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Gaming news round-up - The PS3 hack editionBy Johan Keyter 7 January 2011 | Categories: news
PS3 hacked wide open
Just as the world's odometer rolled into 2011, news started pouring in that Sony's PlayStation 3 had its root key unlocked by famed hacker George “GeoHot” Hotz, with a team of hackers known as fail0verflow also cracking the key.
The PS3's root key is the holy grail of the system as it is responsible for letting the console know that the program it's running is indeed legitimate software. Now that it's been released into the wild, users can theoretically run any custom program, be it software or games on the PS3 while tricking the console into thinking it's authentic.
According to Edge, the release of the root key is also a much harder issue to deal with for Sony, as it isn't something that can be mended by a simple firmware upgrade (as was the case with the PS Jailbreak). Altering the key could run the risk of adversely affecting other PS3 software.
Sony remained quiet about the leak preceding the release, but yesterday released a brief statement saying, “We are aware of this, and are currently looking into it. We will fix the issues through network updates, but because this is a security issue, we are not able to provide you with more details.” Meanwhile, one of the members of fail0verflow, pytey, told the BBC, “The only way to fix this is to issue new hardware. Sony will have to accept this.”
Lord of the Rings Online triples revenue
In a recent podcast, Turbine, the developers of The Lord of the Rings Online said that since the game switched from its previous paid subscription model to a free to play strategy, the MMO has tripled its revenue.
According to VG247, the developers said that a million new accounts had been created since switching to free-to-play, quadrupling the game's active player base. While it is free for anyone to play the game, Turbine makes its money selling expansion packs, additional character slots, items and other customisation options to players who want to take their adventure to the next level.
The next expansion pack for the game is expected to be released this Spring and will take place in legendary Isengard.
Tomb Raider trilogy on the way
Fans of action orientated archaeologist Lara Croft are in for a treat, as Square Enix and developers Crystal Dynamics yesterday announced the Tomb Raider Trilogy pack, an exclusive Tomb Raider bundle for the PlayStation 3.
The pack will include Tomb Raider Legend and Tomb Raider Anniversary, both remastered in high definition (HD), as well as the newer Tomb Raider Underworld. Players will also gain access to a number of exclusive items such as a custom PlayStation 3 Tomb Raider theme pack, official Lara Croft female Home avatar outfit, the Viking Thrall male Home avatar outfit and a collection of “making of” trailers for the entire series.
"We're really excited to be able to offer gamers the chance to play both Legend and Anniversary remastered in high definition on the PlayStation 3," said Darrell Gallagher, head of studio, Crystal Dynamics. "These are two titles we are extremely proud to have created." The Tomb Raider Trilogy pack will be available from 22 March 2011.
Meanwhile gamers can also look forward to a gritty new Tomb Raider reboot coming later this year.
Dead Space 2 earns star review
If you've ever played the original Dead Space, you'll know that there's nothing relaxing about being stuck on a space station with monstrous Necromorphs hunting you down at every corner. The survival horror shooter was one of 2008's sleeper hits and its sequel, Dead Space 2, is going to be sending shivers down our spine when it comes out on the 28th of January.
The lucky folks over at PSM3 magazine has already gotten a chance to take a shot at Visceral Games' latest creation, and their verdict is in, giving the horror title an excellent 92%. The game was praised for its suspense, action, beauty and heart pounding audio, with reviewers saying the Necromorphs “are even more horrific than the first time around.”
New Killzone 3 trailer
The first two Killzone titles were both very impressive first person shooters (FPS) for the PlayStation 3, but in a genre that is so overcrowded it really takes something special to stand out. That is exactly what the newest cinematic trailer for the upcoming Killzone 3 does.
The trailer shows the continuing struggle against the Helghast, the drama caused by the power vacuum left at the end of the previous game and the desperate odds faced by our hero Sev and his companions.
Killzone 3 will be playable in full 3D and supports the new PlayStation Move motion controller, one of the first FPS titles to do so. The game will be released on the 25th of February 2011.
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