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F1 series making last-gen pit stop ahead of 2015 upgrade


Codemasters announced the next entry in its annual F1 series is coming to PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on October 17 in Europe and October 21 in North America. Then next year, the UK developer plans to release the series' first entry on the latest consoles, a separate game that's confirmed for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Interestingly, Codemasters Community Manager Luke Spring said the 2015 game will hit store shelves earlier in the F1 season - typically F1 seasons run from March to November. Spring added the new game will add "2015" content throughout the season, adding that players will be able to compete "against the same drivers and teams you watch week in and week out." - F1 rosters are much more static throughout a season compared to other sports, so it'll be interesting to see what the additional content exactly entails.

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PlayStation Now subscription option 'definitely in the works'


With PlayStation Now ready to enter its open beta today, Sony's Jack Buser answered calls for a subscription model by saying it's "definitely something in the works." The director of the game-streaming program elaborated on the PS Blog, writing, "...we've heard you loud and clear for an update on a PS Now subscription option and want to reassure you that we are working on it."

To recap, PlayStation Now lets players stream PS3 games from Sony's cloud servers to PS4, and other systems in the future. Currently the beta only offers rental options, with players able to access games for either 4 hours, 7 days, 30 days or 90 days. As displayed in a new video, there are different prices for different games - Vigil Games' Darksiders, for example, is $3 for 4 hours, $6 for a week, $8 for 30 days and $15 for 90.

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There's something about Marie in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Atlus confirmed Marie as the second DLC character for Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, and like Adachi she'll be free to download during the fighter's launch week. After that, Persona 4 Golden's cap-clad scamp will revert to being paid-for content.

Marie's also starring in the new Persona 4 Golden anime, which began airing on Aniplex earlier this month. So, if you're a Persona fan waiting for the deluge of games on the way - including Ultimax, Persona Q, Persona 4: Dancing All Night and Persona 5 - that might be worth a watch before things kick off this year. Persona Q is already lined up for November 25, while Ultimax remains ready to hit PS3 and Xbox 360 sometime this fall.
[Image: Atlus]

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PlayStation 4 sales help Sony post quarterly profit

Sony revealed encouraging quarterly results this morning, with year-on-year sales between April and June boosted primarily by the PlayStation 4's success. The company announced a Q1 net profit of 26.8 billion yen (around $265 million), up no less than 757 percent from the last year's figures. Sales also rose 5.8 percent to 1.8 trillion yen ($17.92 billion), with the PS4 helping the company's gaming division post a 95.7 percent year-on-year rise in revenue.

While Sony retained an expected net loss of 50 billion yen ($486 million) for the fiscal year ending March 2015, the company's gaming division raised its sales forecasts in light of the PS4's "strong performance." The division now expects to post operating profit of 25 billion yen ($243 million), up 25 percent from projections. Sony attributed the revision to reduced costs in producing PS4 hardware, with the console already selling at a profit beforehand.

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Madden 15 tackles top linemen, cornerback ratings

Last week, EA Sports dished out its player ratings for the top NFL rookies and positions like quarterbacks and running backs for Madden NFL 15. The athlete-ranking countdown to the game's launch continues with ratings for the top players at six positions: Offensive line, defensive end, defensive tackle, inside linebacker, outside linebacker and cornerback. Madden 15 attempts to settle the debate as to who is the best corner in the league by giving Seahawks star and cover athlete Richard Sherman a 99 overall rating. The game's top defensive end, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans also came away with a 99 rating.

EA ranked two San Francisco 49ers players at the top of the middle linebacker position as well: Both Patrick Willis and teammate NaVorro Bowman bested Panthers linebacker and reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly with 96 overall ratings compared to Kuechly's 94. Head past the break for the full list of ratings provided by EA Tiburon. Madden 15 will launch August 26 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360. The game will attempt to turn players into better students of the sport and emphasizes improved defensive control.

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Pick your favorite The Evil Within case art, win a signed copy

Bethesda is polling fans to decide which alternate cover art should be bundled with Tango Gameworks' upcoming survival horror game The Evil Within, and ten copies of the game signed by director Shinji Mikami are up for grabs as a voting incentive.

Voters can pick between the "Asylum" exterior shot, the ocular "Piercing Eye," or the limb-bending "Twisted" cover art. The winning design will be featured on the back side of The Evil Within's sleeve art, similar to BioShock Infinite's reversible cover.

Voting ends on August 8. We've collected all three designs in the gallery below -- which one is your favorite?

[Image: Bethesda]

EU PSN Summer Sale slashes prices on Battlefield 4, FIFA 14

The annual PSN Summer Sale has begun in Europe, with an initial offering of discounted new-generation EA games and a massive list of cut-rate PlayStation 3 releases.

PlayStation 4 owners can pick up the previously £55 Battlefield 4 for £30, while FIFA 14 falls to £35. NBA Live 14, Madden NFL 25 and Need for Speed Rivals are all discounted to £30, and all DLC released for each of these EA games is likewise on sale.

PlayStation 3 owners reap the lion's share of discounts this year. Battlefield 4 falls from £60 to £20, Doom 3 BFG Edition is available for £16 and Dragon Age: Origins has been reduced to £6.49. PlayStation Plus subscribers will see extended discounts on certain games, such as Lego Marvel Superheroes which falls to £20 and classic PlayStation 2 platformer Maximo vs The Army of Zin, which can now be downloaded from PSN for £2.89.

For a full rundown of Sony's initial wave of Summer discounts, visit the European PlayStation.blog, but keep in mind that these deals are only available for a limited time. Sony has a new slate of discounts planned to replace this list on August 20.
[Image: EA]

Watch Dogs DLC tease rats out Camden, New Jersey

According to a new tweet from the official Watch Dogs Twitter account, Camden, New Jersey was the most crime-ridden US city in 2012. That's not at all true, but it's apparently a solid enough fiction for a DLC tease.

"Our data indicates surveillance has become more prominent in high-crime areas," the account states before linking to the above infographic. First, let's debunk that core claim. Depending on how you categorize crime, the dubious honor of highest US crime rates in 2012 would go to either Detroit or St. Louis. Camden doesn't even make the top-10 lists (though Newark, New Jersey ranked among the highest crime rates per capita in 2011). Despite this, the Twitter account claims that "a surveillance program is now in effect."

Shortly after the tweet was issued, a fan did the sensible thing and plainly asked if this cryptic message was related to upcoming DLC. Watch Dogs fans have long been waiting for the first installments of the singeplayer campaign promised by the game's Season Pass, and based on the Twitter account's brief reply - "Coming this fall" - it's probably safe to assume Camden, New Jersey plays some part in the additional content. How exactly is anyone's guess, so please deposit those guesses in the comments below.
[Image: Ubisoft]

PlayStation Plus nabs Road Not Taken, Dragon's Crown in August


Sony has unveiled next month's PlayStation Plus lineup, announcing that subscribers will receive free downloadable copies of Road Not Taken, Crysis 3, and other featured games across its platforms in August.

PlayStation 4 owners will receive Polytron's brain-bending puzzle-platformer Fez and Spry Fox's stylish roguelike Road Not Taken. PlayStation 3 subscribers get Crytek's futuristic FPS Crysis 3 and Ed Key's first-person exploration game Proteus, while PS Vita owners can look forward to Vanillaware's fantasy-themed beat-'em-up Dragon's Crown and Digital Dreams' "infographics action game" Metrico.

Fez, Proteus, and Dragon's Crown are also available as Cross-Buy titles for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. All featured games will be freely downloadable for PlayStation Plus members in North America when the PlayStation Store updates next Tuesday.

[Video: Sony]

Destiny beta: 4.6 million players guided by their Dinklage

The Destiny beta was a beast, with Activision announcing today that 4,638,937 players participated in the early access stress test of the game launching September 9.

"Hosting a beta at this scale is an incredible feat, so we're thrilled to see the phenomenal response. But the beta is just a taste of what's to come," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. "This is the biggest beta of this console generation by a wide margin and the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP to date."

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Dragon Age: Inquisition combat trailer burninates the countryside


A new trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition doesn't offer new info on the game's combat, but it's encouraging to see BioWare focus on the level of strategy offered by its real-time-with-pausing system. To see more combat in action, watch our new video preview which comes with even more dragon - that's really what it's all about, right? No?

As you probably already know, BioWare's upcoming RPG is now due on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 18. What you may not know is there's also a delay to Dragon Age Keep, the tool that will let you set up story choices from previous Dragon Ages to carry over in Inquisition. As explained on the BioWare blog, the delay is in keeping with the one for Inquisition, and it'll result in an extended beta program that'll drag on for testers.

Activision reveals Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare special editions

Activision today unveiled a lineup of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare collector's editions, putting an array of bonus-bundled physical and digital packages up for pre-order at its official website.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Atlas Limited Edition ($79.99) includes a retail copy of the game packed in a SteelBook case, the Welcome to Atlas: Advanced Soldier Manual, the bonus multiplayer map Atlas Gorge, and the Atlas Digital Content Pack, which features themed character exoskeletons and weapons. The Atlus Pro Edition ($119.99, shown above) includes all Limited Edition content along with an Advanced Warfare Season Pass that will digitally deliver four multiplayer map packs to players throughout next year.

Also up for pre-order is the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Atlas Digital Pro Edition ($99.99), which includes all Pro Edition content, minus the retail edition's physical goodies. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will hit the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PS4, and PC platforms on November 4.

[Image: Activision]

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PSN Tuesday: The Last of Us: Remastered, Rogue Legacy

The Last of Us: Remastered is out now on PS4, meaning your tears are finally in 1080p (that's how this works, right?). Rogue Legacy is also out on PSN today as a three-way Cross-Buy, making it a one-time purchase of $17 to get it across PS3, PS4 and Vita. Pure Pool is on PS4 as well.

Pre-orders for Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition are live now across PS4 and PS3, as are PS4 pre-orders for Madden NFL 15. Vita and PS3 get WRC 4 – FIA World Rally Championship, while Vita picks up Ratchet & Clank Collection, Lego Ninjago: Nindroids and a free game, Treasures of Montezuma: Arena.

Persona 4: Arena and a ton of its DLC is on sale, along with Rock of Ages, Zeno Clash 2 and some orbs for Destiny of Spirits.
[Image: Sony]

LittleBigPlanet 3 launching November 18, pre-orders net costumes and plushies

Sony announced that its DIY platformer sequel LittleBigPlanet 3 has a bundle of free goodies in store for pre-order buyers ahead of its November launch, including exclusive Sackboy plush dolls and a variety of retailer-specific in-game content.

Plunk down some pre-release cash for a physical copy of LittleBigPlanet 3 at participating retailers and you'll get a handsome Sackboy plush, free of charge. Target customers get the same plush with a Sackboy-sized Target hat as a bonus. All PS4 pre-order customers, regardless of their preferred retailer, will additionally receive a batch of in-game costumes inspired by EA's upcoming Dragon Age Inquisition.

The PlayStation 4 version of LittleBigPlanet 3 also boasts unique pre-order costumes available only at select retailers. Players who purchase a copy from GameStop will receive the Mythical Creatures Costume Pack, Best Buy customers get the Hidden Creatures Costume Pack, and Amazon buyers receive the franchise-spanning PlayStation Favorites Costume Pack (shown above).

LittleBigPlanet 3 will make its PlayStation 4 debut on November 18. A recently announced PlayStation 3 version will ship the same day.

[Image: Sony]

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's story includes some very hostile takeovers


Between the bang-bangs and the pew-pew-pews, developer Sledgehammer Games is using Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to tell a story. The game's latest trailer proves as much.

It seems terrorists have attacked nuclear power plants all over the globe in a show of unlikely coordination that causes the world's governments to topple. In the wake of this collapse, a private military corporation rises to restore order to humanity. Unfortunately, that corporation is lead by Kevin Spacey in full megalomaniac mode, and after cleaning up the streets he uses his company's military might to assume de facto control over the planet.

Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the planet from one of America's finest living actors? If you do, will any scenery remain unchewed? Find out on November 4 when Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare makes its official debut.
[Image: Activision]

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