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Tamriel Infinium: Five reasons to return to Elder Scrolls Online

Today seems as good a time as any to mention returning to Elder Scrolls Online. I'm not talking personally, mind you, as I've been playing pretty consistently since early access. The winds of MMO change are doing their thing, though, and I'm seeing a bunch of thinking-about-returning-but-have-some-questions threads at my usual ESO forum hangouts.

Maybe this is due to all the fail trolls glomping onto WildStar while eyeing the fast-approaching North American version of ArcheAge. Or maybe it's because ZeniMax has added quite a bit of post-launch tastiness to its ESO recipe.

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State of Decay Xbox One edition hits in 2015, 1080p

And other numbers. State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition is heading to Xbox One in spring 2015. The game includes the add-on packs Breakdown and Lifeline, plus new content, and all of it running in 1080p.

In January, State of Decay developer Undead Labs announced it had signed a "multi-year, multi-title agreement" with Microsoft Studios.
[Image: Microsoft]

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Nintendo reveals first Amiibo figures and prices, but no release date

Nintendo revealed an initial line up of Amiibo toys on Thursday. The near-field communication-equipped action figures compatible with Nintendo Wii U and 3DS games like Super Smash Bros. will cost $12.99 each when they launch, but Nintendo has yet to announce an official release date for the line beyond 2014.

The first wave includes 12 figures, among them many that were initially unveiled at E3 2014. Metroid's Samus, The Legend of Zelda's Link, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, Pikachu, the Animal Crossing boy villager, and Super Mario Bros.' Mario, Princess Peach, and Yoshi populate the line. There are also figures of Marth from the Fire Emblem series and the Wii Fit trainer. Some figures shown in prototype form at E3 2014, including Princess Zelda and Kid Icarus, are not included in the first wave.

While Nintendo still hasn't confirmed a release date for its Amiibo, it did announce additional games that will support the figures, including Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Yoshi's Wooly World, Mario Party 10, and Mario Kart 8.


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SUPER SMASH BROS., AMIIBO, POKÉMON AND NEW HARDWARE BUNDLES STAR IN NINTENDO'S HOLIDAY LINEUP

Pre-Orders for First 12 amiibo Figures Kick off Nintendo's Holiday Season

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 29, 2014 – Nintendo has prepared a massive lineup of new games and products for the 2014 holiday season. The lineup includes new entries from some of the biggest franchises in gaming, new hardware bundles for Wii U and Nintendo 2DS, and new amiibo interactive figures featuring some of the most iconic characters in the world of video games.

The holiday shopping season begins today for Nintendo fans, as the first 12 amiibo interactive figures become available for pre-order at a suggested retail price of just $12.99 each. The first dozen characters available for pre-order at select retailers are Mario, Peach, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager and Wii Fit Trainer, with more on the way in the future.

"Nintendo's holiday offerings demonstrate a combination of fun franchises and great value," said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "With Wii U and Nintendo 2DS hardware bundles, classic names like Super Smash Bros., Bayonetta and Pokémon, new IP like Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and amiibo, everyone will find something to love about Nintendo this holiday season. Whether people are shopping for themselves or they're prepping their gift lists, Nintendo has them covered."

Interactive amiibo Figures: Nintendo's foray into the toys-to-life category starts today, with the first 12 amiibo figures available to pre-order from select retailers. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, which launches this holiday season, will be the first game with full integration of amiibo functionality. Other games that will support amiibo include Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Party 10 and Yoshi's Woolly World, with more to come. More details on amiibo functionality with the various games and a launch date will be revealed shortly.

Ultimate NES Remix slides onto 3DS later this year

Ultimate NES Remix infuses 3DS with the series' mashed-up tapas approach to revisiting 8-bit classics, starting November 11 in Europe and December 5 in North America. According to Nintendo's brief announcement the 3DS entry features content from 16 NES games, but the company didn't note if any of that content comes from the NES Remix 1 and NES Remix 2 games already out on Wii U. We've reached out to the big N to learn more, but for now all that's left to say is that it's coming to stores and the eShop, and it's priced at $30.

Meanwhile on Wii U, the NES Remix Pack compilation of the two released entries is coming to North American stores, and also with a $30 price tag.
[Image: Nintendo]

Bayonetta 2 gives Wii U a new 'do on October 24

Bayonetta 2, the new Platinum Games and Nintendo joint starring a witch wearing a jumpsuit made of her own hair, will officially be available on the North American Wii U just in time for Halloween. Both retail and downloadable versions of Bayonetta 2 will release on October 24th.

The retail version of Bayonetta 2 will also include a new version of the original Bayonetta. First published by Sega on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2010, this edition of Bayonetta has her wearing new costumes based on classic Nintendo series like The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and Metroid. They're not just cosmetic additions either. Bayonetta's new Princess Peach outfit actually lets her summon a giant Bowser fist to crush angels.

Watch our Bayonetta 2 video preview for more info on the Umbra Witch's return.
[Images: Nintendo]



[Show full PR text
Bayonetta 2: The witch is back on Oct. 24. The game features over-the-top battles with wild weapons that take place in gorgeous set pieces. A new snake transformation lets Bayonetta better navigate underwater. The original Bayonetta game, complete with some Nintendo cosplay options for the powerful heroine, comes bundled with the retail packaged version of Bayonetta 2.

Super Mario 3D World, Walmart Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundles by mid-September

Along with a new 3DS for Japan, which is not planned for the US or Europe this year, Nintendo also revealed new Wii U bundles. Available sometime in mid-September, Nintendo of America plans on launching a Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8 bundle.

The Super Mario 3D World deluxe set bundle will feature a physical copy of the game and Nintendo Land for $299.99. The Mario Kart 8 bundle is a "Walmart exclusive," with a physical copy of the game along with Nintendo Land, and it will also retail for $299.99 "while supplies last."
[Image: Nintendo]

Wii JRPG Xenoblade Chronicles coming to new 3DS

Nintendo is bringing back Xenoblade Chronicles for the new 3DS, and the new 3DS alone. The Wii JRPG was announced for Nintendo's newly unveiled handheld during its Direct stream this morning, and as Gematsu and Siliconera report, it'll only run on the new 3DS and not the older model because of the new system's enhanced CPU.

Monolith Soft's revered game hits Japan in 2015, the same year Xenoblade Chronicles X is due to hit Wii U. To check out the reveal trailer, head on past the break. If you're wondering if you should care about a 2010 JRPG coming to the new 3DS, check out our five-star review.

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New 3DS features customizable face plates

The new Nintendo 3DS revealed this morning will also feature customizable "cover plates," meaning the exterior design of the hardware can be altered to match your mood ring. The face plates will be sold separately, with no price range currently announced.

The new 3DS was announced for Japan this morning, with no plans to bring it to the States or Europe this calendar year.
[Image: Nintendo]

Nintendo unveils 'new' 3DS, 3DS XL [update]

Nintendo announced 'new' models of the 3DS and 3DS XL during this morning's Direct stream for Japan. The new versions feature a small "C-stick" analog pad on the right hand side above SNES-like colored face buttons. During the presentation, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata compared the pad to the GameCube controller's own yellow C-stick.

Unlike the old models, the new 3DS and 3DS XL have NFC-tech built in, meaning they can communicate with Amiibo figurines (like the ones coming for Super Smash Bros.) without need of an extra device. Nintendo's also introduced a Micro SD slot underneath the base cover, while new "Super Stable 3D" functionality is designed to ensure the 3D features stay sharp and comfortable, even when the 3DS is rotated (see below).

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Xenoblade's Shulk confirmed for Super Smash Bros.

Xenoblade Chronicles hero Shulk was confirmed for Super Smash Bros. this morning in Japan's Nintendo Direct, giving more credence to the alleged leaked images and videos showing Bowser Jr and the Duck Hunt dog as part of the fighter's roster. Check out Shulk's reveal trailer below the break

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Watch Japan's 3DS-focused Nintendo Direct right here [update: it's over!]

Update: It's over, and the biggest reveal was definitely the new 3DS and 3XL models. Check them out here. You can also watch a replay of the Direct below the break.

Today's Nintendo Direct on 3DS games may be only for Japan, but it will probably feature games that will make their way abroad. Last time Nintendo of Japan had a 3DS-focused Direct we saw plenty of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Final Fantasy Explorers, the former confirmed for the West and the other looking likely to follow it. As for what will trickle down today's stream... who knows. Hopefully more imagery of Nintendo executives dressed up like game characters. Who we are kidding? Of course that will happen.

To watch today's stream right here on Joystiq, get your fine self below the break at 4AM PT (7AM ET/midday UK). If you miss it don't fret, because we'll have the replay up ASAP, as well as the relevant news on the site.

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New Nintendo eShop releases: Layton vs Phoenix Wright, Mega Man X3

There's a good helping of eShop eStuff to tuck into this week, both on Wii U and 3DS. On the portable side, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright features two characters who were born to point together - check out our review for a more nuanced analysis. Also, Azure Striker Gunvolt pumps Mega Man-inspired side-scrolling action onto the 3DS, complete with Mighty No. 9 crossover mini-game.

Talking of the (original) blue bomber, Mega Man X3 coming to Wii U completes the Nintendo set of X games on the system. If you prefer your platforming a bit more vertical and underground, Steamworld Dig may be the Wii U game for you.

As ever, the full list of new releases is below the break. On the sales side, Capcom has a decent-sized one this week across Wii U and 3DS, and Splinter Cell Blacklist will be permanently reduced from $40 to $20 starting September 1.

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Gone Home going to Wii U, says Nintendo manager

For more on Gone Home, check out our review. (The Unite 2014 video is below the break as well as the text from the image for anyone who has difficulty reading it.)

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Twitch out-ranks cable news networks, MTV at times

Amazon certainly thinks that Twitch is a good investment, as it just spent nearly $1 billion to buy Twitch and all of its live-game-streaming accoutrement. It turns out Twitch stacks up well against a lineup of cable networks, drawing in more viewers than HLN, CNN, E!, MSNBC, TruTV and even MTV during peak hours, The New York Times reports.

Twitch's viewership has been on the rise since 2012, topping out at nearly 800,000 primetime viewers this year. However, going by hours of content viewed per month, Twitch pales in comparison with Netflix and YouTube. Netflix is roughly eight times larger than Twitch, and Youtube is 24 times larger, NYT says.

We've reported on some numbers from Twitch recently as well: In February, Twitch hit 1 million active monthly users and it replaced Justin.tv (now defunct) as the company's corporate name; 1.1 million users participated in the first Twitch Plays Pokemon event, drawing 36 million views; during the week of E3 2014, Twitch pulled down 12 million unique views.
[Image: Twitch]

PAX10 Humble Flash Bundle discounts the showstoppers

The PAX 10 Humble Flash Bundle is live for five days and offers a lineup of really cool independent games that have been featured at PAX Prime over the years. Up for any price you feel like paying is Badland Premium, Solar 2, Containment: The Zombie Puzzler and Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony Deluxe Pack, plus a DigiPen three-pack including Deity, A Flipping Good Time and Solace. Pay more than the average to add in Fez and The Swapper. Throw down more than $15 and get Cannon Brawl (Early Access version) and Life Goes On, too.

Life Goes On is a selection in this year's PAX 10, while the rest are pulled from 2011 and upward. The PAX 10 Humble Flash Bundle supports, in part, Child's Play Charity.

We'll have all the news and previews live from PAX Prime 2014 right here.
[Image: Humble Bundle]

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