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The PlayStation Network went back online Saturday, but certain elements are still missing from the service. Namely, the PlayStation Store – the online marketplace for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable users – has been delayed in relaunching, presumably to ensure data is secure from another breach. While Sony has maintained that it plans to have all network features back online by May 31, a Sony memo to developers claims that the company is looking to place the store back online on May 24.

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UPDATE: Sony's senior corporate communications director, Patrick Seybold, has commented on the exploit issue via the PlayStation Blog.

"We temporarily took down the PSN and Qriocity password reset page. Contrary to some reports, there was no hack involved. In the process of resetting of passwords there was a URL exploit that we have subsequently fixed," Seybold writes. "Consumers who haven’t reset their passwords for PSN are still encouraged to do so directly on their PS3. Otherwise, they can continue to do so via the website as soon as we bring that site back up."

So, no "hack," but there was an exploit; seems like a matter of semantics to me. As of this writing, the web-based network login is still "down for maintenance."

ORIGINAL STORY: Well, it looks like the hackers are not quite done with Sony, just yet. Sign-in capabilities on PlayStation websites has been disabled, and according to Eurogamer, this isn't just routine maintenance. The site claims to have seen video evidence that an exploit has been discovered which allows anyone with a PlayStation Network user's associated email address and birth date to take over the account; the exact same information compromised during last month's data breach.

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Well, the great PlayStation Network outage of 2011 appears to have finally come to an end. Almost a month after the PlayStation Network servers were taken offline, services began a rolling restart on Saturday. Essentially all features – online gaming, friend lists, chat – have been restored, but the PlayStation Store currently remains down. There's no exact word yet on when the downloadable content marketplace will return.

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Portal 2

Last night, NYU's Game Center played host for a talk with Erik Wolpaw. You undoubtedly know Erik's work as one of the writers behind "Portal" and the recently released "Portal 2." But he's been writing awesome words for way longer than that. Years before entering the game development community, he created the much-revered site, Old Man Murray, which brought a refreshing and hilarious take on the world of video games.

Last night's talk, however, was all about "Portal 2," and Wolpaw opened up about several fascinating insights into the development of the game's story and characters.

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chrono trigger

"Final Fantasy" may be a big deal, but true old school fans of Square Enix -- though it was just Square at the time -- know that the best of the classic role-playing games, really one of the best 16-bit era games overall, is "Chrono Trigger." The time-jumping RPG was first released for the Super NES in 1995, but it's popped up a couple times since then, in enhanced ports for PlayStation port and, later, Nintendo DS. The game is supposed to be coming to the Wii's Virtual Console in Japan this month, and we learn today that it also seems to be making its way to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable.

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Madden NFL 12

Last year, EA decided to hand over the "Madden" cover athlete decision to the fans. The end result was the pretty obvious choice of Drew Brees, who had won Super Bowl XLIV with the New Orleans Saints earlier in the year. The fan decision didn't come until the choices were narrowed down to just three players (Drew Brees, Reggie Wayne and Jared Allen), but this year things are starting up a bit earlier. EA is holding a bracket-style competition with ESPN, pitting 32 players against each other for the top honors of helming "Madden NFL 12."

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Jikandia: The Timeless Land

Time is one of the omnipresent aspects of video gaming that has been around since the glory days of the NES, but very few games have worked it in as a malleable aspect of the gameplay. Characters die when the developer-designated countdown timer runs out, and other games offer different rewards for finishing in as little time as possible. However, until Aksys Games' latest PSP release, "Jikandia: The Timeless Land," no game has tried to bridge that gap by allowing the player the tools to decide whether they want to beat the game quickly or easily.

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final fantasy iv: the complete collection

"Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection" is kind of a big deal. What many regard as the greatest game in the "Final Fantasy" series got a total facelift for its PlayStation Portable release, along with bonus content in the form of the sequel "Final Fantasy IV: The After Years" and the new-with-the-collection bridge story "Final Fantasy IV: Interlude." This isn't any penny ante bonus content here either; each of the three games in the collection is a full-featured experience, including, as we now know, "Interlude."

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psp go

Well that didn't take long. Likely in preparation for the coming of the NGP, Sony slashed the price on its PlayStation Portable handheld gaming device down to $129.99 late last week. Meanwhile the PSP Go continued on at its regular Xbox 360 console-rivaling price of $200, further highlighting the device as Sony's own awkward kid at the school dance that no one wants to go near. No longer though; as of today, the PSP Go is much more affordable.

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final fantasy 4 complete collection

The enduringly popular "Final Fantasy" series from Square-Enix could probably get by for the next 20 years just releasing remakes and spin-offs of the previous games. This is pretty funny when you think about it, since prior to "Final Fantasy X-2," spin-offs were a no-no for the franchise. Now they're all the rage, and the next one set for release is "Final Fantasy 4 Complete Collection," a PlayStation Portable compilation that brings "FF4," sequel "FF4: The After Years" and the newly written "FF4 Interlude" into one place. But what is this "Interlude"? Today we have our answer.

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