News: Blood From a Rock

You Can Now Run Burnt Games On PS2 Without Console Mods

What is the most widely remarked on feature of the Sega Dreamcast? More than its VGA capabilities, and VMU usage, it is undoubtedly the console’s ability to playback burnt discs with very little difficulty. In fact this unintended feature of the Dreamcast probably ended up selling many more consoles than any other single feature or game. The Dreamcast was capable of playing VCDs, and hackers figured out that by patching game ISO files with code which ran during the start-up of VCDs burnt games would be able to run from the disk while bypassing the system’s copy protection, all without the need for the user to physically modify their system.

God bless the Swedes!
This is great for game preservation!

Now, twenty years later, history is repeating. The PS2 was capable of playing DVD movies. In fact, for the initial year of the console’s life this was pretty much its biggest selling point. Now an individual by the name of CTurt has discovered an exploit in the console’s DVD playback in order to launch burnt games in a manner very reminiscent of what was done with the Dreamcast. Luckily for Sony though, this is coming a good long while after this could have been economically impactful to them.

This is big news for anyone with a working PS2 who would like to try out one of the rarer titles, such as Rule of Rose. This will be even bigger news for anyone who would like to burn themselves a copy of one of the handful of Japanese exclusives which have English patches, such as Front Mission 5 and the PS2 remake of Dragon Quest V. The group of people who are probably most excited by this news though, are people concerned with disc preservation. Now original discs can be put away, and high quality reproductions can be produced. Also, perhaps the cottage industry of shmup developers that still support the Dreamcast might now turn their attention to the PS2.

A New Price for Playstation Games?

From a story about about free games, to one about games which are anything but. The next generation of console hardware is looking to be prohibitively expensive, but if gamers thought that Sony and Microsoft might go easy on game prices to compensate for this, then they may want to rethink this. New evidence has emerged this week which appears to indicate that games on the PS5 and Xbox Series X will be priced at $70!

$70 is taking the piss!
The PS5 can go jump into Mount Doom as far as I’m concerned.

2K Games has revealed the pricing for NBA 2K21, and something immediately jumped out about the pricetag. The Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions of the game are all priced at $60, so no surprises there, but the PS5 and Series X versions are priced at $70 – a hefty mark-up of $10! It is possible that 2K may simply be attempting to gorge themselves on early adopters, in which case shame on those humbugs, but what really has tongues wagging here is the possibility that maybe 2K are simply pricing their game according to the new RRP of $70!

To be fair to Sony and Microsoft, as of right now this is the only indication we have received that games will be priced at $70. 2K is an extremely avaricious company, and unilaterally gouging early adopters would totally be in keeping with their corporate culture. That being said, the reason that this has been such big news is because many people are expecting it from Sony and Microsoft, and this adds considerable weight to that concern. It would also be more than a little curious for Microsoft and Sony to both set their game prices to $70 at the exact same time. Is this a gentleman’s agreement, or something? Is price fixing not illegal?

Sony Puts the Hard Word On Reviewers

The Last of Us 2 was released last week to sales of 4 million. This week its sales fell by a massive 80% in the UK, and was nearly beaten by Bravely Second, a years old 3DS game. Game sales fell even more steeply in Japan, where the game has already flooded the second hand market. The game’s sales decreased by a massive 85% there. We are still missing enough key pieces of information to properly judge the game’s second week performance, yet if these kind of dwindling sales become uniform, then The Last of Us 2 might be this season’s hottest game buried at the bottom of New Mexican landfill.

No wonder the shill media has no semblance of independence.
Sony has the shill media in a tight embrace.

But this is such an odd turn of events! The professional games journalists keep telling consumers that this is the game they have to be interested in, so why have people (seemingly) stopped buying it? Well, perhaps change.org can shed some light on that little conundrum. There is currently a petition on change.org called ‘Remake the storyline of The Last of Us Part II’ which 51,294 people have signed. One is not an expert in such things, but 51,294 signatures seems an abnormally large number to accrue organically, especially when any information critical of The Last of Us 2 is being actively suppressed by most of the gaming media.

Well, given this negative groundswell against The Last of Us 2, is it really any surprise that Sony have been more than a little proactive in their attempts to silence people’s opinions about the game? That being said, one area where one never dreamt that Sony would find a cause for complaint is with critical reviews. The shill media showered the game with great heapings of undeserved praise, and it currently sits at a score of 94 on Metacritic – so surely they would have no cause for complaint here, right? Well, it turns out that Sony and Naughty Dog are being driven mad by a tiny handful of negative critical reviews – to the extent that they have reached out to both Vice and Polygon in an effort to convince them to change their somewhat negative reviews of the game. Are these guys so far up their own assholes that they fail to realise that taking away the game’s tiny handful of negative reviews will only make gamers even more distrustful of all the positive ones? Apparently an unearned meta score of 94 is no longer good enough for Sony!

2 comments

  1. I have one question I have on the PS2 story, does it work on the PS1 part of the OS. I would like to play those Front Mission games that never got released in the US

  2. @TacticsJack: The hacker responsible for this discovery said that it should work, in theory–and that it might even work on other PS consoles with DVD functionality, including the 3 and 4.

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