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Prison Inmates' PlayStations Now Banned Due to Escape Fears

550°
276w ago - Just over a month ago it was rumored that crime lords were running empires from jail via PlayStation consoles.

Today it appears some prison officials are taking no chances, and are banning inmates' PlayStation 3 consoles amid escape fears.

To quote: A prison has banned inmates from using PlayStation 3 games consoles because they fear they could be used in an escape attempt.

Inmates at Rye Hill prison, near Rugby, Warwickshire, were found to be using the consoles' built-in wireless connections to chat to friends outside prison.

Wardens have confiscated the consoles over fears they pose a "significant threat" to prison security. A spokesman for the Prison Service said:

"PlayStation 3 consoles are barred on the grounds that they have the capability to send and receive radio signals as an integral part of the equipment."
 

Final Fantasy XIV in Development 5 Years, to be Best Available

250°
278w ago - During Square Enix's press conference at E3, the company talks about how their original vision for Final Fantasy XIV was to create the "best Final Fantasy available".

According to them, the best would have to be a massively multiplayer online RPG. Square Enix seems pretty proud of themselves stating that "We hope to have the best story."

Square Enix also brought up the trailer debuted at SCEA's press conference yesterday, saying that most of it was done in CG, however, some parts, such as the scene with the Galka fighting, were in-engine clips.

Final Fantasy XIV has been in development for nearly five years already. The new game will not follow the shoes of it's precedessor and use the Play Online service, frankly because it's terrible.

Square's focusing on character growth in game, developing a job system to allow for natrual growth amongst players.
 

Sony Announces First Profit Loss in 14 Years Today

100°
281w ago - Sony today (5/14/09) announced that amid a drop in sales has had a loss of 98.9bn yen ($1.04bn; £685m) at the end of March compared to it's profit of 369.4bn yen last year.

Sony blames the currently strong yen and global economic downturn for the loss of profit this year. Sony had cut around 8,000 jobs and closed 10% of it's factories earlier this year in an attempt to slow the loss in revenue.

This current loss in profit is not unexpected though it is better than what Sony had originally predicted in January, which they said would be a loss of 150bn yen.

Sony's stocks closed today down 6.8% at 2,400 yen ahead of the results.

Sony is predicting a net loss for the current financial year of 120bn yen and as a result will continue to cut jobs and close factories. Analyst say that the only way for Sony to truly recover from this downturn would be to create a popular electronic as they currently have "no number one product" with the PS3 only being number one in Japan and slowly growing in several other countries.

However experts are agreeing that is currently a small blip and does not reflect a loss in popularity in the Nintendo Wii console due to the increase in profit that Nintendo announced earlier in the month. Time can only tell if this giant will recover or fall...
 

Reeves: PlayStation 3 to be Dominant in 3 to 5 Years

100°
283w ago - Outgoing Sony Europe president David Reeves has said that the PlayStation 3 still has a long way to go before it can overtake Microsoft's Xbox 360 on the market, with the exec predicting it could take up to five more years for the console to become the market leader.

Speaking just days before he's due to retire, Reeves said that despite leaving the company after 15 years, he still believes in Sony and its gaming products.

To quote: "I don't think it will be next year, but in three to five years it will become dominant on the market," said Reeves, talking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz.

"The legacy will be that people will see a tortoise and hare situation. In a way, in the end it will be a dead heat. People will say PS3 took a while to get going but it really caught up very quickly and confounded many of the critics from the first year," he said of the consoles position on the market.

"When I see the line-up ahead, when I see what's lined up on the new product side, I'm very, very optimistic for what I see for PlayStation's future in the PAL territories," he added.

Reeves retires from Sony Europe tomorrow. He joined Sony in 1995 managing the regional...
 

Gears of War 2 Update for XBox 360 Mends Wounds

50°
287w ago - On March 24th, Gears of War 2 received its third title update. It's the biggest update yet and promised to fix multiple exploits, bugs, and other glitches.

The update also includes an overhaul to the matchmaking ranking system as well as brand new achievements to prepare for the Snowblind Map Pack due out on the 31st.

However, the question still remains, "has the online component truly been fixed correctly?" Believe it or not, it has.

As inconsistent as Epic Games is when it comes to fixing their beloved Gears, you have to admire their persistent efforts. The first title update addressed matchmaking issues, allowing parties not at maximum capacity to find a game in a respectable amount of time.

The second update addressed a slew of problems including the Gnasher shotgun fix. But even with such significant upgrades as the previous fixes accomplished, they pale in comparison to what the third has done for the game. You can check the complete patch notes here.

Let's start with the most noticeable change; the reimagining of the ranking system. Before the update, Gears had a ranking system based around five different military decals. The problem was that after you began playing, your bars would never really change at all.

There were instances where...
 
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