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GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 53: Portal 2, Dead Space 2 and Potpourri

Tim Spaeth's picture

We're back! Again! Join us for captivating spoiler-free discussions of Portal 2 and Dead Space 2. Plus: the merits of silent protagonists, PSN madness, Chi buys a 3DS, Mike subscribes to Final Fantasy XIV, Tim loses it over Dante's Inferno, and so much more. We were just so happy to hear each other's voices, we couldn't stop gabbing. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "Chance" Spaeth.

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finally

gee that took ages, my god... So much going on and not a word from GC... Keep up the good work girls!

So why were we gone so long?

So why were we gone so long? About 3 1/2 weeks ago we were maybe 15 minutes from recording the *first* version of Episode 53 when Brad came down with his puking disease (detailed on his personal blog). Once Brad healed up I went through some crazy turbulent stuff at work and couldn't carve out any podcasting time. And so, here we are.

We should be back to the normal bi-weekly schedule from here on out, barring any unanticipated puking and/or turbulence.

Sony

The ignorance in this podcast is startling. You're really going to point to BP as an example of how a company should handle a crisis? BP shamed themselves in how they bungled their handling of the oil spill disaster by lying to the public, deferring blame and avoiding reparations. Also, there is no evidence whatsoever (nor do you present any) that American companies would, for some reason, have been more forward with their customers than Japanese companies.

Dante's Inferno

I wasn't the biggest fan of DI, obviously, but I loved hearing Brad talk about the awesomeness of the Holy skills in that game.

That sense of ridiculous strength was the one thing I honestly loved about that game.

agree w/Chi

Tron:legacy- a flaming bag of digital dogsh*t, yes.

Disturbingly it made like 70% of all bluray sales last month or something....?! oof

*shivers*

to me, thing the film missed is that in 1984 graphics were stylized representations of things. So a representative videogame world based on our world made some sense. But videogames today look more real THAN real-life- so the idea of a representational videogame world doesnt even relate to itself in any kindof useful way.

Matt wrote: The ignorance

Matt wrote:

The ignorance in this podcast is startling. You're really going to point to BP as an example of how a company should handle a crisis? BP shamed themselves in how they bungled their handling of the oil spill disaster by lying to the public, deferring blame and avoiding reparations. Also, there is no evidence whatsoever (nor do you present any) that American companies would, for some reason, have been more forward with their customers than Japanese companies.

No one said BP did a good job of handling the oil spill crisis -- in fact, Richard points out how they bungled it. Tim merely pointed out the fact that BP put their CEO on television to try to deal with the crisis as an example of something Sony should be doing. Sony should be doing more than sending people emails. BP wasn't the best example (I'd have gone with the Taco Bell guy after that e.coli outbreak awhile back, personally) but it was the more recent example.

As for the second part, no one needed to present any evidence -- I said I got the feeling that it would have been handled differently if it had been someone like Microsoft. No one said anything definitively -- and we even talked about it.

Bottom line is, Sony has fucked this up at every turn -- whatever the reason you think is behind that probably doesn't matter much.

Actively fucking up is better?

I found it rather strange that you all seemed to agree that selling HW which almost inevitable breaks (10%, 20%? or what ever it was) is better than a company which gets hacked, victim!, and don't know how to handle it to not cause more rage.
Actively fucking up is better than don't want to admit anything that's not certain until they sort out what really happened?

The point of being alarmed right before it happened by anonymous' threat is valid though. This is imo the only real lapse that happened. Everything else is what i would expect from any company.

Hey guys... I have missed

Hey guys...

I have missed your podcast these weeks. I know there have been major issues that explain this delay but anyway I was even starting to feel worried about you. It's great to have you back.

The contents of this last podcast have been specially interesting for me. The best of all, the comments on last Sony's disaster. Anyway, although Sony does not deserve to be forgiven, I don't trust the other companies, either. I mean, do you really think that Microsoft or Nintendo would have done things better if they were the victims of a hackers attack? Please allow me to have serious doubts about that... Major companies have shown many times that the only thing they are good at is making money.
If we are lucky, the way they choose to make money is the right one (to offer us good products). Other than that, I don't expect much more from them.

About the podcast...

Bornie wrote:

I mean, do you really think that Microsoft or Nintendo would have done things better if they were the victims of a hackers attack? Please allow me to have serious doubts about that... Major companies have shown many times that the only thing they are good at is making money.
If we are lucky, the way they choose to make money is the right one (to offer us good products). Other than that, I don't expect much more from them.

Definitely agree with this.

I honestly respect you guys at GC, and this is probably my favourite gaming-related website, but I do think you all tend to have some animosity towards Sony even before this PSN thing happened (if anything this incident was the perfect excuse for you to let rip fully). Is kinda the same with Nintendo too, since most of you dismiss the Wii, and even the actual games that make it a good console for a lot of us (Zelda, for example), and ignore others like Kirby's Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong Returns, and even future games with massive potential such as The Last Story (which actually looks to rectify a lot of what people complained about with FFXIII; it could be a very real alternative for JRPG fans).

Also, the 3DS is a new machine with an admittedly poor launch line-up, but how is that different to the 360 or PS3? To be so dismissive of anything BUT Xbox 360 displays a worrying amount of bias. I think you guys may need to introduce another member into the podcasts who doesn't inherently dislike software/hardware from the likes of Sony, just so we get all angles on gaming, rather than just those of primarily 360 gamers, and a couple of PC guys. Just sayin'.

I'm all for honest opinions and telling it how it is but it's frustrating to see an entire console dismissed purely because the type of games it offers aren't to their tastes, or they're just not knowledgeable on what it offers since they haven't used it, or both. I know Chi is said to like Nintendo hardware and games, but he likely finds it hard to highlight anything good when everyone else on the podcast has already dismissed it as crap.

And yes, despite what I said above, of course the PSN disaster is a massively bad thing and Sony are indeed pretty screwed currently. I've no issue with accepting that at all -- I'm just as annoyed as anyone else to have my personal details leaked -- but I just felt some things needed highlighted is all.

Anyway aside from that it's a good podcast as usual. I absolutely agree with Brad on Portal 2. I also thought the original was a good game for what it was - a short but clever bonus game on The Orange Box. I appreciated what it was about and what it achieved, but I never felt it was gaming at its absolute pinnacle, and it's much the same with the sequel I'm sure (especially with diminishing returns since Portal 1 had such impact due to the unique nature of it; that's all gone with the sequel). Again I found myself annoyed at most of the big reviews and keep wishing people would gain some experience or grow a backbone so we could be saved from such drivel.

In any case, am looking forward to Richard's review once it goes up.

While our dislike of

While our dislike of Nintendo is pretty well documented, I take exception to the statement that we don't like Sony either. I just bought a PS3 this year (finally) and have been happy with the games that are exclusive to the console that I've played (in fact, the two Uncharted games have become instant favorites). The problem there is, those are pretty old games -- and while no one will ever accuse of us being timely, it's pretty much pointless to build a show around games that are several years old. I'm late to the PS3 party, otherwise we'd be talking about these games.

Sony deserves every bit of negative commentary they've gotten over the hacking deal. It's a shining example of hubris that they knew the threat was out there and did little to prepare for it.

I've been extremely critical of MS over the RROD thing at different points in the console's life cycle, so I'm not sure how we're being painted with the "we love MS" brush. I do like some things MS has done -- Live shits all over PSN and I greatly prefer achievements to trohies, for example -- but MS has had their share of miscues as well. If they'd been hacked and reacted like Sony, we'd have said the same things.

As far as Nintendo goes, once you get past the handhelds, I don't really care. Nintendo's burnt me on three consoles in a row -- fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me three times, I'm a fucking idiot, basically. As older gamers (with the exception of Richard) we all have fond memories of the Nintendo of old. Modern day Nintendo isn't that company -- and their console record over the past decade or so has been pretty dire. Buying a console so you can play a Zelda or Mario once every few years might make the hardcore Nintendo fan happy, but it doesn't really seem to work for any of us. What can I say? Why should I be excited about Project Cafe given Nintendo's recent track record? The company has all but stated they don't make games for my demographic anymore. I'm not particularly interested in playing Kirby's Epic Yarn, personally -- but I don't recall ever saying anything negative about it or Donkey Kong, either. I've even stated that I was looking forward to Last Story, should it ever wind up here, before.

I don't know, man -- I see the word "bias" tossed around in gaming discussions far too often, and like it's a terrible thing. We're all biased -- we all like certain things more than other things. That's what makes us individuals. There's no rule that says we have to love Nintendo as much Sony or MS. We can't cover every game out there on every platform. We're always going to have opinions and preferences and dislikes and be vocal about them.

It would be one thing to just hate on something for no particular reason -- but when it comes to Nintendo, we've gone above and beyond highlighting why we feel the way we do, to the point where, really, I'm tired of talking about it because it's become a broken record. It's not our job to find reasons to be pleased with Nintendo (or Sony or MS...), it's their job to find ways to make us happy with them. Until that happens, I suspect we'll remain fairly dismissive of what Nintendo's doing in the console market. I still love the DS, though. :p

As far as the 3DS goes, I don't think there's anything wrong with voicing the fact that the bulk of us (aside from Chi "I have huge amounts of disposable income" Kong Lui :p) aren't feeling the urge to spend $250 on a handheld with mediocre games at this point. Will the 3DS eventually have great games? Undoubtedly. Will 3D ever be more than a headache-inducing gimmick? I don't know. Will I eventually buy one? Almost assuredly. At the moment, though, it's not all that appealing to shell out that kind of money for Pilotwings. Had we been doing a podcast when the PS3 and 360 launched, I imagine we'd have been just as vocal about their launch games, too.

Cracka, As we all pointed

Cracka,

As we all pointed out, there's a big difference between going through the inconvenience of a hardware failure and the potential of having your identity stolen, credit ruined, and bank account emptied. Particularly when MS would fix that broken hardware for you free of charge.

Neither thing is good, but in the grand scheme of things I'll take having to mail in my Xbox 360 for repairs over trying to reclaim my identity and stolen money every day of the week.

And, for the record, I've blasted MS over RROD on the show a few times and have said I think they should be sued for releasing a console they knew would fail at an alarming rate.

Mike Bracken wrote: As

Mike Bracken wrote:

As older gamers (with the exception of Richard) we all have fond memories of the Nintendo of old.

Hey now, I have pretty fond memories of Nintendo as well. They didn't truly lose me until the Wii. There are some good games for it, but the motion controls get in the way of pretty much all of them. If the next system is just a more powerful Wii that I'll pass.

Crofto wrote: I honestly

Crofto wrote:

I honestly respect you guys at GC, and this is probably my favourite gaming-related website, but I do think you all tend to have some animosity towards Sony even before this PSN thing happened (if anything this incident was the perfect excuse for you to let rip fully). Is kinda the same with Nintendo too, since most of you dismiss the Wii, and even the actual games that make it a good console for a lot of us (Zelda, for example), and ignore others like Kirby's Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong Returns, and even future games with massive potential such as The Last Story (which actually looks to rectify a lot of what people complained about with FFXIII; it could be a very real alternative for JRPG fans).

It's not so much animosity as it is frustration when it comes to Sony. I took major issues with PS3 right from the get-go with the direction that Sony took with the console; everything from price to technology didn't sit well with me. When you factor in that I'm not a fan of Uncharted, Killzone, Heavy Rain and God of War, I'm just being honest when I say I'm not on the Sony/PS3 bandwagon at the moment. That being said, I own a PS3 and will gladly play anything that sounds like a good game on it. 2009 was largely devoted to us repeatedly singing the praises of a PS3 exclusive, Demon's Souls. We also heaped tons of praise on Flower. So while I've been critical of Sony, I don't think that effects how we choose to cover games. If all three consoles were rocking, I'm not monogamous in my praise and I would gladly praise all three systems. That's just not how I see it at this time in regards to Sony and Nintendo.

Crofto wrote:

Also, the 3DS is a new machine with an admittedly poor launch line-up, but how is that different to the 360 or PS3? To be so dismissive of anything BUT Xbox 360 displays a worrying amount of bias. I think you guys may need to introduce another member into the podcasts who doesn't inherently dislike software/hardware from the likes of Sony, just so we get all angles on gaming, rather than just those of primarily 360 gamers, and a couple of PC guys. Just sayin'.

I'm all for honest opinions and telling it how it is but it's frustrating to see an entire console dismissed purely because the type of games it offers aren't to their tastes, or they're just not knowledgeable on what it offers since they haven't used it, or both. I know Chi is said to like Nintendo hardware and games, but he likely finds it hard to highlight anything good when everyone else on the podcast has already dismissed it as crap.

I don't know if you heard the entire episode when you wrote this, but we devoted some time to discussing my impressions of the 3DS and I was largely positive about it. I went so far as to say the launch line-up ended better than anyone expected. I did forget to discuss some of the games specifically and that is purely my fault and regret. So let me make up for that here by saying that 1) Street Fighter IV 3D is remarkably the best version of the game on any platform 2) Asphalt 3D is a blast and seriously underrated driving game. I think its nearly criminal how this game gets written off by everyone. I find it hard to believe that anyone who is interesting in a driving game wouldn't find something to enjoy after spending an hour or more with it. 3) I've heard good things about the Ghost Recon game, but I haven't played it yet.

As far as needing more genre-liking diversity on our pod, MMOs are well covered by Mike and Tim, Richard has got competitive FPS and PC games covered. I love my Pokemon, Dynasty Warriors, anime/mecha games and anything remotely martial arts/fighting related. Brad plays *everything*, but JRPGs (Persona being the exception), but Mike, Tim and I have JPRGs covered pretty good. General FPSes and RTSes are perhaps our weakest genres, but none of us are oppose to playing them either. Brad was just singing the praises of Crysis 2 and Richard and Tim played StarCraft 2.

Haha! Sorry Richard -- I

Haha! Sorry Richard -- I phrased that poorly. I meant you were the exception in terms of being an old gamer, not that you were the exception when it came to having fond memories of Nintendo.

Chi Kong Lui wrote: As far

Chi Kong Lui wrote:

As far as needing more genre-liking diversity on our pod, MMOs are well covered by Mike and Tim, Richard has got competitive FPS and PC games covered. I love my Pokemon, Dynasty Warriors, anime/mecha games and anything remotely martial arts/fighting related. Brad plays *everything*, but JRPGs (Persona being the exception), but Mike, Tim and I have JPRGs covered pretty good. General FPSes and RTSes are perhaps our weakest genres, but none of us are oppose to playing them either. Brad was just singing the praises of Crysis 2 and Richard and Tim played StarCraft 2.

Our one glaring weak spot is sports games. I'll play Madden or hockey or tennis, but I don't think any of us play the various soccer/baseball/NBA/pro wrestling titles. We do at least have good ol' 'north-south' Chi to keep us abreast of MMA titles, though.

Mike Bracken wrote: Our one

Mike Bracken wrote:

Our one glaring weak spot is sports games. I'll play Madden or hockey or tennis, but I don't think any of us play the various soccer/baseball/NBA/pro wrestling titles. We do at least have good ol' 'north-south' Chi to keep us abreast of MMA titles, though.

I consider wrestling games more martial arts so of course I got it covered. In fact, from the launch of this site to about the Xbox 360/PS3, Dale and I reviewed nearly every wrestling game right here at GC.

Between the two of us Mike, we could actually would do sports pretty well. I know absolutely nothing about hockey and football, but you do. I'm actually well versed in baseball and basketball. I loved RBI Baseball, Baseball Simulator 1.000 and SNK Baseball back in the NES days and gave All-Star Baseball 2001 on the N64 a 9.5. It was a near perfect baseball simulation as I had ever played and it always felt like it rewarded the little baseball strategies like advancing runners on bunts and pinch hitting in tight games after your pitcher had gone far enough to earn the W.

As for basketball, I played nearly every single console basketball game in-depth up until 2002. I gave the first NBA2K a 10 rating. We'd need Ben Hopper and Thom Moyles, both huge soccer fanatics, to round things out.

The issue these days is limited time and increase titles since sports games get updates every year. Sports games have become so niche that its hard to cover them in any kind of artistic way.

@Chi

I've actually been getting into OOTP baseball lately. It's great if you want to feel like you're in charge of all aspects of the team. Stuff like MLB2K doesn't appeal to me though.

I appreciate the responses,

I appreciate the responses, and you guys make fair comments as usual.

Incidentally I finished listening to the rest of the podcast today and was surprised to hear Brad say he thinks Dantes Inferno is ten times better than God of War III. I knew he wasn't a fan of GoWIII, but I have to admit I laughed at that comment. I usually tend to admire his views, but -- much like with MGS4 -- I'm massively indifferent with him on this one, and cannot understand on any level where this opinion comes from. To me when playing both games it's obvious which is the better title, even 5 seconds in. I hope Sony Santa Monica don't ever hear his comments or they'll have a heart-attack. ;p

Sony

This podcast might have come off a bit biased becuase the GC crew didn't seem to have the full story. Whenever something like this happens, the internet fills with crap and hyperbole, and it's really hard to sort the shit to find the real story. I've heard everything from millions of CVV2 numbers being sold on the open internet to 7.7 million card numbers being taken because Sony didn't use encryption or have a firewall of any kind. This just ain't true.

In short, Credit Card information was never accessed at all. Sony said this much, with the addendum that it wouldn't hurt to vigilant over accounts.

What was accessed were Usernames, passwords, and security questions, which CAN pose a massive problem to individuals who use the same password/security questions on every site. Even so, this is fixed by changing passwords, not canceling credit cards. Coyls issue seems to be that--and if you're reading this Coyls, feel free to correct me--he had used the same password across several sites, and the hackers exploited that.

Anyway, Sony is now offering a year of free identity theft protection to all PSN users. The details are here
http://blog.us.playstation.com/2011/05/05/sony-offering-free-allclear-id-plus-identity-theft-protection-in-the-united-states-through-debix-inc/

Fully aware that only mature adults with serious finances will give a damn about that, they are also going to give away 2 free PS3 games to PS3 owners, and 2 free PSP games to PSP owners. Plus that month of PSN+. Which is actually a good service!

I'm sure the only thing that will really make up for it to most people is to magically unlose all that personal info, but since that's impossible, this all seems like a decent consolation prize.

@Trent

There is quite a bit of hyperbole out there, but the fact that Sony sat on the information they knew about the attack for a week without saying anything makes them fair game for the harshest of harsh criticism. Even if it wasn't accessed (btw, where's your source for that?) that's still far too long to wait to inform customers about the potential that it had been accessed.

reality vs. potential?

Mike Bracken wrote:

As we all pointed out, there's a big difference between going through the inconvenience of a hardware failure and the potential of having your identity stolen, credit ruined, and bank account emptied.

A potential thread is worrisome, true, but so far we are raging about something that is not confirmed to have happened.
And as long it hasn't, i think MSs HW design hustling is the more significant issue to me.

Quote:

Particularly when MS would fix that broken hardware for you free of charge.

And Sony being hacked did so far only make MP temporarily impossible, will give you two free games and some inconvenience if you decided to change passwords on other sites and/or by being cautious order a new credit card.
MSs _own_ error did cost them a shitload of money and moved their break even point some months back. So there was actual reason to discuss it in media more and handling it right would have meant the slim sort of immediately imho.
Here nothing happened except some usernames and (hashed?!) PWs got stolen (subject to change?) and everyone is worrying about the worst case as though it has happened and Sony would have opened the doors for the criminals.

Quote:

Neither thing is good, but in the grand scheme of things I'll take having to mail in my Xbox 360 for repairs over trying to reclaim my identity and stolen money every day of the week.

As i said; talking about it as though the worst case has occurred.
An unfair comparison.

Richard Naik wrote:

There is quite a bit of hyperbole out there, but the fact that Sony sat on the information they knew about the attack for a week without saying anything makes them fair game for the harshest of harsh criticism. Even if it wasn't accessed (btw, where's your source for that?) that's still far too long to wait to inform customers about the potential that it had been accessed.

Sony!?
The only ones who know when and what happened are the hackers. So the second best source is Sony. They and their assigned security firms are trying to find out what happened and that's presumable not that easily as finding footsteps in the backyard, a broken window and the open and empty safe when coming back from a weekend holiday. A "good" hacker and outdated server software, as is rumored, might result in excessive sever log studies before they can say anything that's not just poor guessing.

Quick Note About Dante's Inferno

Regarding Dante's Inferno: I chose the "Dark Path" and thus never unlocked the "Cross of Holy OMG" power. I wouldn't go so far as to say blocking off your coolest game mechanic is a design flaw, but why would you block off your coolest game mechanic? Lame.

(And at the risk of giving Richard an aneurysm -- I had a WAY better time with Force Unleashed II than I did with Dante's Inferno.)

crackajack wrote: A

crackajack wrote:

A potential thread is worrisome, true, but so far we are raging about something that is not confirmed to have happened.
And as long it hasn't, i think MSs HW design hustling is the more significant issue to me.

That's why I said "potential." Whether that's more worrisome to you or not is subjective, but I think the vast majority of people out there (unless I'm just an "outlier" :p) would find even the potential of their personal information being compromised way more problematic than a broken console.

crackajack wrote:

And Sony being hacked did so far only make MP temporarily impossible, will give you two free games and some inconvenience if you decided to change passwords on other sites and/or by being cautious order a new credit card.

That's great and all, unless you wind up with a stolen identity and ruined credit. You're not factoring in the stress, either. Even if my identity isn't stolen, I went through a lot more agony worrying about it and checking on things for the past week or so than I went through when my Xbox red-ringed.

crackajack wrote:

Here nothing happened except some usernames and (hashed?!) PWs got stolen (subject to change?) and everyone is worrying about the worst case as though it has happened and Sony would have opened the doors for the criminals.

That highlights another problem with Sony's handling of the situation -- no one knows exactly what these people had access to. Sony still hasn't -- that I've seen -- confirmed much of anything other than they got hacked. Did the SoE thing happen at the same time? Was it a separate attack? One gets the impression that even Sony still hasn't figured out what exactly went down. That's very confidence-inspiring.

Sony may not have opened the doors to criminals, but their arrogant attitude almost assuredly convinced these guys to see if they could do it. That's troubling too.

crackajack wrote:

As i said; talking about it as though the worst case has occurred.
An unfair comparison.

Not really -- because even if the worst thing hasn't happened, this is still worse than MS's shitty hardware to a lot of people. It's a betrayal of trust on an epic scale. You entrust this information to Sony with the understanding they'll protect it. They failed. Regardless of what the interlopers got or didn't get, that trust has been breached, it caused (and will continue to cause, because Sony's bungled the whole thing so badly) people a great deal of stress -- far more stress than having to box up a broken Xbox and ship it back to MS.

Did you power up the cross

Did you power up the cross on the dark side? I played that path, and you still get a great "world-destroying" ranged weapon on that side, too as I recall.

Hmm.

Mike Bracken wrote:

Did you power up the cross on the dark side? I played that path, and you still get a great "world-destroying" ranged weapon on that side, too as I recall.

Not that I recall...but to be honest, after about three hours I'd zoned out almost completely, only offering my full attention to the nude scenes.

Mike Bracken wrote: Sony

Mike Bracken wrote:

Sony still hasn't -- that I've seen -- confirmed much of anything other than they got hacked.

+ that file named "anonymous" incl. the text "We are legion". Which is a pretty worthless detail for anything. But this might have been really the only other thing that was confirmable, so they said it.

No company would confirm anything that they don't know for real. You don't commit suicide without a strong reason.

And i doubt any company would have been able to clarify more details of the breach faster. A good hacker doesn't leave much and i guess getting into Sonys network is no standard job, though all the security experts in every forum blame Sony for being so insufficiently prepared.

I got a mail from an online shop in March. They also had to admit that an externally administrated database might have been hacked. (Though not the one with the credit card details.)
Details were: we were alarmed by our customers in March. We ourselves have noticed some server activity in December...
Attention to the dates.

Quote:

It's a betrayal of trust on an epic scale. You entrust this information to Sony with the understanding they'll protect it. They failed.

I don't trust anyone really. Why should i?
No system in the net is 100% safe. That's sort of fact. card frauds accumulate according to wikipedia 500 millions just for the UK. No idea how much is to be assigned to internet fraud, account theft, but it might be also some millions.
I hope nothing happens. That's imho the only thing we can do.
Really trusting any company and their safety against criminals is .. er .. naive?

crackajack

crackajack wrote:

Sony!?
The only ones who know when and what happened are the hackers. So the second best source is Sony. They and their assigned security firms are trying to find out what happened and that's presumable not that easily as finding footsteps in the backyard, a broken window and the open and empty safe when coming back from a weekend holiday. A "good" hacker and outdated server software, as is rumored, might result in excessive sever log studies before they can say anything that's not just poor guessing.

"We have experienced a potential data breach. We don't know the severity of the breach yet, but we will give more information as we get it. For now, we are offering free identity theft protection."

That is what they should have said right after they knew there had been a breach. It doesn't matter what details they knew when they initially found out. Tell us there's a problem and that you're on it. Sitting on it for this long is flat-out inexcusable.

Tim Spaeth wrote:

And at the risk of giving Richard an aneurysm -- I had a WAY better time with Force Unleashed II than I did with Dante's Inferno

I suppose it's possible that Dante's Inferno is the worst possible game in existence (have not played it, probably won't), so I'll let this slide.

@Richard

Richard Naik wrote:

There is quite a bit of hyperbole out there, but the fact that Sony sat on the information they knew about the attack for a week without saying anything makes them fair game for the harshest of harsh criticism. Even if it wasn't accessed (btw, where's your source for that?) that's still far too long to wait to inform customers about the potential that it had been accessed.

Oh yeah, they definitely deserve the ass-whipping they got for being quiet for so long. BUT, when they did come out with the relevant info--they stated credit card info was not accessed in their very first statement that wasn't "we're looking into it"--A lot of people took their "but keep tabs on your stuff anyway" statement as code for "all of it was completely totally stolen".

I think the biggest problem Sony has had, even beyond the wait period, was that they have just been terrible at disseminating the information they HAVE shared. I had to go digging myself, because I couldn't believe that 7.7 mil credit card numbers were just layin about, unencoded, for anyone to see, and this was MY information at stake. Sony has done a poor job of combating the rumors, which is a shame for the customers and Sony alike.

Trent Fingland wrote: I

Trent Fingland wrote:

I think the biggest problem Sony has had, even beyond the wait period, was that they have just been terrible at disseminating the information they HAVE shared.[...]Sony has done a poor job of combating the rumors, which is a shame for the customers and Sony alike.

The shame is that news sites publish any rumor, speculation and free (mis-)interpretations of those Sony blog informations. Maybe statements from eg. CCC or Sophos would be interesting but the speculations beside the official infos are imho pointless when it's not coming from real experts.

Richard Naik wrote:

Tell us there's a problem and that you're on it. Sitting on it for this long is flat-out inexcusable.

3 days? inexcusable?
The only bullshit news was published on April 21st when they thought maybe nothing serious has happened on the 19th and they can hide it as an unscheduled service update or whatever.
But already on 22 April they posted that "an external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services."

crackajack wrote: But

crackajack wrote:

But already on 22 April they posted that "an external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services."

That statement tells no one anything. It didn't even hint at the scope or far-reaching implications of what happened, or that we all might have had our personal information compromised. I'm willing to bet that three days in they had a pretty good idea if important personal info was involved or not -- but they instead decided to cover their own ass instead of their customers just to be safe.

How telling is it Kaz Hirai went out to unveil Sony tablets on the 26th and didn't even mention this event (while touting you could download things from Qriocity -- talk about adding insult to injury...) or answer questions? It wasn't until that night -- an entire week later -- that Sony finally fesses up that all our personal info was compromised. A week. A week of no news or vaguely worded crap that told no one anything. You can spin that until you're dizzy, but the point is that Sony botched this on every level. If that's cool by you, great. The majority of us expect a little more transparency and disclosure when our personal information has been accessed by an outside source.

The funny thing is, it took them until just the other day to send out that letter from Howard Stringer. It took them two weeks to get the CEO to actually speak to us. Saddest part of all? Stringer's letter was the most effective thing they've sent out or said since this whole thing started. If they'd have done that three days in, I bet a lot of people would feel differently about Sony's handling of the situation.

Mike Bracken wrote: That

Mike Bracken wrote:

That statement tells no one anything.

It tells exactly what Richard argued did not happen: "We had a breach and we are on it."

Quote:

It didn't even hint at the scope or far-reaching implications of what happened, or that we all might have had our personal information compromised.

Imo it would have been implied in such a message if not everyone would directly have thought of anon doing DDoS-attacks. DDoS is not intruding. So the wording doesn't fit.
A hacker within a network, an intrusion... what else should it mean? That the intruder installed Other OS on Sonys servers?

Quote:

I'm willing to bet that three days in they had a pretty good idea if important personal info was involved or not -- but they instead decided to cover their own ass instead of their customers just to be safe.

Sorry, but exactly this is one of those "i, yeah, the expert in everything, know it better" speculations that are fueling rage without any knowledge of whatsoever in this area.
Or are you working in network security?

And what sort of safety does it bring them when they really know it happened and don't publish it? You can't hide some millions of those 70mio accounts going rogue afterwards.

Quote:

Sony finally fesses up that all our personal info was compromised. A week.

They also did only say "we believe" and "maybe even credit card data". So basically it is really the same message as the days before though they "hinted" more details that might have happened.

Quote:

It took them two weeks to get the CEO to actually speak to us. Saddest part of all? Stringer's letter was the most effective thing they've sent out or said since this whole thing started. If they'd have done that three days in, I bet a lot of people would feel differently about Sony's handling of the situation.

And beside reassuring the promised goody package he did say what?

"Promise stuff, all your data is lost (although we know shit what really happened), we are working on it. To get you back to the fun" Such a message directly on the 19th of April would have made you more confident in Sony than assured information?

Really?

Tim Spaeth wrote:

(And at the risk of giving Richard an aneurysm -- I had a WAY better time with Force Unleashed II than I did with Dante's Inferno.)

The notion that someone actually enjoyed Force Unleashed 2 is legitimately frightening to me

Cracka, I wrote another

Cracka,

I wrote another lengthy response to your latest post, but honestly, we're at the point in any disagreement where it becomes obvious that we don't agree and there's not much common ground.

Our differences on this issue are like night and day -- and that was pretty much obvious from moment you said that hardware failures were much more troublesome than a company putting all of your personal information at risk. That's cool -- it takes all kinds to make the world go 'round.

That being said, we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. You have an interesting view of the situation, but it's not one I share. A few thousand words back and forth hasn't swayed either of us, so this is where I call it a day.

Thanks for an engaging and civil discussion.

Mike Bracken wrote: a

Mike Bracken wrote:

a company putting all of your personal information at risk.

Just to enhance your trust level
https://blog.torproject.org/blog/detecting-certificate-authority-compromises-and-web-browser-collusion
Some general problems with the https/SSL certificates (and a hack happened in March).

+
http://www.rsa.com/node.aspx?id=3872
i have to highlight this sentence:
"we do not believe that either customer or employee personally identifiable information was compromised"
Reminds me of the things Sony wrote... only the not differs. Confirming things with certainty seems rather hard after a hack.

other than that: Thanks too.

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