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From The US Airforce's Beef With Sony To BT's Deal With OnLive - News Roundup 13th May 2010

Matt Gardner
BT, Firmware 3.21, Google, Linux, News, OnLive, Sony, Yakuza

PS3 Firmware Update Frustrating For Airforce

From The US Airforce's Beef With Sony To BT's Deal With OnLive - News Roundup 13th May 2010

Sony should have seen this one coming really. After all, back in 2006 the PS3 managed to excite a good number of people who weren't gamers thanks to the much lauded ability to harness the power of multiple PS3s to essentially create mini supercomputer clusters with the help of the IBM Cell processor.

Ars Technica reports, however, that the recent firmware update to remove the OtherOS option which allowed the running of Linux as an operating system to enable such operations, which has received no small amount of backlash not to mention several class-action lawsuits, has also rubbed several larger groups the wrong way too...including the US Airforce.

As one representative noted:

'We will have to continue to use the systems we already have in hand. [However] this will make it difficult to replace systems that break or fail. The refurbished PS3s also have the problem that when they come back from Sony, they have the firmware (gameOS) and it will not allow Other OS, which seems wrong. We are aware of class-action lawsuits against Sony for taking away this option on systems that used to have it.'

It's not an immediate concern, as the Airforce's clusters aren't linked up to the PSN, negating the need for the firmware update...yet. But we're betting that we haven't heard the last of this, after all, removing functionality that people have paid for is a bad thing. [1UP]

Yakuza PSP Named, Dated & Trailered

Yesterday came reports that the Yakuza series' jump to the PSP has been officially named and dated by director Toshihiro Nagoshi. Originally hiding under the moniker Project K, the PSP game has now been named Kurohyu: Ryu ga Gotoku Shinshou, which roughly translates to Black Leopard: A New Yakuza Chapter and is out in Japan on September 22nd. Check out the massive story-based debut trailer above. It's got us excited, why not tell us what you think in the comments box. [VG247]

Google To Retry Entry Into The Games Industry?

From The US Airforce's Beef With Sony To BT's Deal With OnLive - News Roundup 13th May 2010

Google and games have  neverreally gone hand in hand. Their attempts to create a virtual world service - the ill-fated Lively - was dead in under six months. But news comes to us now, courtesy of Develop, that the company is now looking for a 'project management leader, games' which might suggest a renewed focus.

Have a read of the job role description below:

The Product Management Leader, Games will be a flexible, results-oriented, and experienced senior leader who will be responsible for developing Google's games commerce product strategy and partnering to build and manage the business with a cross-functional team. You will have visionary product insight, combined with experience in the online content business, significant technical expertise and extensive leadership and business skills. The Product Management Leader, Games combines a great instinct for developing compelling products with a strong focus on users and technical aptitude to work with a world class engineering team and the business sense to drive product goals and strategies.

Sound like generic jargon? yeah, that's what we thought. But lower down, under 'Requirements', it reads that the applicant should have 'experience building an online gaming business both on the web and on mobile devices. Deep understanding of the game business and how to create hits.' To us that suggests a future foray into the world of casual online gaming dominated at present by Zynga and Playfish, whether or not it'll be successful only time can tell. Watch this space for more. [1UP]

BT Gains Exclusive UK Bundle Rights To OnLive

From The US Airforce's Beef With Sony To BT's Deal With OnLive - News Roundup 13th May 2010

Much as the title might suggest a load of broadband enthusiasts having an enormous pile-up, what this actually means is that BT have entered into a commercial arrangement with cloud-based games distributor OnLive that will see the telecoms company nab a 2.6% stake in OnLive and also exclusive rights to bundle the service with its broadband packages in the UK. Gavin Patterson, BT Retail's CEO had this to say on the matter:

'Entertainment is going to be at the heart of what we offer customers in the future [...] The partnership with OnLive complements our existing BT Vision service. It's great for our customers - they'll have access to a huge catalogue of games, available instantly on their TV or PC without expensive hardware. [...] And it's great for BT - it will enhance our premium broadband position and we'll be entering into a market that's worth more than £2 billion.'

As OnLive prepares to launch this summer, receiving a due date at this year's GDC of June 17th, no doubt the buzz will start snowballing and it's not just BT who's excited about this. Patterson's counterpart at OnLive, Steve Perlman, views 'BT as the ideal UK partner. As gamers are moving increasingly to online game distribution, OnLive delivers video games as a pure form of online media, playable instantly on almost any video-capable device attached to the internet. The implications are nothing short of transformative to video games and in time, all interactive media. OnLive is delighted to be pioneering this revolutionary technology in the UK together with BT.'
Fighting talk indeed, but how excited are you guys by services such as OnLive and Gaikai? The broad theory is certainly attractive, but are we ready for it? Drop us a line or two with your thoughts below. [GamesIndustry.biz]

Add a comment2 comments
Gunn  May. 13, 2010 at 19:04

Surely our broadband network isnt up to OnLive demands, perhaps if you live in a 50mb cable area in or around London but some folks are still on 1mb

Rubisco  May. 14, 2010 at 03:06

Lol @ "expensive hardware". I wouldn't class a games console as expensive.
Besides, most people who are interested in playing enough games to warrant paying a subscription already have the hardware. Maybe if they were launching the service early on in a console generation they'd have a point.

And whatever your broadband speed, the experience won't be perfect, it can't rival a console in experience terms and to suggest that it can be anything more than a poor approximation is like saying YouTube and iPlayer are as good as a Bluray.

I use YouTube and iPlayer, but would I pay a subscription for doing so? Absolutely not. People pay for perfect, and will settle for imperfect but only if it's free.

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