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Sony and Namco’s Cellius Lives

50°
368w ago - Remember Cellius? The company formed by Sony and Namco Bandai to create Cell based games? It was announced last year and since then things have been very quiet. Too quiet. Especially when you know that Ken Kutaragi is meant to be the chairman. A year later Cellius rears its head once more.

To apparentlly take market share from Microsoft and Nintendo in the games division, Cellius has high expectations.

Cellius will use Sony's Cell Broadband chip, which powers PlayStation 3, to create games for the console and content for mobile phones and personal computers. Perhaps even arcade machines.

Where the hell are they then? Cellius was announced in January last year, and the venture was said to begin operations March 6th 2007. I expect they have been putting together prototype games and developing engines to pitch and present this year.

Our first sign that they are still alive is the addition of a logo (above) on the official Cellius website. Yes I'm afraid that's it. A nice, pretty logo. But that's the start of any good business, as we ourselves know at Ripten. It's a pretty snazzy logo to say the least, with a form of morse code spelling out Cellius above the letters.

Whether this new company will develop on the Playstation 3, or will seek to further Cell usage...
 

PS3 Firmware Tool 1.00 Sneak Peek

400°
371w ago - Over the past few weeks, mainman has been working on a tool, with the assistance of our other PS3 Devs. This tool creates user-readable files from the PS3 flash dumps.

PS3's have two flashes, the firmware is spanned across both ot them. On boot they are interleaved and byte swapped. This tool recreates the process which interleaves and byte swaps the flashes.

This tool then creates a folder named PS3Nand-XXX.XXXX, where XXX.XXXX is the contents of "sdk_version", which is a file that stores the firmware revision of the PS3.

Upon completing that, the tool extracts every file from the flash, into said folder. Alas, all of the files (list below) are encrypted, but they are interesting nevertheless.

However if a PS3 was upgraded, it keeps a copy of the older flash as well. Say you are on 1.50, and upgrade to 1.60, it keeps 1.50 on there, and adds 1.60. The second firmware in this case, is not dumped (yet).

There are still a few bugs, it does not extract both firmware versions on a PS3, like the previous mentioned case. It also searches as a start for a fixed position, so it may not work with all dumps. We have had the most success with Infectus dumps, which you can get at Hardstore.
 

Revised PS3 Boot Information

250°
372w ago - Our Resident DEVS have revised the PS3 Bootup procedure, with some more interesting information.

asecure_loader is not at start of the NAND. The first 512KB also is skipped, or actually any 512 block of FF is skipped.

Furthermore, the asecure_loader differs per box, possibly encrypted with a per-box key. Files of course are not in clear, that suggests that at every step an encryption/decryption is done.

The boot loader in IDA does not look microcode for IDL, maybe it's encrypted with cpu key (the IBM secure boot/asecure_loader), that can explain also why a NAND dump can be restored only on the PS3 from which it was taken.

asecure_loader ----> lv0 which start lv1ldr or lv2ldr depending on 0 or other number in NAND FS
lvldr ----> lv1.self ----> cell_ext_area partition NAND, boot compressed linux kernel for example

load trvk_prg
spu_pkg_rvk_verifier.self load trvk_pkg
lv2ldr load lv2_kernel.self
spp_verifier.self load default.spp (bluetooth ?)
isoldr (?)
appldr (?)
sc_iso.self (?)
LV2 KERNEL MODULE ----> spu_token_processor.self
LV2 KERNEL MODULE ----> aim_spu_module.self
LV2 KERNEL MODULE ----> mc_iso_spu_module.self
LV2 KERNEL MODULE ----> ...
 

MLB 08 may be the most features-packed baseball game ever

50°
372w ago - Seriously, Sony's upcoming MLB 08 may have the longest list of features we've ever seen for a game, regardless of genre. The massive fact sheet released today has us scratching our heads in bewilderment, so much so that we simply had to provide you the entire list (after the break). Highlights include the ability to add your own custom soundtrack, online integration with MLB.com, and online stats tracking that will match players with similarly skilled opponents.

The game will be available on PS3, PS2 and PSP this Spring.

Road to The Show 2.0 - To deliver the closest experience possible, next to actually trying to make it in the Majors, MLB 08 THE SHOW introduces a more immersive Road to The Show mode. As gamers attempt to make a starting line-up in the Big Leagues, playing on both offense and defense from a custom-created player's perspective, a more robust dynamic goal system and a new career advancement system will determine when a player is eligible for a promotion. Now, advancement goals related to the player's attribute target level will be provided to get the player to that next level and those goals are based on the player's attribute level and statistical performance. Also, Road to The Show 2.0 adds a new statistics screen that will display a player's current seasons' statistics. Additionally,...
 

Take-Two future in jeopardy due to GTA 4 delay

50°
372w ago - The delay of Grand Theft Auto 4 on PS3 and Xbox 360 did more than upset millions of gamers anxiously awaiting its release -- it further complicated Take-Two's ongoing attempts to return to profitability.

According to The Street, the publisher could run out of both cash and credit reserves as soon as January or February, making the spring release of GTA 4 that much more crucial to the publisher's survival.

As a result, an incredible 32 percent of company stock is outstanding, meaning investors are anything but confident with Rockstar's sugar daddy at the moment.

Still, analysts say Take-Two can pull though if it launches Grand Theft Auto IV on schedule. Michael Pachter, for one, expects the game to sell 8.5 million copies by October, more than enough to turn things around.

Take-Two has seen a string of financial and management disasters in recent years. Despite its troubles, the publisher was ranked the six largest game-maker behind Nintendo, EA, Activision, Ubisoft, and THQ in Game Developers' 2007 Top 20 Publishers list.
 
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