May 062011

Direct2Drive has been very active on the deal scene lately, giving Steam plenty of competition.  Their weekend deal with promo code “sizzle” offers 25% upcoming high-profile games like Brink, The Witcher 2, Battlefield 3, Rage and more.  Check out the list here.  Not a bad time to pick up Brink, which releases next week.

Also, if you’ve been holding out on Dead Space 2 or Dead Space 1, for that matter — check out these good deals at the EA store.  Digital downloads of both copies for $24 and $12, respectively.   I played through Dead Space 2 at launch on the PS3, and found it more enjoyable than the first one, so I’d definitely recommend it at that price.

May 062011

Following up on my blathering on about Eric Chahi’s groundbreaking game Another World, back in distant April, I want to point out this Destructoid-exclusive designer diary for Chahi’s upcoming game From Dust. In a nutshell, From Dust is a “god game” based on terrain deformation. And it looks fantastic:

It’s slated to be a mid-priced title ($20 or so, presumably?) for multiple platforms, including PC. (Who knows, PSN might even be back up by the game’s release, sometime in the coming months.) Ubisoft is publishing it, and they seem to be putting some marketing muscle behind the game while still providing Chahi the independence to create a new world. Maybe they’re trying to work off some of their sins accumulated from the last few years of draconian DRM.

From Dust looks beautiful and new, and that means it’s important.

May 062011

In a trifecta of updates on the PlayStation Blog, Sony gives us new information on where they are at and what they are doing for their customers.  The first update, Patrick Seybold tells us they have been working around the clock to restore service and the new and improved PSN is in the final stages, being internally tested.  Still, no time line is given, so it’s anyone’s guess at this point.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see it back up until next week.

In the second update, Seybold describes the free year of credit monitoring Sony will offer to their US customers.  They claim to be working out the details for customers in other regions.  Basically, in the near future all PSN users will receive an email giving them details on how to sign up for their complimentary credit monitoring, which includes $1 million insurance policy for identity theft.  This was one of the important things I felt Sony should have offered, and they’ve followed that through, so I’m starting to warm back up to them ever-so-slightly.

In the third and last update from last night, we hear from Sir Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony.  He tries to answer the main question everyone is asking which is why it took so long to let their customers know:

As soon as we discovered the potential scope of the intrusion, we shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and hired some of the best technical experts in the field to determine what happened. I wish we could have gotten the answers we needed sooner, but forensic analysis is a complex, time-consuming process. Hackers, after all, do their best to cover their tracks, and it took some time for our experts to find those tracks and begin to identify what personal information had — or had not — been taken.

Fair enough, although it would have been nice to see them be proactive, like LastPass has done.  He does not acknowledge the information that indicates Sony was an easy target due to unpatched software and poorly designed network security.  I would have liked a little mea culpa there and less of playing an innocent victim, but maybe I’m just bitter.

Still unknown is what free content Sony will make available when everything is back up and running.  Also, still no mention of being able to erase your personal data from Sony’s databases if you so choose.  Right now, I feel that Sony is about halfway there in doing everything they should do to start to win back customer confidence.  Since everything is still a work in progress, I will reserve final judgement until then.