To its credit, Ubisoft patched the problem quickly, and UPlay should prompt users to update in order to fix the security hole. At the same time, many PC users were angry to learn that UPlay installs a browser plugin without informing users and asking for consent or confirmation. It's just one of many examples of how heavy-handed copy protection schemes harm paying users far more than pirates, who obviously steal their copies of Ubisoft's games with no UPlay attached. Pirating games is bad, but sneaking software onto people's computers without their knowledge is also bad, okay Ubisoft?
Sony Bleeds Cash
Sony has just released its financial results for April through June of 2012, and things aren't looking good. The company lost $312 million dollars over the quarter, with its gaming division responsible for $45 million of that loss. Sony's gaming losses are due to declining sales of the aging PlayStation 3 and PSP systems, along with lower-than-expected sales of the new PS Vita.
Most worrying in terms of the Vita is that Sony refuses to release specific sales details for the device. The company only reports aggregate sales data for the Vita and PSP, which is still selling fairly well in Japan. Even when asked, Sony refuses to report Vita sales on their own, leading to suspicions that the device is seriously underperforming.
It will certainly take some time for Sony to recover from betting on expensive 3D televisions, a mistake that has cost its consumer electronics division a great deal. However, it certainly doesn't help when most of Sony's other divisions are losing money as well. We'll have to see how Sony's new president, Kaz Hirai, attacks the challenges the company is facing.
Windows 8 Is Not So Great
Three major PC game developers have now voiced their dissatisfaction with Microsoft's upcoming operating system, Windows 8. The OS is clearly geared towards portable devices such as tablets, and many desktop and laptop PC users have expressed worry about how well Windows 8 will serve their needs.
Now Stardock, Valve, and Blizzard have all come forward as expressing a lack of confidence in Windows 8's ability to support PC gaming. Stardock's CEO says the OS is terrible for usability, Gabe Newell of Valve dislikes it so much he's looking to take game development to Linux, and Blizzard's Rob Pardo has Tweeted his agreement with Newell's opinions (though perhaps not with the Linux part.)
PC users are generally quite satisfied with Windows 7, and it's predicted that Windows 8 will be skipped over by many home users just as Windows Vista was. With all this bad press about Windows 8, will Microsoft rethink using the tablet-focused Metro interface on PC? Generally, Microsoft has not been particularly responsive to criticism of this type, so I suspect most PC users will simply vote with their wallets and stay home on Windows 8 launch day. With Microsoft trying to break into the tablet market and turn its Xbox consoles into connected home entertainment devices though, home consumer rejection of a new OS could have more wide-reaching consequences for Microsoft than it did with Windows Vista just a few years ago.
Date: August 3, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*