Wired: 'Sony is attempting to define itself as the anti-Xbox. If that won't work, the game console for gaming gamers is done.'
On Wednesday, Sony announced its new upcoming PlayStation 4.
At the long two-hour event in NYC attended by over 1,000 journalists and fans, the company spent the time talking up its philosophy behind the system and reiterated that it was for 'true gamers':sick new graphics, ungodly amounts of RAM and cool new gaming-centric features like the ability to stream gameplay videos in real time.
However, according to Wired, there’s an excellent chance the PS4 will be the last videogame console ever (at least as we understand the term).
Here are some extracts from the article:
“We’re focusing on that core gamer, the gamer who wants the ultimate experience and lives for gaming,” Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton told Wired contributor Steven Levy after the event. “If you’re not a gamer, I don’t think you get it.”
Not a gamer? Beat it, loser. We don’t even want you buying PlayStation 4. So what is all this, then? Why is Sony rallying the gamer troops under its banner? PlayStation 4′s reveal preceded the as-yet-unscheduled announcement of the next Xbox. And it’s clear that Sony is attempting to preemptively define itself against Microsoft.
Over the last few years, Microsoft has been attempting to change the way people think about its Xbox 360. It launched it in 2005 as a game console, the same way Sony is talking up the PlayStation 4 today. But now it wants you to think of it as an ecumenical home entertainment system, capable of streaming television, movies, music and everything else. Depending on your cable provider, you can use Xbox to control your live TV experience too.
With all this in mind, there should be no question that Microsoft’s pitch for its eventual new console, right from the off, will be: This plays games, but it’s not for gamers any more than an iPad is just for gamers. Everybody watches TV, so everybody wants an Xbox to give them a heightened experience. If someday you find yourself caught in a downpour and duck into the nearest doorway and thereby accidentally enter a Microsoft store, you would be able to buy an Xbox on a cellphone-style plan, paying $99 for the box if you subscribe to two years of the Xbox Live service. That’s today. What if that’s the whole pitch for the next Xbox? What if Sony’s machine is $500 and Microsoft’s is $100? That would be the Bambi vs. Godzilla of console wars.
But the big mistake Sony seems to be making is the assumption that this is a zero-sum equation, in which a lack of other entertainment options means you are by default better at games. There’s no reason the next Xbox can’t be an awesome gaming device even if Microsoft achieves its goal of broadening the scope of the product. It’s so costly to make videogames today that none of the handful of publishers that are not yet bankrupt would fail to put their games on both platforms. Hardcore gamers are not hard to please, at the macro level. They are insanely expensive to please, but not hard: They want shooters with 1080p graphics, the same controller they’ve been using for the last decade, and seamless online play. It is not within the realm of possibility that Microsoft fails to deliver that.
Sony does make better platform-exclusive games than Microsoft. It doesn’t have a shooter as popular as Halo, but Microsoft doesn’t have an Uncharted, a Heavy Rain, a Journey or an Infamous. Sony is killing it with first-party content. But ask Nintendo how that works out for you. It’s not a sufficient condition for success.
Who knows — maybe it’ll pay off. But if gamers don’t flock to Sony’s rallying cry, what then? There’s a good chance Sony may realize all too late that it was Microsoft that got it right, and that you actually can sell far more game machines into people’s homes by broadening the appeal of the device beyond “the gamer… who lives for gaming.” Sony might find itself having to change course and play catch-up again, like it did when PlayStation 3 showed up empty-handed to the online-gaming party that Xbox Live was throwing in 2006.
And if that does happen, and the future is all-in-one entertainment boxes, then PlayStation 4 might be the last traditional gaming console ever released.
So, what do you think? You can read the full article below!
Back in early 2012, Dylan says, he drunkenly called someone at Epic Games. Epic is the North Carolina-based studio behind the Gears of War games and the Unreal graphics engine which top publishers and developers from around the world use to power their own games.
He spilled the beans and told them he'd had access to some part of their computer system for a long time—since early 2011, he would tell me. But he liked Epic and he was happy to tell them where their security holes were. In an e-mail exchange, an Epic employee thanked him. Dylan asked if he could have a poster. They sent him one.
"A hacker compromised our internal network a couple years ago," an Epic spokesperson told me recently, verifying the basics of Dylan's story. "We were able to start a conversation and work with him to make it more secure. As thanks, we sent him a signed poster from the team. No social security numbers, credit cards or other sensitive customer data was compromised during the breach." Epic notified their forum users and their licensees that there was a breach. All was taken care of.
But when I told Dylan about this, he displayed what I'd come to know as his penchant for icing one tale with a wilder one. He told me he got access to the computer of former Epic star game designer Cliff Bleszinski and found his social security number. He said he got access to usernames and passwords of Epic forum users and "to an extent, yes, credit card info." When I noted my surprise, he responded: "I had Epic's AmEx for a while." But he says he never charged anything to it. "That would have been a big red flag," he told me.
If Not Valve, Then Blizzard. If Not Blizzard, Then...
Dylan has maintained that he is merely curious. He says he's not even a huge gamer, that he just liked the challenge of seeing if he could poke around and find things out. That's why, he says, he tried to hack his way into Valve. He claims that a 2011 hack was his, but that Valve described it all wrong. There were no credit card numbers obtained, he said, offering me no proof he really did the hack. He said he was just looking for Half-Life 3—and didn't manage to find anything about it. Valve declined to comment for this story.
Epic, Valve... there was more. He used to brag to me that a list of game companies that he hadn't gotten access to would be shorter than the ones he did.
There was Blizzard, the World of Warcraft people. "I poked around Blizzard because I actually love Blizzard as a company, and I'd imagine working at Blizzard would be a dream job," Dylan said to me in an e-mail. "I accessed Blizzard, because it would have been awesome to play on my own World of Warcraft server or to own the source code—heck, to play their new MMO Titan, the possibilities are endless." He later told me that Blizzard, of all the companies he's tried to access, are the best at spotting intruders and changing their passwords.
A Blizzard rep confirmed to me that a hacker—presumably Dylan—had gained access to an employee's webmail account, as Dylan had told me he'd done, but that access was swiftly denied. No customer information was accessed, or accessible via the intrusion, the company says.
Reps for Square Enix and United Front Games, the presumed publisher and developer, respectively, for Sleeping Dogs 2 did not comment on Dylan's assertion that he had access to their unannounced game—or that it even exists.
As for THQ, that publisher just went out of business and is not around to confirm if he really got Homefront 2, a first-person shooter sequel Dylan maintained was being made for Durango. The game's studio Crytek did not reply to a request for comment.
To convince me he had Homefront 2, Dylan had sent me this, a supposed file directory for the game.
Gaining access to digital paperwork might be hard, but it's not hard to imagine a hacker doing it. The same goes for getting game code. But imagine this scenario: You access Microsoft's internal developer network. You pose as a game developer. You access a shopping page intended for developers, where you can tick off some boxes and, for 7500 Euros, order yourself a Durango development kit. Maybe you claim to be from Rockstar, makers of Grand Theft Auto. You put in any old banking info, to the extent it asks for that. And you put in the address of a "drop" location—some place other than where you live. You track the package, and then you just wait for the FedEx person to arrive, take the delivery and—voila!—you've got a development kit.
That's what SuperDaE says he did. Or at least that's what he told me he did when we were talking last Saturday.
Can you really trick Microsoft into sending something as sensitive as a development kit for their next Xbox to a random Australian address? Can you really trick the payment system since, presumably, you don't have the 15,000 Euros for the two development kits you say you got?
Dylan never gave me a clear answer for any of that, but he did send me a screenshot of the supposed Microsoft developer online store. You or I can't get the URL to work, not without a game developers' password, something I don't have.
After the police raided Dylan's house—and that event definitely did happen, according to Australian police—Dylan told me a somewhat different story. Or perhaps I had misunderstood him. He'd never had the Durangos. They'd been sent to his friend in the United States or at least to a drop location his friend had access to. He was just the face for the eBay sales. He hadn't sold them. It became less and less clear to me what role, if any, he played in accessing them—to the extent that he and the hackers he knew really managed to trick Microsoft into sending that sensitive hardware out.
"I never personally touched the Durango itself," he told me. "I've played through the Durango operating system, but not the original."
And was there a third Durango? Dylan told me he helped order and get it delivered to someone on an island. He says that one sold for $5,000 and that he has the bank receipt. I've never seen it.
The stocks from the two companies traded in opposite directions on Thursday, just after the new console announcement.
After Sony revealed its long-awaited PlayStation 4 console on Wednesday, the company's U.S shares were down 2.7% to $14.08 by midday, while Nintendo’s shares went up 2% to $11.79.
Trade on the Japanese market were similar as Sony slipped about 1.8% by the close of that session, and Nintendo Japan gaining about 1.3%.
So, what gives? According to WSJ's MarketWatch:
Sony hosted a high-profile event in New York City on Wednesday night to introduce the PlayStation 4. But while the company spent two hours discussing the new capabilities of the console and the games that would be developed for it, the device itself was never shown, leading many to speculate as to what the company is currently keeping under wraps.
Though both are rivals in the videogame market, Sony and Nintendo also have many differences. Nintendo is mostly dependent on its console and games business, while Sony is far more diversified across the consumer electronics spectrum. And Nintendo has tended to appeal more to the family and casual gaming crowd, so the launch of a new PlayStation wouldn’t necessarily kill off demand for its own new Wii U console that hit the market in November.
But both are also going after a market that has been hammered by the emergence of smartphones, tablets and social gaming. Nintendo has struggled to sell the Wii U since its launch, leading the company to cut its sales forecast for the year. And while analysts say they liked what they saw from Sony on Wednesday night, many questions remain unanswered, such as what the new PS4 will cost when it finally comes out this holiday season.
It’s possible that Thursday’s trades are a mix of profit taking and hedging. Sony’s U.S.-listed shares have jumped more than 30% over the last two months in anticipation of the new console. Nintendo has lost about 30% since the launch of the Wii U in mid-November.
Well, this has now been confirmed by multiple sources, and there's also more info on what happened.
According to The Sidney Morning Herald:
An Australian hacker has found himself at the centre of an international corporate espionage investigation after leaking details of Microsoft's new Xbox and listing a prototype on eBay as a joke.
Perth man SuperDaE goes by many names and online aliases, most commonly Dan Henry, but for "safety reasons" he prefers to be called only "Dylan" and describes himself as a freelance security analyst.
West Australian Police confirmed the raid, but would not say whether, as Dylan claims, an officer from the FBI was present.
"Technology Crime Investigation unit is currently conducting a multi-jurisdictional investigation into computer related offences," WA Police sergeant Gerry Cassidy said. "A search warrant was conducted Tuesday 19 February in relation to this investigation where items were seized."
Dylan, whose computers, phones and banking cards were seized on Tuesday, said he had "no idea what's happening," when he spoke to Fairfax Media on Friday.
"I'm eating one meal a day," he said. "There's no real way to get by, how do I pick things up from nothing?"
But he concedes the backlash did not come as a shock after a friend of his was raided in New Jersey two months ago in relation to the same investigation.
"They just took all my computers my hard drives, all of my technology, they took my bank cards, credit cards, bank statements," he said.
"They cleaned me out pretty much."
Why did he do it? "Out of curiosity," he said. "I like to explore things in my free time and I've got a lot of free time."
After Dylan first leaked information about the Xbox on Twitter he said he was visited by a Microsoft employee who wanted the Durango back.
"It didn't seem like they were going to actually pursue it this way," he said.
"It seemed very much that they just wanted to know where their things were."
But at 7.10 on Tuesday morning there was a knock at the door.
"They had a ram in their hands and a warrant held up to me," Dylan said. "And they left with all my stuff."
Dylan, who is relying on friends and family while he awaits the outcome of the investigation, said he fears the FBI are going to attempt an extradition to the US.
"It's really just a waiting game as to if they'll press charges," he said. "There's really nothing I can do at this stage," he said.
Does he regret the events that led to his current predicament?
"If I could change anything yes, but do I regret it? It happened," he said. "I can't really look back on that."
Meanwhile, the location of the Durango would remain a guarded secret. "No one's going to know where it is," Dylan said.
Here's also a copy of the warrant that was executed at SuperDaE's residence, obtained by The Tech Game (full pic on the link):