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Casual Games and Piracy: The Truth

50°
336w ago - Just how rampant is piracy in PC casual gaming? In a startling instalment of his regular Gamasutra column, Reflexive's director of marketing Russell Carroll (Wik, Ricochet) reveals the 92% piracy rate for one of his company's games, and what worked (and didn't work) when they tried to fix it.]

"It looks like around 92% of the people playing the full version of [the pictured] Ricochet Infinity pirated it." It's moments like those that make people in the industry stop dead in their tracks. 92% is a huge number and though we were only measuring people who had gotten the game from Reflexive and gone online with it, it seemed improbable that those who acquired the game elsewhere or didn't go online were any more likely to have purchased it. As we sat and pondered the financial implications of such piracy, it was hard to get past the magnitude of the number itself: 92%.

In the casual games space, where the majority of the industry is tied to an internet-distributed product, piracy is a common problem. Search for any casual game through Google, add the word 'crack', and the search engine will help you find and illegally acquire every casual game you can imagine.

One way to fight the search-engine facilitated piracy is to work to remove the ever-expanding number of links to illegal copies,...
 

PS3 backwards compatibility to return?

100°
336w ago - PlayStation 3 owners who don't have PS2 backwards compatibility may yet be able to enjoy the feature after a Sony executive hinted at its return.

At launch, all PlayStation 3 consoles boasted PS2 backwards compatibility - with the US and Japanese machines offering a hardware solution while the UK console featured software emulation.

However, Sony removed the feature in later editions of the console, including the 40Gb model currently on sale in the UK.

PlayStation network director Eric Lempell told EGM that the function could return for those PS3 consoles currently lacking it. "There are possibilities through technology and software emulation to make that possible," he said, but added that Sony has no "specific plans at this point".
 

New Sony, Ubisoft, Square Enix Trademarks Reveal New Games?

50°
336w ago - Recent filings at the US Patent and Trademark Office may give us some insight into upcoming plans for a number of publishers. While not all filings eventually make it to actual product, there are a few interesting unknowns within. Leading the pack is Capcom's Wolf of the Battlefield which, while unannounced, may be the final name or part of the name of the company's top-down shooter Commando 3.

Sony Computer Entertainment has just registered In The Beginning There Was Darkness, a game we don't believe is based on the book of the same name, chronicling a blind man's life journey while reading the Bible. [Update: As commenter CONFUSEDGAM3R points out, this is part of the God of War: Chains of Olympus ad campaign. Thanks!] Square Enix has two new filings with Sigma Harmonics and My Life As A King, the latter of which may be a spin on the name of its announced WiiWare game.

Finally, it looks like Ubisoft has two new properties in the works, Aftershock and Strike Hawk. Why do both of those instantly sound like Tom Clancy branded games to me? Regardless, the first may simply be the post-earthquake survival game previously known as Alive. Go ahead, speculate!
 

PSP Custom Firmware 3.90 M33-2 released!

50°
336w ago - Update: Following the release of CFW 3.80/3.90 M33, some users experienced lag when loading compressed files and plug-ins from the memory stick. The patch below allows users to load the original 3.71 fatms driver on 3.80 and 3.90 M33 series Firmware to resolve this issue.

Download: FATMS Driver Patch for 3.80 and 3.90 M33 [Right-click, Save As]

Note that while this patch will increase memory stick read speed, the 3.71 fatms driver will require use of more kernel memory.

Dark_AleX has released an update to PSP Custom Firmware 3.90 M33. The update features numerous improvements in plug-in loading code, notably fixing issues related with loading plug-ins on slow memory sticks.

Download: PSP Custom Firmware 3.90 M33-2 [Right-click, Save As]

As always, this update can be downloaded from Network Update, which requires an active WiFi connection, or directly below. Updates are cumulative, so you can safely skip installing previous updates if you are still running an earlier 3.90 M33 release.

Changes:

- Improvements in plugins loading code:

* Fixed some problems with problematic cards due to filesystem not mounted.
 

Is PS3 Backwards Compatibility Dead? Maybe Not!

50°
336w ago - The one version of the PlayStation 3 that currently supports PlayStation 2 software – via emulation of the "Emotion Engine" – looks like it's about to go the way of the dodo. Exactly how crushed should those of us be, should we want to experience PS2 classics on our future PS3s?

Oh, totally crushed for now, but the future may provide a glimmer of hope, backing us away from the ledge. PlayStation Network director Eric Lempell says there are "possibilities" the PS2 playing capabilities could come back to the gutted PS3 in the most recent issue of EGM.

When asked by the mag if the now BC-less console kills any chance of offering PS2 games via the PlayStation Store, as it does for original PlayStation games, Lempel said "We haven't talked about that yet, but there are possibilities through technology and software emulation to make that possibles."

Lempell chose not to talk about "specific plans at this point" but that doesn't mean we can't hope. And pray. And start online petitions.

The full interview, which is actually with Sony Computer Entertainment SVP of marketing Peter Dille – he says backward compatibility is "important to us" – is in the newest issue of EGM, which is in subscriber hands now. We hope that 1UP will publish the interview online, in-full, at some point...
 
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