I noticed that PS3TrophyCard.com was blaming Sony for their service being down, so your PSN account trophy cards were not updating with Trophies from newer games. For example, my card was not showing my Trophies from The Last Guy or Ghostbusters. Under normal circumstances, you tell PS3TrophyCard your PSN username (never your password) and you get a handsome jpg of your current Trophy count, including your most recent acquisitions and a very nice background image of the last game you played. The service is free, as long as you do not mind manually forcing a refresh of the data. If you pay them (which I would never do), the refresh happens automatically.
But the site was down, and they seemed the slightest bit torked off about it. So I threw up a little item on Aeropause. I thought it was fair enough... I pointed out that PS3TrophyCard was finger pointing, and I lamented Sony not having this service in the first place. The article must have fallen into some serious Sony fan circles, because within a day it attracted a heap of vitriolic comments from angry PS3 defenders.
One of them decided I must be a Microsoft fanboy, which is pretty damned hilarious. I have previously been attacked on Aeropause for being a Sony fanboy, which just goes to show how perception is everything. Say something negative about Company X = Company X's fanboys swarm to murder you. Doesn't matter what you may have said previously.
My take on PS3TrophyCard is that it is a pretty shady deal to begin with (particularly their monthly fee option), and Sony has every right to shut them down, whether directly or by continually optimizing their code to stay one step ahead. Sony has not (to my knowledge) made PSN data available under an open API, so who knows what tricks PS3TrophyCard has to go through to parse the info.
But my larger point - and I guess I didn't make this clear - is that there is a sizable community out there that WANTS this feature badly enough that they are willing to go to a random third party to get it. So it is all fine and dandy for Sony to make this un-approved version go away... but it sure would be great if they had some official alternative. If Sony's "Portable ID" was worth a tinker's cuss, I'd use that and never have considered going to PS3TrophyCard.com. But here's all you get with Sony of America's Portable ID:
Boy, is that worth it! My name, avatar and custom message! That is so pathetic that I'd rather they didn't even offer it at all. It's a joke. And Sony pretends like it's some kind of great boon, trumpeting how you can "display your PlayStation Network portable ID on forums and social networking sites." The worst thing is, I've seen losers who DO use this negligible bit of code.
For some time, I've been hoping that Sony would enhance the Portable ID... but time keeps on ticking by with no improvement. They added an online Trophy page, but it's just for you to see when you are on the PSN website. So I can check my Trophies while I am at work, but I can't get them in some kind of handy embeddable format that I could put on fourhman.com, Facebook, Twitter or wherever else. Meanwhile, 360 partisan Joe Haygood has his Twitter page automatically reporting what games he is playing... which, I confess, I find fascinating most of the time.
Many of the Aeropause comments call me out for even wanting a service like this. It "doesn't matter," "who cares," "why would you want that," etc. Which is a pretty classic fanboy play: decide that a feature the competition has is irredeemably stupid. Sony and Microsoft fans both made part-time jobs out of bashing the Wii's motion control, and suddenly both camps are dizzy with anticipation of how their chosen flag will now do motion control right. Why, one day you'll be able to play Halo with a controller AND throw grenades by moving your arm!
Lambasting the Trophy card concept rings especially hollow once you realize that Sony Europe DOES have a service nearly identical to PS3TrophyCard.com. American users can use it as well, but it's not like Sony America has a big sign up pointing us towards SCEE should we be interested in such a thing. You have to already be an insider to be aware that Europe has a feature that America does not. And why doesn't SCEA have it anyway? What's the holdup?
I won't bother feeding the trolls and responding to all the (mostly nameless) commenters who came after me. I replied to the guy who called me an MS fanboy simply because that was too delicious a morsel after the public drubbing I went through when I came out against Project Natal during E3.
That same guy also tossed out the "you call yourself a journalist" line, which although I did not address, I do find very intriguing. Like Kotaku, Joystiq and who knows how many others, Aeropause is primarily a weblog, not a pure news service like what IGN used to be. (That's not a dig; I just rarely visit IGN so I don't know how "journalisty" they remain.) Kotaku posts are full of opinions, mistakes, typos, bias, swear words, and honest impressions because they, like Aeropause, are just a bunch of writers who see gaming news/events/pressers and comment on them. I do not believe they would purposefully mislead readers and neither would I. That's about the only old school journalism you're likely to get: Don't lie.
Example: my opinion is that Natal is follow-the-leader raw technology revealed solely as a marketing coup, and that once again Microsoft has done a 180 (pun intended) on their core fans by delivering copycat casual features instead of something new and original. I would express that view in an Aeropause column, or in a sly sarcastic dig, but I would never take to the web with a "news" item with intentionally forged quotes or manufactured info to make Natal look bad. The former would be fine because, on a weblog, everything contains a personal editorial element. The latter is wrong, well, everywhere.
Perhaps any website that is not just "some guy's weblog" is somehow beholden to a CNN level of journalistic integrity (whatever that means). Particularly if you as a reader feel slighted in some way and want to tear down the writers.
Note I said "writers," not "reporters." There is a difference.
But, anything for traffic, right? I'm sure my PS3TrophyCard article surged in pageviews, which hopefully exposes Aeropause.com to new readers who will stick around.
Usually, though, you want new people to come to your site for a good story, not because they're pissed off about something.