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PS3 Officially Launches in Malaysia, on Sept 20th. September 12, 2008

Posted by stvchang in blu-ray, blu-ray discs, blu-ray movies, business, console, console games, gadgets, games, gaming news, movies, news, PS3, PS3 games, PSN, PSN games, Sony, tech news, tech stuff.
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Its finally here, Sony Malaysia have announced that PS3 will be officially sold in Malaysia. It will be launched 10am on Sept 20th at 1U at Ground Floor Highstreet New Wing (that’s a popular mall in PJ, locals will know how to get there) and there is even a 24hours Soul Calibur IV tournament before the launch day.

For the launch, Sony Malaysia will be selling a special launch bundle:

80GB PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) Bundle Early Birds Promotion

1 x 80GB PS3™ (CECHK06)
1 x DUALSHOCK 3® Wireless Controller
1 x Soul Calibur IV™ game
1 x Selected PS3™ game (Resistance, Ratchet and Clank Future, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Assassin’s Creed)
1 x Custom made PS3™ Tote bag
1 x Soul Calibur IV™ CD holder
Price: RM 1,799

To sweeten the bundle further, Sony Malaysia have generously added special gifts for the first 120 buyers of the PS3 Malaysian bundle, as detailed below:-

1st – 3rd customer – RM 1,000 Sony Cash Voucher
4th – 21st customer – RM 500 Sony Cash Voucher
22nd – 50th customer – RM 300 Sony Cash Voucher
51st – 120th customer – RM 100 Sony Cash Voucher

To facilate for those who wants to be 1st in line, the queue line will be opened at 8am, so plan your day/night well.

And not forgetting those of you who don’t ever leave the house, Sony Malaysia have generously made the same PS3 Malaysian bundle available as an online pre-order purchase. The first 20 online buyers will get a bonus Blu-ray movie thrown in. However, details on the online purchase, delivery method and the free Blu-ray movie are not included.

All these details (except for the online pre-order deal) are available from here (http://corp.sony.com.my/3/main.asp).

What this means is that Malaysia will join HK, Singapore and Taiwan as the 4th country to officially have the PS3 (Japan is a whole region as far as PS3 distribution, and its not Asian region). All these while, the PS3s in MY stores are simply parallel imports (usually from Singapore) and the warranty is from the country of origin only. With the launch, Malaysian PS3s can be repaired by Sony service centres in Malaysia itself.

Hopefully, this will lead Sony Malaysia to bring in PS3 games directly as well as any PS3 peripherals and accessories, and that the prices will be cheaper than the parallel imports.


Firmware 2.40 removed from PSN, temporarily according to SCE. July 3, 2008

Posted by stvchang in console, console games, games, gaming news, news, patch, PS3, PS3 games, Sony, tech news, tech stuff.
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Due to some reports of buggy installation causing some PS3s experience problems. These problems range from reports of bricking, PS3 restarting itself halfway during installations, and even claims that the update wipes out the whole HDD.

SONY have responded to this complain by removing the firmware completely from PSN, and issued a statement in their Playstation.blog. The full statement there is as below:-

“As has been reported on many gaming blogs and websites, we have temporarily taken Firmware v2.40 offline. We’ve received a limited number of calls from consumers experiencing an issue with installing the system software update on their PS3. While our consumer services department has seen a low volume of calls on this topic, we are committed to providing the PS3 community with XMB access features delivered in the v2.40 update. We are working diligently to isolate the problem for those few consumers and to identify a solution before we put the firmware back up.

We’ll provide further information as necessary here on the Blog.”

However, there are also numerous PS3s that have been update with no problem whatsoever. For those of us that have not update the firmware yet, we can only wait for SONY to fix this snafu and hopefully get their act together and not release buggy firmware.

For me, there is no hurry as most of the new features (custom music soundtrack, Trophies) only work in ONE game so far. With the already released games not supporting it yet, and only games coming after fall supports it, there is no hurry to update the firmware.

PS3 Firmware update 2.40 to be released July 2, 2008. July 1, 2008

Posted by stvchang in console, console games, games, gaming news, patch, PS2 games, PS3, PS3 games, tech news, tech stuff.

PS3 will get the much awaited Firmware 2.40 tomorrow. This latest update is different Firmware 2.36 (released last week) which improves “system stability when playing select PlayStation format software titles,” but not mentioning which games.

With Firmware 2.40, SONY finally adds in-game XMB, custom soundtrack options and their own version of Xbox’s Achievement system, known as Trophies.

The in-game XMB is a full scaled XMB, with new options to quit game, go online, access Playstation Store, change headset settings and even checking on which of your friends are online, all done without ever leaving the game. Note that the XMB will only work for PS3 games, so accessing the XMB by pressing the PS button on the controller while in a PSOne or PS2 game wont work.

Custom music option for games are also added to the XMB to play your own music, and SONY have added a control panel within the Music category with buttons to play, pause, skip and even to control the volume if its affects the game’s audio effects. This feature needs to be added to the game, so it wont work on existing releases but it could be easily patched if the developer chooses to.

The biggest addition to Firmware 2.40 and to the PS3 itself is the Trophies system. Similar to Xbox360‘s Achievement system, PS3‘s Trophy system goes a few step further. Instead of points, different type of Bronze, Silver and Gold Trophies will be awarded for completing different tasks. Each game will also have one single Platinum Trophy is available for completing all Trophies in the game. You can then compare your Trophy collection with your friends, and the collection will also be added to you profile for all to see.

To make things more enticing, Sony have added a Level system to the Trophies. Gaining Trophies will level up your profile in PSN, giving gamers more incentive to collect as many Trophies they can find. This will definitely improve PS3‘s online community draw, as there are much more reason to getting Trophies as opposed to simply having Points to show.

All this and more will be available to PS3 users come tomorrow, so be ready to fully embrace SONY‘s new online community direction.

PS3 Firmware updated to V2.35, but dont fix GTA IV’s freeze. May 16, 2008

Posted by stvchang in games, gaming news, PS3, PS3 games, Sony, tech news, tech stuff.
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PS3‘s latest firmware patch is now at V2.35, available as of May 15, 2008. Sony was pretty vague about what the patch do, only stating “System stability during use of some PLAYSTATION(R)3 format software has been improved.”

Users have reported online that the patch DOES not fix the problems with GTA IV, and Sony acknowledges it while saying that they are looking the problem and may have a solution soon.

You can try calling Sony’s customer support in your area to check.

GTA IV PS3 gets patched to V1.01 May 8, 2008

Posted by stvchang in games, gaming news, PS3, PS3 games, Sony, tech news, tech stuff.
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Rockstar have released GTA IV patch for PS3. Weighing in at 18MB in size, the patch is said to improve online experience by fixing some server related issues and stuff as mentioned below.

Rockstar Games has released a GTA IV patch for Playstation 3 today that prevents Gamespy’s servers from being overloaded and therefore reduces the impact on those servers that were causing the game to stutter and lock up. This update will ensure that everyone will experience Grand Theft Auto IV the way it was intended. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused,” statement released by Rockstar regarding the patch.

Online forums users have reported that the patch also helps with the lock-ups on single player mode, especially the one dealing with the auto saved game load. The patch seems to have fixed that too.

I personally do not have any lock up issues in both single and multiplayer mode, so I cant tell the difference. Will play the game more to see if I can see any fixes done.

My wish list for Rockstar if they are reading this (yeah, fat chance), if the player thats hosting a multiplayer game (the one with the “crown” icon who decides on the settings) is idle for extended periods, please kick the player out automatically. I had several instances where many players are waiting to get into the game but is hampered by the host not being ready. Fix that and the multiplayer will be much much sweeter.

Also, why is the PS3 version darker than the Xbox360 version, even if the PS3 version have better shading and looks more realistic??

PS. I have been playing multiplayer so much that I have neglected the single player mode….

GTAIV Xbox360 is region locked. April 30, 2008

Posted by stvchang in games, gaming news, Microsoft, tech stuff, Xbox360, Xbox360 games.
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A warning for all Xbox360 owners, Rockstar‘s latest humongous game, GTAIV, is region-locked.

This simply means that you have to get the game region that corresponds to your Xbox360. It means that you cant import the game from locations that have released the game (ie. Australian and Asian gamers cant play US or European version of GTAIV, imported or otherwise).

You have been warned.

Playstation Store revamp starts today. April 3, 2008

Posted by stvchang in gadgets, games, games demo, gaming news, PS3, PS3 games, PSP, tech news, tech stuff.
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The above is the new re-designed Playstation Store layout and look. To facilitate the revamp, Sony will not be updating the PSN Store with new content for two weeks with effect from today. Users will still be able to access to existing contents while the revamp goes on.

The new revamped Playstation Store is expected to be go live “mid April” in all regions. The redesign will not affect existing PSN accounts or their virtual wallets.

Dualshock 3 finally reaching US shores, Sixaxis phased out. April 3, 2008

Posted by stvchang in gadgets, games, gaming news, PS3, PS3 games, Sony, tech news, tech stuff.
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Sony announced that the Dualshock3 will hit US next week, one whole week earlier than the April 15 2008 expected release date. In the same announcement, they have released a list of PS3 titles that are compatible with the Dualshock3, click here to check the list.

This will also mean that future PS3s will be shipped Dualshock3 in the package, which will be very good news for future PS3 purchasers.

With Dualshock3 already available in Japan and Asia, it is not shocking news that Sony is plasing out of Sixaxis. Existing stocks is estimated to be cleared by summer 08, so buy now if you wish to have rumble-less controllers for the PS3 in the future.

PSP software updated, COD4 PS3 patched as well. March 27, 2008

Posted by stvchang in games, gaming news, hack, PS3, PS3 games, PSP, tech news, tech stuff.
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With Sony’s PS3 firmware is now at V2.20, the PSP is upped to V3.93. Downloading them give your PSP 20 (count ’em) players for its internet radio feature (I think there are some stuff to twart hackers thrown in too).

Meanwhile, after being patched on the Xbox360 earlier, the PS3 version is now receiving the same love as Call of Duty 4 is now at Version 1.20. This patch is a 12MB download, and it improves gameplay slightly.

Major security vulnerability on PLAYSTATION Network discovered, rectified. March 27, 2008

Posted by stvchang in business, gadgets, games, gaming news, PS3, PS3 games, Sony, tech news, tech stuff.
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Following a SCE Japan alert, SCEA US Site have released a consumer alert, reproduced in its entirety as following:-

“Notice to PLAYSTATION®Network Users:

We have found out that there has been a possibility of unauthorized access to personal information on the PLAYSTATION®Store through PCs, a content download service of the PLAYSTATION®Network. Although unlikely, it is possible that the passwords of a small percentage of PLAYSTATION Network users may have been changed through unauthorized access, making it possible to view users’ personal information and/or use the Wallet for the PLAYSTATION Store. PLAYSTATION Network accounts do not display entire credit card numbers, so any unauthorized access to your PLAYSTATION Network account is very unlikely to compromise your credit card number.

We have taken immediate measures to rectify this issue and system security is restored. We have investigated the extent of unauthorized access and possible alteration of passwords that could have occurred before corrective measures were taken, and are directly contacting customers who may have been affected by this incident. In order to verify that your account is intact, we strongly suggest that PLAYSTATION Network users sign in to the service. If you can successfully sign in with your pre-set password, your account is not affected by this incident.
For additional information and immediate 24 hour online support,
click here for the PlayStation Knowledge Center.”

What this mean is someone have hacked and accessed into some member’s PLAYSTATION Network accounts, capturing their ID, password and wallet. Sony have rectified the security issue and is in the process of investigating the damages.

Meanwhile, if you want to know if you are affected, login to your account with your password. If you can’t get in, chances are you have been affected and should contact your nearest Sony service center.