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Notice: PlayStation Network Will Be Down On Wednesday

50°
315w ago - Lestrade, community team leader over at the official SCEE message board, has announced that the PlayStation Network will be down on Wednesday for around six hours due to scheduled maintenance, starting at 07:00 BST UK time.

As usual, the maintenance will be region-wide, however, due to the timing, will mainly affect European users of the service. Lestrade notes that "during the maintenance, some users might be unable to sign in to PSN, while others who have previously signed in (before the maintenance has started) might suffer disconnections."

To quote: Hello all, Please be aware that there is planned PLAYSTATIONŽNetwork maintenance on: Wednesday 07:00am - 1:00pm BST or Wednesday 02:00am - 8:00am EST

During the maintenance, some users might be unable to sign in to PSN, while others who have previously signed in (before the maintenance has started) might suffer disconnections.
 

How PlayStation Network can beat XBox Live

200°
315w ago - If you regularly browse any popular gaming site you'll have found it hard to avoid hype over the Firmware 2.4 update for the PlayStation 3. While every new update seems to generate unfathomable levels of interest over the smallest, most trivial new features, 2.40 actually appeared to be worth the excitement.

I still firmly believe that Sony gets off extremely lightly with regard to its online service, rolling out additional features and gaining press coverage for services that its rival Microsoft has given Xbox 360 (and even Xbox) owners for months, if not years.

Firmware 2.40 even caused a number of PS3s to cease working, yet the platform holder seemingly came out of the situation fairly unscathed. Those issues aside, PSN is finally becoming the service it should have been from day one, but how can it beat Xbox LIVE?

The biggest inclusion in Firmware 2.40 is support for Trophies, Sony's answer to Xbox's Achievements. Great on paper, but in reality it's nothing more than a novelty. At the time of writing only one game supports the trophy system, which is pretty shocking. Why not launch with support for all key Sony titles? Surely that should have been the bare minimum to expect.

More games will be added to the list over time, but most older titles won't be patched to include...
 

Just how many PlayStation Network Registrants are there?

100°
317w ago - In today's Sony Computer Entertainment strategy meeting, Kaz Hirai also announced thrilling info about the PLAYSTATION Network. Factoids include:

Cumulative Number of Registrants:
Over 9.8 million accounts worldwide

Distributed Data Volume:
Approx. 86 peta bytes
(equivalent to 17 million single layer DVDs)

Simply fascinating. But 17 million single layer DVDs? How many Blu-ray Discs is that exactly?

Registrants: approx. 9.8 million
Registration rate: 45 percent
Total downloads: 170 million
Data volume: 86 peta bytes
Data Volume in Single layer DVD: 17 million units
as of 2008/6/24
 

Sony: PlayStation Network Down for Maintence Tomorrow

50°
317w ago - According to the knowledge base article linked above on Sony's official PlayStation Web site, the PSN will be taken offline for scheduled maintenance tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m., until 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. And yes, during this time, access to the online PS Store will be disabled as well.

Does this mean the elusive firmware 2.4 is due for release tomorrow? Despite what hopefuls may think, it's highly unlikely.

Though we wouldn't be surprised if Sony will be using the time to test out the key components of 2.4 before they go live, such as trophies, which are said to directly integrate with the PSN service as well as Sony's upcoming Home online community.
 

PlayStation Network: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

50°
324w ago - Digital games downloads for consoles are in a fascinating position right now. We've previously discussed the state of console downloadable games - as well as a more detailed discussion of royalty rates for Xbox Live Arcade.

But the state of PlayStation Network for indie games is significantly less-discussed - actually, for some potentially interesting reasons. A starting point would be this interview with Sony's Scott Steinberg conducted at GDC, discussing Microsoft's announcement of Xbox Live Community Games. Steinberg's response to that:

"I thought it was interesting in the sense that what they were talking about we've sort of been doing for the last couple of years with PSN and giving smaller, start-up, entrepreneurial developers the chance to get in and make their games available on the PSN."

Well, yes and no. The biggest issue here - and what I find somewhat disingenuous of Sony - is that Microsoft is trying hard and genuinely to open up its platform to everyone (though they do have significant XBLA-related royalty issue and game complexity/submission headaches to work through).

And Sony is trashing them on the basis of PSN - which is actually somewhat of a closed platform right now, save some inspired and to-be-lauded cherrypicking.

The First-Party PSN...
 
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