of Target Glitch

Yesterday, Target almost sent everyone into a crazy frenzy when they put up the price of the PS3 60GB console at $40. Though the product description was different, Amazon was displaying the order as a proper PS3 console.

However, it looks like that $40 PS3 dream just crashed for everyone who ordered it. I just received an email from Amazon saying that they would not be honoring the order.

The whole email reads like this:

Dear Amazon Customer,

We are contacting you regarding your order [redacted] from the Target store at Amazon.com.  We recently became aware of mismatched price and product information which resulted in the discontinued Sony PS3 Hardware System and the PlayStation 3 Move Advanced Shooter Grip being displayed incorrectly.

We are sorry, but we are unable to offer you either of these items at this time and have canceled your order.  Your credit card was not charged.

We sincerely regret this inconvenience.

For more details on our pricing and cancellation policy please see Target.com:
http://www.target.com/Pricing-Policy-Pricing-Tax-Information-Ordering-Shipping-Help/b/10824271?ie=UTF8&ref=br_bx_Pricing%20Policy

Sincerely,
Amazon Customer Service
Amazon.com
http://www.Amazon.com

Please note: This e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this
message. If you have further questions, please visit our online Help department

Also don’t bother to call up Target and fight for this as their Pricing policy clears states that they are not liable to guarantee a price until the product enters the shipping stage.

Confirmed Prices and Pricing Errors

We cannot confirm the price of an item until your order enters the shipping process nor will we charge your credit card until your order enters the shipping process. 

Please note that your Order Acknowledgment means that your order request has been received; it does not mean that your order has been shipped or that the price of an item has been confirmed.

Despite our best efforts, a small number of the items on our Web site may be mispriced. As part of our shipping procedures, we verify price before an item is shipped out.

  • If an item’s correct price is lower than our stated price, we charge the lower amount and ship you the item.
  • If an item’s correct price is higher than our stated price we will cancel your order and notify you of such cancellation via email.

So say goodbye to the PS3. However, don’t get all dejected yet, one of our commentators said that he was able to get a $15 coupon from Amazon because of this, so a little big of haggling might just work.

Target Glitch Puts Sony PS3 60GB Price At $39.99; Expect Lot of Cancellations

Earlier this afternoon, I literally jumped out of my seat when our own Manan tweeted that Target was selling the PS3 at $39.99. On closer inspection it looked too good to be true, however, the $39.99 PlayStation 3 might actually be real.

PS3 60GB for $40

If you go to this page on Target, it puts the price of the “PlayStation 3 Computer Entertainment System with 60GB Hard Drive” at $39.99 as you can see from the screenshot above. I picked up the phone and called up Target to confirm whether this was true and the rep there did confirm to me that it is the actual PS3 system, however, she also told me that they were updating their system and the price was a glitch and that I should not order the unit.

PS3 $40 Target Order

Turns out that there is some problem at Target, because when you move to the checkout page, the product changes to “PlayStation 3 Move Advanced Shooter Grip (PlayStation 3)Console;”. However, checking the order status page lists the item as PS3 Console.

PS3 $40 Amazon Order

On the other hand, Amazon is also selling the PS3 console at $39.99 (they sell it through target itself), however, when you order it through Amazon, it shows that the purchase is for the actual PS3 console.

However, there are reports that this particular PS3 is not being manufactured now and the delivery itself may take a few weeks. It is also out of stock at Amazon and Target. That said, this deal was also posted on sites like Slick Deals, so there might have been tons of orders that might have been placed.

If you did place an order, don’t expect it to go through. Target might just cancel the order for everyone. So just keep your fingers crossed.

Update: We placed multiple orders through both Target and Amazon and none of them charged the credit cards. Until and unless your Credit Card is charged these sites have no liability to provide you with those units, glitch or otherwise. So don’t expect these PS3’s to be shipped, and like we said earlier, these units are not being manufactured anymore. Good Luck.

Update 2: I just hooked up with an Amazon representative and She said that it was a problem and they are looking into it. She also said that Amazon techs are confirming about this with Target and if Target confirms the $39.99 price, Amazon will honor it (don’t expect that to happen though, considering both Amazon’s and Target’s system were screwed up, see above for Target reps reply to me earlier). She did confirm to me that Amazon would be sending out an email within next 24 hours to all customers who ordered the PS3, so say goodbye for now to the $40 PS3.

Psssst.. If you are really adamant about it with Amazon, they might just ship it to you.

Update 3: Finally Target puts the item out of stock, but you can still expect cancellation emails.

Update 4: Amazon has officially cancelled the $40 PS3 order. Read more about the Amazon $40 PS3 Order  Cancellation.