News

News 28/01/10

This week: Your console is your childrens’ portal to hell, yet more of that beautiful downloadable content and glorious game releases and the Southern Americans’ iPod.

Governments Flaming Consoles

The latest news brought to you by a stream of somewhat subjective and uniformed thought has seen not only the socialist president of Venezuela condemn video games, but also the UK Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith. Two weeks ago Chavez declared on his weekly TV Show “Alo Presidente” that “Those games they call ‘PlayStation’ are poison, some games teach you to kill. They once put my face on a game, ‘you’ve got to find Chavez to kill him.’” (butthurt much?) and that games “promote the need for cigarettes, drugs and alcohol so they can sell them. That’s capitalism, the road to hell”.

Hugo Chavez

Aside from the fact that we can clearly deduce old Hugo is raging Xbox fanboy, I can’t help but think condemning violence in video games is a little hypocritical considering he himself has attempted military coups. What’s more distressing is the attacks on games much closer to home from Duncan Smith. Speaking to The Times, the UK MP claimed “We are driving children to lose their childhood, and some video games are incredibly violent, like Grand Theft Auto. They are meant to be 18 but nobody cares what it says on the label.” Now I certainly advocate improving the ratings system, but this statement is clearly subjective and grossly misinformed – I suppose blaming video games is an easy way to account for the UK’s crime and anti-social behaviour problems, but one must consider that the real problem lies in those vandalising public property and hanging around, sniffing glue in the park, not indoors indulging in some good old GTA. I could go on on for a few more pages discussing my stance on video games being a cause of violence but I’ll simply remind myself that this is a man talking about loss of innocence, who voted for the Iraq war in which many soldiers were actually killed and countless civilians.

Wii, Xbox Live & PSN

It was recently announced, to the relief of many Nintendo fanboys, that Netflix would indeed be coming to the Wii sometime in the Spring, with the usual subscription of $9 a month – however, it will not offer HD videos because of course, the Wii is not capable…let the flame wars commence.

SCEA director of hardware marketing, John Koller, recently stated that expansion of the PSN is “critical” in 2010, and this comes as no surprise given the tight competition between the  next gen console publisher to expand their products into more than just devices to play games on. He promised more original titles and a resurgence of PS1 games, but had nothing to add when asked if Sony planned anything similar to a Games on Demand service like Xbox Live’s – C’mon Sony, keep up now.

And finally Ben Jones of Zipper Interactive claims Xbox Live is more juvenile than PSN. Nonsense! I was discussing how mature Xbox Live was with a gentleman I met on CoD last night, and by guy I mean 10 year old…and by discussing I mean struggling to translate the high pitched screams and racial slurs. Anywho, he went on to say, that as a result the PSN is a better fit for the 256 player MAG. Probably so, but a game of that magnitude needs teamwork, so we’ll have to wait and see whether the game produces the sort of cooperation necessary.

Japan Isn’t Over

Despite Keiji Inafune’s comments at last December’s Tokyo Game Show, according to Aaron Greenberg, director of product management at Xbox, “the future is bright” for Japan, as he believes Natal will help leverage and inspire creativity. He emphasised that it’s important that the Japanese developers should seek to be original and not attempt to create the next Call of Duty or Halo (we’ve nothing to worry about on that front, as they’ll be a constant stream shoved down our throats – I’m not complaining). The Japanese games market generated ¥542,640 million in 2009, down 6.9 per cent year-over-year, so one can understand the negativity; but even Inafune, on the Project Natal panel, said “I strongly feel that Project Natal will expand the possibilities of gaming”. So, whether you like it or not, Natal is coming and Microsoft are placing a lot behind it, claiming that 80% of 3rd party developers have Natal titles in development currently.

iPod iPad iPuddy cat

Yesterday, Steve Jobs, with the whole of the hip, polo-neck-weaking Apple corporation behind him, announced and showed off the iPad, Apple’s offering to the Tablet computer market. And thus the usual hype, fanboyism and anti-Appleism swept its way over the internet with claims from ‘revolutionary’ to ‘really big iPhone’. You can get the full details virtually everywhere and here, but the point is it will be able to run iPhone games and apps and EA have gotten in with the cool crowd to cash in.

He looks so proud

Apparently at least 150 titles are in due to be released  for the iPad, and although the titles shown off at the press event, NOVA and Need for Speed: Shift were simply scaled up versions of the iPhone games, they had very little time to produce the titles to demonstrate. Hopefully game developers with a little more time on there hands might be able to offer up something more substantial for the iPad, which clearly has better gaming prospects given its size and power, as Apple would want you to know.

Game & DLC Releases

Mass Effect 2 is out in the US and arrives tomorrow for the UK with all its galactic shenanigans and I hope to have a review up soonish, depending on how long it takes me to savour its’ delights. You can check out the orgasmic, I mean fantastic, trailer here and if that isn’t enough, Greg Zeschuk, co-founder of Bioware has stated that although this Mass Effect series is limited to a trilogy, other incarnations and forms are possible and definitely on the table – lovely jubbly. In slightly smaller, but equally awesome news, Jack Wall, I hear, is returning or rather, has returned as composer for the soundtrack of Mass Effect 2 – happy face.

Assassin’s Creed II: Battle of Forli DLC is out today for just 320MS points – so get stabbing and leaping through it and enjoy the fact that it will be followed up by Bonfire of the Vanities next month! We’re clearly spoiled. Go and check out the trailer here if you should need convincing.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 developer DICE has dropped a whole bunch of crap on the PC community recently, announcing the sequel would neither have a dev console nor private dedicated server support, only officially rented – meaning no mods or custom maps, which is a real shame; Infinity Ward might have suffered a great many less illegal downloads of MW2 had this been announced earlier. Nevertheless, the game looks promising and there’s a new multiplayer mode trailer out, so check it out.

Dragon Age: Origins is receiving yet more DLC next week called Return to Ostagar and Bioware have also announced the expansion, Awakening, will be hitting March 16th, so no shortage of pointy ears and potions. Finally, I’ll leave you with a refreshingly depressing thought – a Tony Hawk’s Ride sequel is already in development. God help us all; see this for reference.



January 28th, 2010
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News

New Years Update

I sat down with myself the other day and decided that one of my few, and ultimately doomed new years resolutions, would be to update this blog at least once a week if not more, and I will do my best to hold to that, as there’s a lot of industry developments as of late, and a long-winded article every couple of weeks just doesn’t really cut it, so here’s to hoping that works out.

To begin with I told myself that MyTwoSenses shouldn’t too be formulaic, as there’s enough cookie-cutter stuff out there already, but I’ve realised that a few weekly sections/articles wouldn’t go amiss, and might be an easier way to convey my drivel to you fine sirs. With that say, starting from today I’m going to a “weekly picks” article, with links to sites and vidoes worth wasting your time on and a little bit of info, whether it be useful game guides, kick-ass headshots or simply stupid viral-y sort of stuff. So…

Weekly Picks 13/01/10

  • First thing to check out, if you don’t already follow it, is Zero Punctuation, and it’s awesome games video reviews done by the hilarious and frankly psychotic Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw
  • Next up is YouTube channel from a gentleman who goes by the name of SeaNanners. This guy posts up video commentary on his games of Call of Duty, as well as giving tips on how to make that special sort of pwnage ensue and additionally does some light-hearted video commentary for a few other games. Comical, useful and generally good clean fun – do it.
  • Another YouTube Channel now, College Humour – Besides a shitload of funny and well produced spoofs and parodies of movies and pop culture (I highly recommend the “I gotta feeling” Parody) they run a gaming series called Bleep Bloop and I found their recent review of Tony Hawk’s Skateboard Controller to be particularly poignant and thought-provoking to me…well not really, but just watch it, you’ll see.
  • And finally something completely un-games related, but awesome nonetheless is Zach Galifianakis’ (star of The Hangover) Between Two Ferns. If you’re partial to a bit of extremely awkward humour, this is definitely your cup of tea and has to be seen to be believed.

And that’s it for this week, lookout for a Games News Update in the next day or two. As always let me know your thoughts about anything on the blog , even hate mail is fun!

January 13th, 2010
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Reviews

Network security is one of the most important aspects to consider when working over the internet. Though it sounds scary, it’s not very difficult. I personally have come across several dozen hacks I wished were a thing of the past. To get started, it’s easy to use free tools to protect your computer. These apps can protect you from the most common internet threats, like phishing, viruses, and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service).

What is cyber protection? - Definition, Importance, Types, Cost - Acronis

Choose Your Most Secure Browser

Browser security is a topic that can’t be discussed enough. It comes down to convenience and effectiveness. You want to be able to do all of your tech tasks with a browser, whether it’s navigating around the web or using an online app. If you’ve got a choice, go with a browser with the strongest security technology and a strong core code, so that you won’t have to worry about hacks being used to break in, we suggest including the use of SD-WAN solutions to protect your network as well. But these days, everyone wants the fastest, most stable, and most efficient browser they can get. We’ve got the best browsers to choose from. Here’s a few of the most secure browsers:

If your phone is like mine, then you probably have a pretty good idea of what a fingerprint scanner and iris scanner will do for your security. These two simple tools can help you to keep your information private when you get in to a new place. These are also very effective in stopping nefarious people from accessing your accounts, but it’s up to you if you want to take the plunge. They’re easy to use and the encryption tools they use are secure. If you really want to protect yourself online, then be sure to use these two services.

Some of the best smartphone apps are also available for your desktop. For example, your browser is more secure, as all your online accounts are stored within your phone, whereas on your desktop, your personal files are isolated, protected, and encrypted.

Protect Your Virtual Machine

Before you get to your virtual machine, be sure to secure your computer first. Many users will simply choose not to install any antivirus software because antivirus programs can be more tedious than necessary to operate. But if you use the very most up-to-date antivirus programs available, it could be the difference between your system being hacked and having to scramble your files. And since your antivirus programs aren’t capable of being installed on virtual machines, it’s even more important to protect them. If you have a Mac or Linux machine, then you can simply install your antivirus software, but if you’re a Windows user, then you’ll need to download an antivirus solution that’s specifically designed for virtualization.

How To Protect Your Data from Hacking in Virtualization

Your resources are finite and there’s not much you can do about it. The good news is that you don’t need to do anything complicated or sophisticated to protect your data. You simply have to make sure you keep a backup of your system before it’s shared with your guests.

April 2nd, 2008
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