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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 caught in PS3 bundle's web

Sony announced a new PlayStation 3 bundle via Twitter today, boxing up the latest Spider-Man game with a 500 GB console. The $270 package is available for pre-order through Walmart and includes the Activision-published game The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as well as the The Amazing Spider-Man movie. The bundled movie is available via the movie streaming service Vudu.

Developed by Beenox Studios, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 follows the next adventure for the web-slinging hero from the upcoming film, and features supervillains The Kingpin and Kraven. The PS3 bundle is expected to ship on Tuesday, April 29, the same day the game launches.

While it will stick its landing this month on PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS and PC, Activision postponed the launch of the game on Xbox One yesterday.
[Image: Sony]

Big Band, Skullgirls' first male character, joins the fight next week


Though Skullgirls Encore has always been defined by its distaff roster of pugilists, the 2D fighter is about to get a shot of gender equality in the form of Big Band.

As his name makes plainly clear, Big Band is an oversized character who relies on musical instruments to beat down his opponents. Developer Lab Zero Games describes Big Band as a "high risk, high reward" character capable of dealing out massive damage, just as long as his attacks don't miss. Alternately, if you prefer a defensive playstyle, Big Band is the first Skullgirls character with the ability to parry incoming attacks. Most notably, Big Band's Blockbuster attack allows players to perform wildly damaging custom trumpet solos, such as the surprisingly well-orchestrated tune in the above video.

As Big Band's development was funded by the massively successful Skullgirls Kickstarter, the character will debut at the attractive price of "totally free." Simply download the addition once it appears on your platform of choice and Big Band's musical fisticuffs are yours to command.
[Image: Lab Zero Games]

PlayStation 99-cent sale discounts Tokyo Jungle, Super Stardust, more

The PlayStation Network Store is hosting a flash sale for dozens of games this weekend, each discounted to 99 cents. The sale spans PS3, Vita and PSP games as well as both PS2 and PSOne Classics, such as the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon series.

The sale features standout gems like PopCap's Plants vs Zombies, Jonathan Blow's Braid, Sony's own Tokyo Jungle and Housemarque's Super Stardust HD. It also includes full seasons of episode Telltale-developed games Back to the Future and Jurassic Park as well as the adventure studio's five-game Tales of Monkey Island bundle. The full list of games included in this weekend's sale can be found after the break.
[Image: Sony Online Entertainment]

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Car combat comes to PlayStation next week in Cel Damage HD

Classic car-combat game Cel Damage will hit modern PlayStation platforms next Tuesday with the launch of Cel Damage HD, developer Finish Line Games announced today.

Released alongside the original Xbox back in 2001, Cel Damage will return on the PlayStation 4, PS3, and PS Vita on April 22 as a Cross-Buy game that includes all three versions with a single purchase. Cel Damage HD boasts 13 maps and six playable characters, and the console versions will feature split-screen multiplayer.

Cel Damage HD will premiere at $9.99, with a 10 percent discount available for PlayStation Plus members.
[Image: Finish Line Games]

GameStop Easter Weekend sale offers 'Buy 2, Get 1 Free' on used games under $20

GameStop is celebrating spring with an Easter Weekend event, offering a "buy 2 get 1" on a select stock of used games. The promotion begins today at all GameStop retail locations across the United States and online. The deal comes with certain stipulations, however: only games priced under $20 are eligible, with the free title coming at equal or lesser value.

Though the promotion undoubtedly means PS4 and Xbox One titles are off the table, previous generation software is up for grabs. According to GameStop, the company "has recently reduced a large percentage of games from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 libraries to $20 or less."

The promotion ends on Sunday, April 20.
[Image: GameStop]

March NPD: PS4 leads hardware sales, Titanfall rules software

PlayStation 4 console
The PS4 sold more than the Xbox One or any other console in March – making it the hardware leader for the third consecutive month – market research group NPD reports. The Xbox One and PS4 pushed US hardware sales in March up 78 percent from 2013, from $222 million to $395 million. Overall game sales in March were up 3 percent year-over-year.

Five months in, the PS4 and Xbox One are out-performing initial sales of the PS3 and Xbox 360, NPD Group's Liam Callahan says: "When comparing the first five months of sales for the Xbox One and PS4 to their predecessor's first five months, total Xbox One and PS4 sales are up close to 60 percent."

Xbox One has shipped 5 million Xbox One consoles, with 311,000 sales in the US in March alone, Microsoft announced today: "Of course, we're just getting started with this generation and the months ahead will bring several announcements we think you'll love. The team will continue to deliver regular improvements and new features based on your feedback through frequent system updates .... We can't wait to share more games with you in June at E3."

On April 16, Sony announced that PS4 sales had passed 7 million.

Titanfall was the top-selling game for the month, launching for Xbox One and PC on March 11. It is the second-highest selling game for Xbox One after just one month on the market. It was followed by Infamous: Second Son, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Dark Souls 2. See the complete game sales list below. On PC, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls sold the most on a unit and dollar-amount basis.

Software sales declined 27 percent overall. "Year-over-year sales of every platform declined from March 2013, with the exception of the PS Vita, which saw sales grow due to the release of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster," Callahan said.

Sales of video game accessories in March rose 4 percent, led by sales of controllers for Xbox One and PS4, NPD says. Other notable accessories included Turtle Beach headphones and headsets for next-gen consoles. Turtle Beach sales grew 50 percent year-over-year.
[Image: Sony]

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Gran Turismo 6 GT Academy competition begins next week

Sony will launch its sixth annual GT Academy event next week, giving superior Gran Turismo 6 players the chance to put their skills to the test on a real-world racetrack.

As in previous years, GT Academy players compete to enroll in a three-month driver development program, with global champions earning a spot on Nissan's NISMO race team. Judges in Europe, North America, and Germany will each pick a single winning driver to enter the program, and this year marks the first time GT Academy qualifying events are available to players in Canada.

GT Academy online qualifying events will begin in-game on April 21.

[Image: Sony]

PSA: Terraria upgraded to version 1.2 on Xbox 360, PS3, Vita

As expected, the console versions of Re-Logic's 2D sandbox platformer Terraria have been updated to version 1.2 today. The update brings a large list of bug fixes as well as improved gameplay mechanics and graphical changes to the PS3, Xbox 360 and Vita versions, such as a brighter sun and darker midnight portions of the game. Version 1.2's change log is a "direct copy from the PC change log with console exclusive changes added to them," putting the console versions more on par with the PC game.

The game has found massive success for Re-Logic on all platforms, topping 1.3 million downloads on iOS and Android and one million downloads across Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita as of late March. It first launched on PC in May 2011 and just hit Vita in December. The game's creator, Andrew Spinks, discussed plans for a sequel to Terraria in October, noting that it wasn't in development at the time.
[Image: 505 Games]

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Halo composer Martin O'Donnell's music remains in Destiny after Bungie departure

After the surprise announcement that longtime Bungie composer Martin O'Donnell had been terminated, Joystiq confirmed with the studio's COO Pete Parsons that O'Donnell's music remains in Destiny. We were on hand at Bungie for a preview event, where Parsons told us, "Even the music you heard yesterday was from Marty and Mike Salvatori and C. Paul Johnson. All of their music is in." O'Donnell has collaborated with Michael Salvatori on the Halo series soundtrack for years, and more recently with Bungie sound designer and composer C. Paul Johnson.

Earlier this week, O'Donnell tweeted that Bungie's board of directors fired him "without cause" on April 11. Bungie community manager David Dague responded, saying O'Donnell and the studio parted "as friends," and wished him luck "in all his future endeavors." Later on the same day, Parsons addressed O'Donnell's departure, saying, "At Bungie, we don't take that kind of thing lightly. We don't make decisions lightly. We're a team that's committed to making an amazing game, set in an amazing universe."
[Image: Activision]

Disney Infinity 2.0 arrives this August with Marvel heroes [Update]

Update: D23 has since posted a correction, noting it "erroneously reported about the launch of the next chapter of Disney Infinity" and that the information it provided was incorrect. It added that further information on the future of the series will be revealed on April 30.

Original story:

Disney Infinity 2.0 is slated to launch this August, according to a since-removed snippet from Disney's official fan club site, D23. While the D23 blog entry in question is still available to view, a cached version of it notes that the Disney Infinity follow-up "is coming in August 2014, and a teaser trailer can be viewed at Marvel.com," likely referencing the teaser posted by Marvel earlier this month.

"The teaser promises such Marvel-ous additions to the game as familiar Marvel characters, objects, and vehicles-the possibilities are infinite," the site continued. The previous sandbox-style adventure game from Avalanche Software did wonders for Disney Interactive, driving its revenue to $403 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2014. The company also saw losses in Q2 2013 and Q3 2013 to the tune of $54 million and $58 million, respectively. That led to layoffs in its games and Internet divisions in March that numbered 700, at which point Disney said it plans to scale back annual game output "by as much as 50 percent."

We've reached out to Disney to confirm the release window for Disney Infinity 2.0 and will update as we learn more.
[Image: Disney]

PlayStation Now-capable Bravia TVs launching in June

Sony has announced that its upcoming series of PlayStation Now-compatible 4K "Ultra HD" Bravia televisions, first revealed at CES 2014, will launch in June. A total of nine models from three series will hit the market with prices ranging from a $2,099 (49") to $24,999 (85").

With the ability to access Sony's upcoming PlayStation Now service, the Bravia sets will be able to stream PS3 games and play with a DualShock 3 controller (which, for the price, you'd hope would be included, but Sony's press release doesn't specify). The foundation for PlayStation Now is Gaikai, the games streaming service Sony purchased for $380 million in 2012.

Sony is one of many television manufacturers that continues to push HD technology into the 4K future. Ultra HD 4K televisions (also simply known as UHD TV) claim to deliver four times the picture resolution of standard 1080p sets; 4K televisions increase pixel count per image from two million to eight million.

"We strongly believe 4K is the future for entertainment and we remain committed to leading the 4K movement, from lens to living room, in a way that only a company like Sony can," said Mike Fasulo, president at Sony Electronics.

The latest Rocksmith 2014 DLC is Garbage (in a good way)



You're not paranoid, Rocksmith 2014 owners: Ubisoft does indeed have more DLC coming your way, and this time it's three hit singles from '90s grunge band, Garbage. Those looking to relive the glory days of Clinton, Beanie Babies and denim overalls can learn to play "Only Happy When It Rains," "I Think I'm Paranoid" and "Stupid Girl."

Songs are available for $2.99 purchased individually, or for $7.99 when purchased as a pack. And don't worry, you don't need to be a '90s kid to get this - everyone with access to Xbox Live, the PSN or Steam can download the songs now.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Final Skylanders Swap Force character debuting next week at Times Square

Hundreds of ravenous Skylanders fans will swarm the streets of New York next week to herald the arrival of final Swap Force series character Doom Stone during a special giveaway event at Times Square.

On Wednesday, April 23, the first 500 customers who line up at Toys 'R' Us Times Square will receive a free Skylanders toy and a chance to own Doom Stone before the figure is released to the public at large. Costumed Skylanders characters will also be in attendance, giving players the chance to meet some of their questing buddies in real life.

Attendees are advised not to break costumed employees in half and attach them to other Swap Force characters. They probably wouldn't appreciate that.

[Image: Activision]

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Bust-A-Move 4 on the PlayStation Network this spring

Natsume announced that it will release a digital PSone Classics version of Taito's Bust-a-Move 4 this spring, bringing the classic bubble-bursting puzzler to the PlayStation 3, PSP, and PS Vita.

Bust-a-Move 4 expands on the color-matching gameplay of Taito's arcade-born Puzzle Bobble series with new pulley mechanics, challenging players to balance bubble clusters throughout its single-player Puzzle mode. The game also includes a friendship-straining competitive Versus mode, along with an Edit mode that allows players to create and save up to 25 custom level layouts.

A specific release date for Bust-a-Move 4 was not announced.

[Image: Natsume / Taito]

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Bethesda under fire from barbed wire industry, reports The Onion

Image The Evil Within publisher Bethesda Softworks is under fire from the barbed wire lobby for its portrayal of the industry's spiked resource, The Onion has learned. Remember: The Onion. [Image: Bethesda]... Continue Reading

Tackle 'Son of the Crawmerax' in final Borderlands 2 DLC

Developer Gearbox Software has released its final piece of Borderlands 2 DLC. Headhunter 5: Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of the Crawmerax is available now via Steam, PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Marketplace for $2.99.

The content sends players to Wam Bam Island to partake in the largest Headhunter DLC mission released, according to a 2K blog post. "At the end of your adventure, you will battle a foe that may look familiar – Crawmerax Jr., the son of the great crab worm from The Secret Armory of General Knoxx add-on from the original Borderlands."

The content now shelves the Borderlands sequel, giving developer Gearbox ample time to focus its efforts on the next installment of the game: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.

Successfully completing the Headhunter 5: Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of the Crawmerax DLC (boy, that's a mouthful) will allow players to wear a shrunken version of the final enemy's head like a hat. If swanky travel duds are more of an incentive, each character will net a beach-themed skin as part of the content. Taking on Handsome Jack in an "Aloha shirt"? Say no more.
[Image: Gearbox]

Naughty Dog announces final season pass DLC for The Last of Us

Naughty Dog will finish out its planned season pass content for The Last of Us with new weapons, additional multiplayer maps, and a new single-player gameplay mode as part of the upcoming Grounded Bundle.

Grounded Mode puts a new, difficult spin on The Last of Us' single-player campaign, pitting players against "relentless, smart, and brutal" enemy mobs throughout. Naughty Dog notes that survival in the new mode will be "near impossible," and claims that the "Completed Grounded Mode" challenge will be one of the most difficult Trophies players will earn.

The Grounded Bundle additionally features the Reclaimed Territories Map Pack, adding the Wharf, Capitol, Coal Mine, and Water Tower maps to the game's multiplayer component. Players may opt to expand their arsenal with the Survivalist Weapon Bundle, which introduces the multiplayer-only Specter, Double Barrel, Enforcer, and Launcher weapons. Also arriving are the Situational Survival Skills and Professional Survival Skills bundles, which enhance character abilities in online battles.

Grounded Mode will be priced at $4.99 as a standalone download. The Reclaimed Territories Map Pack is priced at $9.99, the Survivalist Weapon Bundle is $5.99, and the Survival Skills Bundles are $3.99 apiece. All upcoming content is included as part of The Last of Us' $19.99 season pass, but interested players may want to hop on the deal soon, as the season pass bundle will be discontinued in mid-May.

A release date for Grounded Bundle content has not been announced.

[Image: Naughty Dog]

Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn surpasses 2 million registrations

This week's PS4 launch of Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn helped the MMO pass the 2 million mark for registered accounts. Square Enix didn't reveal any hard figures for how many players are exploring Eorzea on PS4, but we know six months ago the number of registered accounts was at 1.5 million. Meanwhile, a trailer from February proclaimed the second-iteration MMO had "over 1.8 million adventurers."

It's worth noting registrations do not equate to active subscribers, although the base game does require a purchase. According to a translated 4Gamer interview with Director Naoki Yoshida, in March around 500,000 people were logging into A Realm Reborn each day.

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Games so bad they're good: Far Cry 2

I was invited to be on the "Games So Bad They're Good" panel at PAX East, but a scheduling conflict prevented me from taking part. Fortunately, my Editor in Chief, Ludwig Kietzmann, was ready and willing to take my place. His selection, Far Cry 2, took more than a few people by surprise - the reaction on Twitter went something like "Are you crazy? Far Cry 2 is awesommmmeeeeee!" His reasoning was ... unusual, to say the least, so we're reprinting his argument. These are the notes he used for his presentation, exactly as he used them, thus the atypical format.

For the record, my choice was going to be Phantasy Star Online. I think Luddy won this one.
--Susan

I tried to be considerate about this, and cognizant of why bad qualities can lead to pleasure.

The thing about bad movies like Plan 9 is that you're looking at an event so awkward and terrible for the people involved that you want to instinctually stop them and protect them, but you can't because it's already committed to film.

It's too late to stop the tragedy, so now you are allowed to enjoy it.

In a game, if your actions don't align with your expectations or what the game is about, it's frustrating.

Most games are good despite their bad qualities, like story and controls, and not because of them.

At first I thought: Okay, what about games that give the player all the power and then back away?

Is that bad game design? Is God of War so bad, because they let you rip out a monster's medulla oblongata and then bash their head in with it and then you're like, "This violence is a bit mindless isn't it?"

Or, what about games that overcomplicate and abstract simple, physical actions, like QWOP, Surgeon Simulator and Octodad?

Then I had an epiphany, I yelled, "Eureka! "and someone said, "Shh, this is a library, keep your revelations to yourself."

I'm going with Far Cry 2, and here's why.

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Minecraft PS3 boxes clever with a disc version in May

Mojang is releasing Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition onto store shelves on May 16 in North America and May 14 in PAL regions, which is no surprise given how the Xbox 360 discs continue to strike gold. Mojang revealed the physical PS3 port includes everything in the sandbox game as of title update 14, but there's no word yet on a price. Check out the PS3 Edition box art by digging below the break.

The PS3 port sold one million copies within its first month of availability, adding to the 12 million sales on Xbox 360, 14 million on PC, and 21 million of the Pocket Edition. But why stop at gajibillions when you can try to take over the world?

To that effect, UK porters 4J Studios have PS4, Xbox One, and Vita versions in the works, although there remains no word on when to expect them.
[Image: Sony Computer Entertainment]

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