PlayStation Around the Web: What We Read

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I’ve seen a number of people break out this old Harry Truman chestnut recently:

“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job it’s a depression when you lose yours.”

By this definition, the current economic situation has indeed become a depression for a number of our colleagues in the gaming industry. Just in the past few weeks, some people we’ve linked to, who make the games we play, who have guest-posted on this blog, and even some close friends have found themselves out of work.

As if that didn’t hit close enough to home, just in the past few days we’ve heard about the closing of the Gamerscore Blog, and the subsequent layoffs of its staff. Major Nelson may be the big name, but we’ve always felt the GSB to be more of an opposite number to the PlayStation.Blog. And while we’re on opposite sides of a sometimes contentious competitive atmosphere, we’ve maintained cordial, even friendly, ties with those who do what we do – only in Seattle.

On my first trip to that city last summer for PAX, it was GSB’s Chris Paladino who welcomed me to an opening night party and a joint Rock Band 2 jam session. Since then, we’ve continued to talk about things personal and professional (he’s a huge MLB The Show fan), and to jointly recognize how lucky we are to work in an industry that we’ve both loved since childhood.

That’s why the news was particularly shocking. While we absolutely love working for PlayStation, there’s no joy in seeing some of the more noble soldiers of a competitor go out like that. Best of luck Chris, Nelson, Sara, and the rest of you who find yourselves, hopefully only temporarily, a casualty of the times we live in.

Jeff, Patrick, & Chris

The PS Blog weekly reading list (Week of January 19, 2009)

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124 Comments

10 Author Replies

  • I see thay Larry Hyrb tracks the SCEA Twitter feed…do you, Jeff, track his Twitter too?

  • Christopher Kaminski lost his job from Sega? Speaking of Sega, any news on when Valkyria Chronicles DLC is going to be mentioned on the blog? I am going to assume that Christopher Kaminski won’t be making guest posts anymore…

    • Unfortunately, he did. I\’ll still try and get info on the VC DLC here on the blog – I\’m looking forward to it myself.

  • @37

    scrawlfx is nothing but regurgitated pap and wild rumour with NO substantiation. Why the heck would you want it up there?

  • I wonder, Jeff have you ever played Breath of Fire III?

  • Hopefully the members of the fallen GSB will find a new place to hang their hats.

  • Can someone from Sony tell me why (in regards to the 2.6 ‘non gaming goodness’ firmware) LittleBigPlanet saves were not fixed? I still get the, “This is not your save file” error when I start the game up.

  • please sony let me sign in, any account i just want to play online with my friends, i miss it sooo much!! please

  • Jeff, I was wondering if you will add a feature to the psn sign in where it allows us to continue to be signed in after we quit our internet browser. Just a tad annoying having to sign in everytime…Now for some pixel junk eden!

  • Did you guys also read IGN’s report card on PSN saying it’s still not as good as live :(?

    At least fix the message box system, and how friend request appear on the bottom. It should be on the top. Also message should be universal box instead of numbers beside each user.

  • @57:

    It’s true. XBL is still better than PSN, but not by as much as it was last year. PSN has improved by leaps and bounds in the past year, and will continue to do so.

    Remember that XBL has been around for 5 1/2 years, while PSN recently celebrated its 2nd birthday. The very fact that we can even compare the two is an accomplishment in itself.

  • I say psn is taking a turn for the better

    Also jeff any news on street fighter alpha 2 coming to psn for PSP and ps3 :D alpha,

    What do you need to have a degree in, to become a Playstation media worker.

  • @59
    I think IGN was a bit harsh on the PSN about its feature list. Alot of the stuff on XBL is really just useless or of very little importance, kind of like HOME.

    We could use cross game chat I’m sure, but honestly who can say that this is something we should cry over to the point where we would say one is better than the other. 4 things we should be looking at with an online network:

    1. Voice communication in an online game
    2. Affordability and justifiable cost to end user
    3. Stability
    4. Availability of online content.

    PS3 has all 4 of these things, so there is no problem here. Now if you want to compare based on these 4 things, both consoles have number 1, but only one of those consoles adds a kick of cross game chat. Both consoles provide an affordable service, but online of them is justifiable to all consumers. Both networks are stable and both networks have good content available.

    Then there is Netflix, 185 dollars a year for unlimited viewing which most of us wouldn’t spend anyway in rentals on a case by case basis.

    Long Story short XBL is Insignificantly Better than PSN as it’s main advantage is frills that offer little to no improvement over the PSN.

    I give PSN an A- and the XBL an A.

  • @60
    That shouldn’t matter, most of live’s features wasn’t available from the gecko so you can’t say something like that. Plus Sony had online too. From PS2-PS3 all they added was name and a universal friends list and they are slowly adding. Live had it’s features since launch a year before PS3 came out with PSN and there was no in-game XMB til a year and half later and we still don’t have as many features :( or as developed friends list/profile. Our message system is odd and doesn’t work well it’s not just my problem it’s many peoples too

  • I am sorry to bother you but I think I linked my PS blog account wrong because my avatar is not showing up. I did use the PSN account I use and my password I also used my name using the old account name Joe but my PSN account name is not showing up. My PSN account name is BlackIceJoe. So I want to know if I did some thing wrong or does it take some time to show up.

  • @62
    it’s not just cross game chat it’s cross game invites too and party system. Cross game inviting is when I can click on your name and go invite to game and you will be automatically inside my game of Call of Duty 4 or wahtever you are playing. Why it’s important is say you are playing COD4 and your friend comes on he has to wait for your game to be over or you have to leave the game to play with him because there no way you can invite him to your game without cross game inviting.

  • Party system is this you invite all your friend to your party then you load Call of Duty 4 and you all start off in a party in-game already and you can play together. We also need a new voice message system it’s so much easier to record a message and send then to type one out.

  • @jakinov

    That’s my point exactly. Most of the features on XBL weren’t there in the first few years. It took them a bit. Yeah, the PS2 had online, but not a unified service. That’s new, and they’ve done a great job since launch.

  • so a cheaper ps3 cause well mine broke :( wen i was gonna get LBP MGS4 and Resistance 2 like a week before christmas “sigh” 3 great games and nowere to play them even though i pre-ordered Killzone 2

  • Hi Jeff,

    Seeing you write about PAX made me realize I forgot to thank you. I was one of the lucky winners of the PS3 systems plus the 3 games. I can’t tell you how much of a shock it was to win. I wish I could keep 2 systems but as you noted, times are rough, so I have to sell my 40gb. So thanks tons and keep up the fantastic contests.

  • @CPaladino #35

    It’s very cool to see you come on here and acknowledge the post. I hate to see you guys go also( I enjoyed listening to Nelson/Natalie in the past) Hopefully,everything goes your way in the coming weeks and you are able to get back on your feet.

  • srry to hear about the job loses in the industry jeff. i hope the global economy will get running soon cause i also am looking into joining the industry.

  • Thanks for answering my question jeff, but I have my cookies set the right way (so they save all my settings) so in my case it seems to be something else. Very nice thing you did there in your post as well. I also wish the best of luck to those laid off recently.

  • @67
    because it’s first years was last gen, the name of the service has nothing to do with this. They share the same name but last gen they used different software( which is where all the features come from) on their xbox then they are using on their 360 right now. The features on the xbox 360 were started from scratch not built off something from back then. They had it all done because they are an American company and know how important online is. Sony being a Japanese company didn’t focus so much on Online. Also being a hardware company more than software company they couldn’t do things as fast as Microsoft can. In addition Jack Tretton said their problem was that they were a hardware company and they made the hardware and threw it at a bunch of software people and told them to work their magic when the hardware people didn’t make easier for the software.

  • So they didn’t have it at launch I understand that but right now they are releasing photo gallery, play station life, play station home, remote play, etc. When right now they still don’t have cross game inviting, cross game chat, voice messages, developed profile system, developed friends list. They got trophies and in-game music but… they added it year and half late, so that most games don’t support it.
    I don’t think anyone asked for most of the things we are getting, so I think that Sony should add those things we want so that in the end we don’t get a only games that support this will have this feature message.
    The other things are great but I’m sure most of us would rather see what we have now improved before we get new applications.

  • @Jeff Rubenstien
    Hey Jeff I was looking at the GDC Schedule for this year and I was wondering if you’re going to be there for any of it. Also if it was possible to get some of these presentations on the PSN or other sites.

    I’m really interested in Guerilla’s presentation on their rendering techniques. Honestly wish I could go to see it in person, but exam prep time during the week of GDC. Maybe over the head technical stuff for most users of the PS3, but it would surely show what Sony has been boasting about the system for the past 2 years.

    I’d kill to see Naughty Dogs presentation, sounds similar to an idea I was working on for class a few semesters back but didn’t have time to implement.

    • I will be there, and we\’re working on a solution to bring these types of presentations to the readers. I\’ve got some ideas, so stay tuned in late March!

  • Very nice gesture to wish the former GSB bloggers the best of luck. I agree, they were more like your Xbox 360 version friendly rivals, I had their stuff on bookmark right next to the rest of the 360 links I follow. As a guy trying to slowly piece together my own blog (invaded by my Twitter feed mostly), I find corporate blogs are on a decline due to this recession, but that’s the reverse direction that people should be thinking. Corporate blogs, like this one, are the future, that even Barack Obama has picked up on.

    I recommend anyone wanting to follow the former GSB people to check out their Twitter feeds for updates on their progress. I’m sure there’s something awesome out there for them.

  • @65
    It sounds more like a problem with COD4 or maybe something you or your friends are doing.

    In resistance to all i have to do is join my friends game or accept an invite from the allies menu and I get dropped into his competitive or co-op match. Only time this doesn’t apply is on Ranked matches which is how it should be.

    Beyond that the feature of Cross game invites seems pretty trivial and not worth even pursuing. You’re merely asking for 2 steps to be removed from most online titles. Which is go to menu and click. If I want to join a match I’m invited too I eject disc, place disc in, select that game from the XMB and jump right into the title without even quiting. Once booted I go to the online menu and go to my invites. As I said trivial and completely not substantial in the slightest. I put cross game chat and cross game invites in the same group.

  • It’s really annoying that since I linked my PSN account with my blog account it’s showing my blog name instead of PSN….

  • @77
    So you would rather it be.
    You are playing a long game of COD 4 or UT3 or something and your friend goes online and wants to play with you. He wants to join the game but he can’t because most games don’t have rooms and system like resistance’s. So how is he going to invite him to your game? On the 360 you can simply go to the persons name click invite to game then your friend will get a meassage saying KazeEternal has jsut invited you to play COD4 do you accept and then it will say enter your disc if you accept and then he’s automatically in your game. It makes it so much easier to play with your friends if you can just join a game and send them an invite and then can automatically join with you then u send invites whoever gets online then they are automaticlaly in the game.

  • It’s not just eliminating steps it’s making it even eassier for games like Call of Duty 4, UT3, Resitance 2, Warhawk, Rock Band, etc. to play with your friends if the friend inviting system isn’t in-game. I’m not the only one who wants this many other people want this too evrey interview they have with eric lempel they always ask about this eric lempel says one of the firmware update not the next one but it’s comming. Because you don’t fully get the whole point of this feature you see it as stupid but once you see how useful and how much easier it makes things you’ll understand. 3RD party games don’t have the option to join games like resistance does because they make the 360 version first and know they already have cross game inviting so they don’t give you the option to join games but with cross game inviitng they will make it work in their games easier then you can easily play with your friends. Right now it also involves sending a message saying do you want to play I don’t want to use the crappy keyboard either I want to be able to send voice messages to ask them to play But they don’t have that either.

  • That may be, but the simple fact of the matter is they knew the architecture. Sony didn’t. Also recall that MS is a software company first and foremost, while Sony is largely a hardware company.

    Bottom line is PSN isn’t going to be excellent in a day. It’ll take time, and if the progress they made last year is repeated this year, PSN will be the new standard.

  • Apparently the competitor is going to get a limited edition RE5 bundle featuring a red console, red controller and voucher for SF2HD. If I were going to buy a new console I would get this bundle, not the PS3. Why hasn’t Sony announced this type of thing? In Japan there are 3 color versions, special editions etc. This is another example of Sony dropping the ball. It is now one month until Killzone 2 and barely anyone knows about it. What a complete farce.

  • @EvoAnubis
    that’s what I said unless I mistyped or you mis read. Sony is hardware company and microsoft is software company so microsoft had there things from the start but sony is comming out with all these apps when we are getting things like in-game music and the xmb so late.

    http://i.gizmodo.com/5025980/sony-knows-what-went-wrong-with-the-ps3

    In Jack’s words, “we know what we’re doing,” but it’s going to take a long time to atone for past missteps.

    Gizmodo is owned by same people who own Kotaku.

  • In all seriousness, the introduction to the post that was a heart-warming read, Jeff.

    Stay classy.

  • My first post here finally.

  • Hi Jeff.
    It was a pleasure to read the post, but at the same time it was hard.. difficult to explain, but it show how are you and your folks at the blog as people and not only as workers.

    Good luck to all the guys and gals who lost their jobs.
    And good luck to Jeff and all the folks at the PS Blog ,i hope that they can keep being ‘there’. :D

    Sorry for my English.

  • Sweet…I can post now!

  • Sweet…I can post now!

  • jeff any word on gdc being live stream in home like it was last year?

  • just watching lost… OMG this guy needs to make games.
    but not like the lost game.. i bought that and it sucked.

  • It seriously scares me to think of what will happen to a quality associate of Valkyria Chronicles. It was one of our very few RPGs and in my opinion, though my PS3 has broken twice, it is in the top 3 reasons that Im bothering to get a brand new one for its DLC. If its possible, please get him on here just one more time. I would really like to thank Christopher Kaminski for working on a seriously under appreciated game. This is one of those games Ill cherish even years from now. It truly is sad to see him go down like that :(

  • P.S., though Chris did fall, wouldnt it be awesome if he wound up working for sony? Its sad to see him loose his job, but I hold hope that a greater opportunity will open up for him, especially if it were with the PS3

  • Hey Jeff Rubenstein, It’s me again. I asked if you ever played BOF3.

    Well, its nice to hear that you have played Breath of Fire 2. Which I have not played.

    Though I believe Breath of Fire 3 and 4 were very great games. I have one question since your a Social Media Manager.

    Is there any posibility these games can come to the PSN. Furthermore, do you have the ability to ask Capcom questions.

    Like if you get a nice ammount of commentfrom people requesting that they should make a remake of BOF3 or any of their series besides the PS2 version. LOL.

    I wonder if it’s possible for you to ask a question like that.

    I would love to know what they’d tell you.

  • I’m sorry I was suppose to say I asked you aout BOF3 in comment number 54. syk1288.

  • Hopefully they all have savings to help ease the transition to new opportunities.

  • @79
    Every game I’ve played on the PS3 online has either gone to my friends list (Tekken DRO) or had a list in game (Resistance 2). Anything else is just semantics and really irrelevant. Sure you can jump onto your mini blades on NXE and browse to your friendlist, however I don’t see that being any different than my other experiences on PS3. Cross Game Invite is nothing special, does nothing special, and really implements nothing special.

    Honestly how is the server making additional room in matches for your friends? I mean seriously there is no way that the X360 is ensuring all 30 some spots in a match are not filled (game dependent) and it isn’t arbitrarily kicking people out. So I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that your place in your friends death match is no more guarantied than it is on Resistance 2 or any other game on the PS3. Someone is going to get lobbied end of story.

    I’m sorry, but there is no way you can convince me that Cross Game Invites is some sort of crazy revolutionary feature that makes using the PSN completely unbearable or even remotely intolerable.

  • I agree with #97, but for improvement, the voice chat needs to be able to access and use the xmb.
    The new Sony headsets should come as a package with the system.

    Also the music player badly needs a search function and more visualizations.

    Also improve the mp3 play back, for some reason most of my mp3s will not play on the ps3 anymore, (after i deleted the library for a HDD swap and copied them all back on) it will still play on my Sony phone though, and there is no DRM either. Now i have to rip all my music again.

    Must admit though, it sure is high quality gear.

  • Dear Sony… I only own two consoles the PS3 and the Wii. Yah I know I’m a Loyal fan.. If Sony Dropped out of the game console business I’ll stop playing games all together. just to show my my level of fanboysim. I want you JEFF to get the message to SONY… Advertise… Advertise… Advertise… Advertise… Where the hell is your Advertising department?!

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