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Wednesday
May042011

Are the proposed PSN reparations enough to bring gamers back?

Is Sony doing enough to compensate gamers for the PSN outage?  Are Playstation Plus members getting the shaft?

 

We have finally gotten word on what Sony plans to do to compensate PSN users for the recent outage caused by Sony’s decision to completely re-write their online security in the wake of an attack by hackers that lifted the information from over 70 million PSN accounts.  Here is the excerpt from the press release:

Central components of the “Welcome Back” program will include:

  • Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Specific details of this content will be announced in each region soon.
  • All existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service. Current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service.
  • Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers (in countries where the service is available) will receive 30 days free service.

Additional “Welcome Back” entertainment and service offerings will be rolled out over the coming weeks as the company returns the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services to the quality standard users have grown to enjoy and strive to exceed those exceptions.

 Let’s look at that list.  The free downloads bother me immediately.  When Microsoft had a hiccup with Xbox Live in 2008, they gave a free game (Undertow) away.  That was fine for people who didn’t own the game and wanted it, but all of us that had already purchased it or had no interest in it, got no compensation for the outage.  This could easily happen with Sony.  Clearly Microsoft should have offered free points to be spent on any content, but I don’t think that is an option with PSN since the transaction there are based on actual dollars, not points.  There are likely a number of issues involved with giving money away that don’t come up once those dollars are converted to “points.”  Still, I would hope Sony offers a variety of choices, and that every gamer has the opportunity to pick up games or DLC that they don’t have and actually want.

The next bulleted point tells us that each user will get a free 30 days of PS+ (Sony’s premium online service) and that current PS+ subscribers will get 30 days added to their account.  I’m a PS+ subscriber and have been since that program launched.  I would have been happy just to have the length of the outage added to the end of my subscription, so this is a bonus.  It isn’t mentioned here, but with the related Sony Online Entertainment takedown, Sony has said subscribers will get a free 30 days plus however many days are lost to the outage.  I would hope this is true for PS+ also.  Otherwise, while new users would get a full 30 days, current PS+ members would be getting 30 days minus however many days it turns out PS+ is down during the outage.  Sony should add the time missed to the end of our subscriptions and then add the 30 days to that.

I do not subscribe to nor am I curious about Qriocity, but the same points above apply.  If Sony doesn’t offer back the days the network was down, they are not really giving 30 free days.

So, for Nerdbloggers, the jury is still out on Sony’s reparations.  It will come down to the free content offered once the Marketplace comes back online.  If the offerings are good enough, I will be happy.  After all, Sony was the victim* in this crime; the users are just the collateral damage. 

 

* A victim much like a tourist walking down the street with gold chains and our money sticking out his pockets.

Monday
May022011

Quite Quotable

"What counts is not what other people think of you, but what you are and what you do."

 Jeanne Cavelos, The Shadow Within

Monday
May022011

Hallo's Atari 2600 Review #1: Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle

Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle Publisher: Coleco Date: 1982 Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle is a side-scrolling adventure where an unnamed Smurf attempts to rescue Smurfette from the clutches of Gargamel who has hidden her deep within his castle. Ok, maybe not too deep, but she is stuck on top of some dining room furniture and apparently is not able to climb down by herself.

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Monday
Apr252011

Quite Quotable

"Fantasy is true . . . it isn't factual, but it is true."

 Ursula K. Le Guin, "Why Are Americans Afraid of Dragons?"

Friday
Apr222011

Playing the Tables – My Experience with Geek Chic

Being a gamer dad with four kids can be a blessing and a curse. It's nice to have gaming slaves a built in gaming group, but at times my children seem to have more in common with devastating natural disasters than human beings. When you add three insane cats into the mix, any game on the table teeters on the brink of destruction if you step away for even a moment.

Last February I decided to take steps to rectify the situation. I embarked on a quest to find a gaming table that would allow me to play those epic, marathon length games that I've always longed to play, but still be The Sultan table.

able to put my adventures on hold and take care of real life whenever it beckoned. After sifting through the glut of pool tables, poker tables, and ping pong tables which didn't really address my needs, I started to feel a bit defeated. I even entertained the notion of learning carpentry to build my own table, but the childhood memories of the misshapen birdhouse deathtraps I built during arts and crafts brought me back to reality. Thankfully for me (and my limbs), I discovered Geek Chic, a company that builds heirloom quality, made to order furniture specifically for tabletop gamers.

I originally learned about Geek Chic when reading an article about their "Sultan" table, the game table equivalent of a Rolls Royce. It is made of solid hardwood, sports a dropped gaming surface, and has desks, drawers, and all sorts of hidden compartments. I flirted with the fantasy of owning one, but with the cost of the table easily reaching the $10,000 mark, the idea was exactly that: a fantasy. My daydreams led me to www.geekchichq.com, the company's website, where I discovered a whole line of tables that were much friendlier on the wallet.

Click to read more ...