Sony is no longer an electronics company

An interesting take on Sony’s recent activity from the Verge.  It looks almost all electronics are gone from the company and the main focus now is on the PlayStation and entertainment.  A handy chart for the Q4 2014 financials too:

Sony Q4 2014

Call of Duty: Ghosts



When I got back home from work yesterday, another one of my recently ordered packages arrived.  This time, the one with the “Call of Duty: Ghosts” game for the Playstation 3.  It’s been a while since my last Call of Duty campaign, so I was excited – jumped straight into action.  The next six and a half hours flew by like 15 minutes.   That’s how long it took me to finish the campaign with the Regular difficulty.  During that time I fought in space, in the air, on the ground, at sea, and water.  I’ve been to the ice cold north and mosquito infested jungle of the south.  I flew helicopters, drove tanks, operated remote snipers, targeted space-based warfare, blew up hundreds of vehicles and killed thousands of people.  It was a bloody battle which required training, precision, bravery, heart of a stone and balls of steel.  But I came out on top and got all the trophies and the medals in the process.

A few minutes after the campaign finished and my red, watery eyes rested, I’ve also tried the online multiplayer.  That’s the part of the game where I’ll be spending much more hours in order to learn the maps, weapons and gear, but for now I just needed a taste of it.  While the new interface is a tad bit confusing at first, I see that all the old elements are there – different types of games, different types of weapon and equipment configuration, etc.  The controls in action are all the same as before, so I was pretty comfortable decreasing the numbers of my alive enemies.  The physics are slightly different from the previous games, but this, again, is just a matter of getting used to.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the purchase.  It’s the good old Call of Duty that I dearly love – with a good, twisted campaign and a multitude of options for men-to-men battles.

Sniper : Ghost Warrior



I’ve recently ordered a bunch of stuff from Amazon.  Somehow, my order got exploded into four or five packages, each shipped separate.  Yesterday, the first one arrived, with the PS3 version of the “Sniper : Ghost Warrior” game.  I would have never discovered this game if it wasn’t for a colleague of mine.  The game didn’t have a lot of promotion.  User reviews mostly call it average and mediocre.  But I bought it anyway.

Why?  Because I am a huge sniping fan.  Sniping is an art. Snipers are gods of war.  Sniping is the best part of the modern warfare (not the game).  Frankly, I can’t understand why most people aren’t fascinated by that.  To me, all those weapons of mass destruction are sloppy. Remotely controlled weapons are just cool gadgets.  All of them miss the point.  Sniper is human.  Sniper is very precise. Sniper is scary. Sniper is the essence of war.  Sniper is personal.

In each and every first-person shooter video game that I played, I tried the sniping mode and weapons.  Video game are getting better and better at it, but usually snipers have way too much advantage over other warriors, so game developers have a tendency to cut sniper powers to balance the game.  That’s understandable.  But what about us, people who don’t care about other warriors, who just want snipers, the more the better?

Well, for us, there are special games.  And “Sniper : Ghost Warrior” is one of them.  I didn’t have much time to spend with the game yesterday.  I thought I’d just give it a quick look and leave it until the weekend, when I’ll have more time to properly explore it.  I ended up glued to the screen for more than four hours.  There was no way I could switch it off.  Only when my neck started hurting and eyes crying from all the concentration, I remembered that I had other things to do.

If you are a fan of most modern first-person shooters, you probably won’t think much of the game.  You’ll probably name a few games that have better graphics, physics, game play, and weapons.  You’ll probably get bored quickly with a slow pace compared to most other games.  You’ll probably start hating the video sequences and will skip them fanatically. But.

If you do like sniping, if sniper is your favorite in-game mode, and if there is nothing better to you then use your stealth skills to get to that point where you look through the scope at unsuspecting targets, breath steadily, prepare, and squeeze the trigger, sending death so far that even if the enemies were looking at you they’d see nothing but a tiny spot on the horizon, then, and only then, this game is for you.  It does all the right things for the sniper fans.  There is a variety of missions. There is plenty of stealth.  There are different weapons and scopes.  But the best, the best part of it is when you aim through the scope, hear your own breath, hold it, shoot, and, if you got everything right and it is a head-shot,  you’ll see a beautiful video sequence of your bullet travelling the distance and going through yet another enemy.  Once you do your first head-shot, you won’t be able to stop playing this game.  It’s that good.

The game is not very expensive – I got it off Amazon for less than 20 GBP.  Given that I played for four hours straight yesterday, and I’m not even half through the story, I think it’s a good bargain.  There is also a multi-player mode, which I haven’t even looked at yet.  But even after this brief encounter with the game, I can do nothing but recommend it to all the sniping fans.  It’s plenty of fun and it’s not difficult at all – not like some of those sniping simulation with the calculator and such.  This one is more like the movie where you play the main character. Brilliant stuff!





Sony security problems could take years to fix

Obviously, I’m not the only one thinking that Sony’s security problems are architectural.  Here is a quote from a New York Times article.

“Microsoft used to be the laughing stock of security and now they are now the shining example of good security,” said Mr. Gula. “It’s going to take a while for Sony to fix this, I think this will take years.”

On the other hand, some people are reporting that PlayStation Network is recovering.  Let’s see for how long…

Sony hacked again. Should go open source

Sky reports that Sony got hacked and lost some of its customers data:

Sony has once again been targeted by a group of hackers who claim they gained access to details of one million customers.

By now, I think it is obvious that Sony’s security issues are architectural.  It is not a matter of firewall misconfiguration or missed out input validation check.  That would have been closed and forgotten months ago.  Repeated attacks and extensive downtimes of PlayStation Network indicate that the problems are much deeper and much harder to find and fix.

I think the best option for them now is to go open source.  If they open the protocols they use and server software they have – plenty of people will jump on it and create alternative servers and networks.  All that will be needed after that is a firmware update that would allow gamers to connect to those alternative networks.