Latest PS3 and 360 updates causing issues with older systems

Update: It now appears that the culprit for the freezes, lockups, and overheating is actually L.A. Noire itself. Sony’s update seems to be safe, and any consoles having issues after that update seem to be coincidental at this point. Rockstar has admitted that L.A. Noire is having issues jiving with some 360 and PS3 consoles.

Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have seen system updates lately, and it seems that both updates are somewhat problematic for older versions of the consoles. In the case of the PlayStation 3, the newest update is to address the issues with the PSN security breach, and the update is required to regain access to your PSN account. The problem, however, is that people are reporting that after updating their consoles that they’re starting to have random console shutdowns or lockups. Rockstar has posted in their support FAQ the following in response to people complaining about freezes or shutdowns during L.A. Noire play sessions:

Question: My PS3 turns itself off when I am playing L.A. Noire. What can I do?

Answer: We have received some reports of PS3s overheating while playing L.A. Noire or beeping three times before shutting down/turning themselves off, mostly on older 60GB and 80GB fat models.
Primary reports seem to be that updating to firmware 3.61 will cause PlayStations to overheat. There have been various reports of this on a few different games now, all reporting their PS3s turning off or “Red Lighting” after having installed 3.61. This can range from games randomly freezing to PS3s turning off anywhere between 30 mins use to 2 hours. We have confirmed locally that multiple games (Rockstar and non-Rockstar) overheat or freeze only when 3.61 is installed.
At this time we are recommending contacting Sony directly to report the overheating issue. However, this is not the end of our support; we are continuing to test L.A. Noire on all firmware versions and hardware models to isolate the issues and see what can be done. As always, we will update this article as soon as we have updates.

So Rockstar seems to have internally found that it’s the older 60GB and 80GB models that are having issues, but it doesn’t sound entirely limited to them. Obviously overheating is a dangerous thing for your console to experience, so if you have problems after the update, don’t continue to play or else you risk damaging your console. I have a 60GB launch system and I don’t plan on updating until I know it’s 100% safe to do so.

As for the Xbox 360, the latest update seems to be equally problematic, if not worse. After updating with the newest update, many Xbox 360 consoles have been unable to read discs. At all. Microsoft has already responded and is now sending replacement consoles to anybody affected by the issue, but there’s no denying that it’s a major hassle and inconvenience to have to wait for your new console to arrive.

These updates are necessary, but it’s crazy that they can get into the wild with such crippling side effects. It seems to me that the console makers need to include a rollback option on these firmware updates, though I understand that often times the updates exist to plug security holes with the previous version. At least you’d still be able to play your console until they fixed the latest release, however.

Mirror’s Edge 2 canceled?

If true, this would be very disappointing news. According to a Press 2 Play TV report, which was translated by Eurogamer, DICE had presented a prototype for the sequel to EA and EA made the decision not to pursue the project further. We don’t know how far along Mirror’s Edge 2 was in development, but a hard blow at this stage could really put the game’s future into serious doubt as DICE is currently working hard on Battlefield 3 for PC, 360, and PS3. Despite EA’s show of confidence for Mirror’s Edge in the past, things aren’t looking good for the sequel.

Here’s hoping that EA has just told DICE to hold off on Mirror’s Edge 2 until Battlefield 3 releases, because Mirror’s Edge was actually a great game despite its flaws with the combat system. I had high hopes that a sequel would be able to smooth out the rough shooting (or remove it entirely) and provide more interesting paths through the levels.

What happened to StarCraft Arena?

What happened to StarCraft Arena?

I’ve had a few emails from people asking me if I know what happened with StarCraft Arena, formerly hosted at The truth is, very people know for certain what happened, but I’ve picked up on some rumblings and rumors that paint a pretty reliable picture.

StarCraft Arena was basically a portal for HD StarCraft and Husky to post their StarCraft 2 commentary videos and replays. The site also had forums where fans of the game and both HD and Husky could talk about StarCraft 2 strategies, events, and news. At times the site would go down, and it would stay down until the fans of HD and Husky made enough of a fuss to get the issue addressed.

When the site went down this last time, many people figured it was another blip and that it would be back when Husky or HD got around to addressing the issue. Unfortunately, this time it seems that site is gone for good. Reports are floating around that HD and Husky have had a falling out of sorts and they’ve decided it’s just best to go their separate ways and leave the domain to die. Nobody seems to know what triggered the squabble, but it appears to have been the final nail in the coffin for a site that already had issues from time to time. Additionally, both HD and Husky are contributing replays to the incredible website and mobile application. With this new place to share their casts, there’s really no reason to attempt to patch things up and revive the StarCraft Arena site.

If you’re looking for an easy place to catch replays, I highly suggest checking out If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet, definitely download the free app, as it’s even better than the website.

Call of Duty franchise to be ran into the ground

Statements released by Activision today should be quite alarming to Call of Duty fans. In a nutshell, Activision has announced that they plan to dilute the brand as quickly and thoroughly as possible by ensuring yearly releases, multi-genre releases, and a continued push into the MMO realm. Activision today announced that in 2011 a game in the Call of Duty franchise would be coming from a newly formed studio, known as Sledgehammer Games.

It’s all speculation at this point, but it looks like Infinity Ward was getting a little tired of the Call of Duty franchise being their only product, so Activision formed another studio to help carry the load (as they have been doing with Treyarch). Inifinity Ward is currently developing the two map packs for Modern Warfare 2 that are due out this year, but after that it would be hard to imagine that they are doing much with Treyarch responsible for the 2010 game and Sledgehammer being responsible for the 2011 release.

In a statement regarding the future of the franchise, Activision had this to say:

“2010 will be another important year for the Call of Duty franchise,” stated Mike Griffith, President and CEO of Activision Publishing. “In addition to continued catalog sales, new downloadable content from Infinity Ward and a new Call of Duty release, we are excited about the opportunity to bring the franchise to new geographies, genres and players.”

Typical PR blabber, for sure. As the details come out more fully we’ll all know more, but for now it really feels like the best days of the Call of Duty franchise are behind us. Just like Activision ran Guitar Hero into the ground, I see the same happening to Call of Duty.

Activision is obviously run by idiots

Modern Warfare 2 has sold enough copies to line the coffers of Activision for quite some time, so how does Activision show their appreciation to Infinity Ward, the developer of the game? They do it by firing Jason West, head of the studio. Not only that, security guards were sent over to the Infinity Ward studio without explanation of what was going on. It’s unclear if other people were sent packing, but it’s obvious that Activision’s top executives are drunk on pride and power. If this sort of thing eventually leads to a split between the studio and the publisher, I think it would be for the best. More than likely, however, it’s going to just be a rough few weeks for Infinity Ward before everybody starts falling back in line. With the economy as it is, it’s not the best time to rock the boat.

R.I.P. Lou Albano

Lou Albano, the man most well known among video gamers for his portrayal of Mario in the live action segments of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show cartoon, passed away on Wednesday due to continued complications of an illness that he had been battling under hospice care for some time. The cartoon, which is available on DVD home release, was something that young fans of the NES looked forward to each week, and it remains a lasting symbol of Mario’s huge impact on pop culture.


One last time, I suggest that everybody should “do the Mario” for Captain Lou. Just wait until nobody is looking, it’s okay.

Oh man…why not, Nintendo?!

Nintendo is the publisher for Tecmo’s Fatal Frame IV over in Japan, and earlier this week they announced that they have decided not to bring the game to North America. Because of region locking on the Wii, that means that unless you have a Japanese Wii, you won’t be playing this game. What a bummer. Fatal Frame is one of the more enjoyable and definitely one of the scarier survival horror series out there. Fatal Frame II still ranks up in the top 3 scariest games of all time in my book, so I was really hoping that the fourth game in the series would make its way here.


I’m guessing that Nintendo has chosen not to bring Fatal Frame IV over to North America because they feel that it either won’t be profitable or that it doesn’t jive well with their current lineup of games. If you ask me, either reason is total crap. Sure, the game may not be a blockbuster seller, but at least you’d be helping out our relationships with a 3rd party developer that is willing to produce engaging and complex content for your system. I think Nintendo is sending a very bad message to developers, its fanbase, and to potential buyers that may be weary of the console’s hardcore game offerings. I love my Nintendo Wii as much or more than most people out there, but I honestly can’t deny that the lineup could use a few more games like Fatal Frame IV.

No podcast this week, intermittent downtime explained

First of all, there won’t be a podcast this week because I’ve not been able to sleep the past 4 nights due to a terrible toothache (broken tooth, now infected), and I’m barely getting through my work days, let alone having the time to put together a show. Sorry to both of you listeners out there.

Secondly, some of you have probably noticed that the site has been going down for 10-20 minute periods lately, with some lasting up to an hour or two. Well, it appears that our site is outgrowing it’s humble hosting environment and we’ll probably have to find a more robust and reliable option soon. This is both good news and bad news. The good news is that we’re obviously getting a lot more readers, but it’s bad because it’s obviously going to cost us more, and we don’t make enough on ads to offset that cost. Heck, we don’t make anything on ads, they just look cool over there. So until these downtimes become more of an issue, we’ll just deal with them, but we’re aware we’ll need to make a move eventually.

Thanks, for the continued support, and look for a new podcast next week. For now, I suggest catching RebelFM and the Giant Bombcast.

EGM is no more, 1up sold to UGO, lots of notable layoffs

Ugh, I feel like the last remnants of my childhood have been dragged out into the street and had a bullet put right between the eyes. With the acquisition of 1up by UGO, many notable and talented people have been layed off and EGM is no more. What is undisputably the best gaming magazine ever published in the United States is finished, as the January issue (currently on sale) will be the final issue. GAF users have managed to compile a list of the journalists and staff members that have been layed off so far. Below is the list (bolding indicates the ones that I was particularly fond of):

Adrian Frieg
Amy Mishra
Amy Moran
Andrea Garcia
Andrew Fitch
Andrew “Skip” Pfister
Anthony Gallegos
Cesar Quintero

Christina Rosa
CoyLou Steel
Derek Chinn
Doug Parsons
Eric Ellis
Giancarlo Varanini
Greg Ford
James “Milkman” Mielke
Jason Bertrand

Jason Wilson
Jervilyn Jaramillo
Justin Frechette
Leslie Gelfand
Marci Yamaguchi
Matt Chandronait
May Tong
Meredith Stowe
Michael Donahoe
Monique Convertito

Ndubuisi Madu
Nick Suttner
Norris Boothe
Philip Kollar
Rey Serrano
Robert Bowen
Rosemary Pinkham
Ryan O’Donnell
Ryan Scott
Shane Bettenhausen

Simon Cox
Tammy Ross
Tipler Ubbelohde

I’m sure as the dust settles the list of casualties will expand, but some of those names up there are really quite shocking. Game coverage isn’t going to be the same without many of these guys being a part of the EGM/1up team, that’s for sure. Also, and this is where gamers are most going to feel the gut punch, is that the 1up podcasts are going to be done away with, at least for the time being. Right now, it’s been confirmed that 1up Yours (Best. Gaming. Podcast. Ever.) and the 1up Show (Best. Gaming. Video. Podcast. Ever.) are dead for good.

If you feel like it, you can hit up GAF and Twitter and read all sorts of farewells, comments, and musings from current and ex-1up staff about the situation. I’m still a little in shock that all we have left in the print publication market here in the US is Gamepro, which is terrible, and Game Informer, which has no journalistic integrity.

Good luck to everybody who is personally affected, and good luck to gamers trying to find a publication/network to fill the void left behind in their gaming news coverage and editorial needs.