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Skylanders Trap Team to introduce 'Eon's Elite' premium toy line

Activision announced that it will roll out a new collector-oriented series of Skylanders toys following the launch of the multiplatform sequel Skylanders Trap Team this fall.

The new "Eon's Elite" figures feature a metallic finish, and sit atop a golden base inside a premium-packaged foil display case. If you can bring yourself to crack open the packages and ruin their aftermarket value, you'll find that the Eon's Elite toys summon in-game characters who are up to three times more powerful than their non-premium counterparts.

Today's announcement follows up on Activision's recently revealed Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition, a bonus-bundled special edition of the game that will carry a premium price tag at retail. Recent announcements suggest that Trap Team will move beyond the series' traditional youth-oriented focus in order to appeal to an expanding collector market.

The first Eon's Elite series features relaunched characters from 2011's Skylanders Spyro's Adventure, including Spyro and Chop-Chop. Prices for the new toys were not announced, but given their focus on packaging and presentation, they're likely more expensive than currently available figures.

[Image: Activision]

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One does not simply move up the Shadow of Mordor release date (but WB did)

Warner Bros. revealed it's moved Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor away from the October 7 madness, bringing the game forward to September 30 in North America and October 3 in the UK.

According to a press release, Warner Bros is releasing the game earlier "based on hearing fans' excitement." It may also have something to do with the number of high-profile games releasing on the game's original street date of October 7. Dragon: Age Inquisition's already abandoned the October 7 ship for November, but the date's still home to the likes of Alien: Isolation, Driveclub and NBA 2K15.

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LittleBigPlanet 3 private beta bounces in next month

The private beta for LittleBigPlanet 3 begins in August, a community manager writes on the LittleBigPlanet fansite. Media Molecule has hand-picked a small number of members from that site to receive beta invites, set to be distributed via private message in the "next couple of weeks."

Sony announced LittleBigPlanet 3 during its E3 conference this year, and it's due to hit PS4 and PS3 in November. We got to play a level designed to show off the new characters in LittleBigPlanet 3 during E3, and found it to be charming with tons of fun level-creation opportunities. Only one disappointment: "Once again, certain parts of the game will be closed off to you if you don't have the appropriate number of play partners." We have to interact with actual people? Fine.

Trials Fusion moto-crosses one million mark in sales

Trials Fusion sold one million copies globally across all platforms, Ubisoft announced today. The game first arrived in April for PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. Announced alongside Trials Frontier at its E3 2013 press conference last June, Ubisoft's motorcycle-flipping action game entered closed beta for PC players in March.

Trials Fusion also received an update today, which improves the game's tournaments, track central and track editor modes. Now, players can craft custom supercross tracks for local multiplayer use, and can also create four-land motorcross tracks in the game's editor and put forth challenges to their friends. The Uplay Recommended section of the track central area in Trials Fusion has also been refreshed with 15 creations from the game's community, accessible to players on all platforms.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Destiny beta now open to everyone

Bungie has kicked open the doors of the ongoing Destiny beta, inviting all players to join the test regardless of whether or not they were able to score a code.

"Today, at 4:00 PM PDT, we're opening the Destiny beta to anyone who wants to create a character and walk in their boots," reads an update posted to the Bungie website moments ago. The developer then points out the caveats attached to this offer: Interested players must have an Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4, and a valid Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus subscription.

Bungie claims this show of generosity is an effort to fully stress test the game prior to its official September launch. If a chance to aid the studio behind Halo is not enough to convince you to join the beta test, keep in mind that those who play Destiny on Saturday, July 26 will be rewarded with a special in-game emblem for their assistance.
[Image: Bungie]

Madden 15 says Russell Wilson is as good as Tom Brady

After EA offered its take on the top NFL rookies heading into the upcoming season earlier this week, it started dishing out Madden NFL 15 player ratings by the handful. While it isn't pulling the curtain back for every player yet, the developers at EA Tiburon unveiled the top-rated athletes in the game at five positions so far: Quarterback, running back, fullback, tight end and wide receiver. Among the more eye-opening appearances on the lists are Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, whose 93 rating is tied with Patriots passer Tom Brady, though Wilson's Super Bowl win in February provides a healthy argument about his place in the game.

Leading the charge for quarterbacks are Denver's Peyton Manning and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, both rated 98 overall. Fellow Packers player John Kuhn is the top fullback in the game with a 93 rating, while Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's 98 rating barely eclipses that of Eagles rusher LeSean McCoy and Chiefs runner Jamaal Charles (both rated 97). New Orleans' Jimmy Graham is the top tight end in the game at 97 overall, and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson is the lone 99 overall-rated player in the bunch. Head past the break for the rest of EA's rankings. Madden 15 will launch August 26 for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360 and PS3.
[Image: EA Sports]

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Warframe registers 10 million space-ninjas, adopts space-pets



Warframe has surpassed 10 million registered users, according to a recent press release, and developer Digital Extremes is celebrating the free-to-play game about exoskeletal space ninjas' success with a new patch. Dubbed simply "Update 14," the update revamps several areas of the game while adding to others. Highlights include:
  • An overhauled user interface
  • Pets
  • New Warframe, Mirage - a trickster-style character who can create copies of herself to fool enemies
  • Pets
  • New weapons
  • Seriously, did we mention pets? Because there are pets now. Look, we're not sure you understand, so feel free to check out the behind-the-scenes video above to see what we're talking about. They're like little bat-wolf-bears! So cute!
While Update 14 is already available for PC users, Digital Extremes notes that PS4 players will have to wait "a few more weeks" to get their hands on the patch, as the revamped UI requires additional tweaking to work with the DualShock 4. It's not clear if Update 14 will be applied before or after Warframe makes its way to Xbox One later this year.
[Image: Digital Extremes]

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Joystiq Streams: Killzone Shadow Fall Intercept brings us together [UPDATE: Relive the stream!]




Joystiq Streams simply can't stop shooting things on Joystiq.com/Twitch. We tried not to, we really did. First we tried to play The Crew beta, but technical issues forced Anthony John Agnello and Xav de Matos to retreat to the warm climes of Far Cry 3 co-op. On Wednesday, Joystiq succumbed fully to Destiny's charms, so Susan Arendt, Jess Conditt, and Xav put the beta through its paces on Xbox One. Now it's time for Killzone: Shadow Fall Intercept, the new cooperative campaign for PlayStation 4's signature shooter.

Starting at 4PM EST, Joystiq Streams will play through Killzone: Shadow Fall Intercept with an all-star cast. Danny Cowan and Earnest "Nex" Cavalli will be on hand for some Helghast-flavored firefights, while Xav de Matos pulls off a streaming hat trick for the week. Anthony John Agnello will be hanging in the chat, feeding your myriad questions to the squad.

Joystiq Streams regularly broadcasts at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch every Tuesday and Thursday. Little secret: We stream a lot outside that regularly scheduled programming, so make sure to follow us on Twitch to know when we go live!
[Image: Sony Computer Entertainment]

Disney Infinity 2.0 hits North America on September 23.0

Update: Disney Interactive confirmed the game's release dates for Europe. It will hit the continent's mainland on September 18 before arriving in the UK on September 19.

The Marvel-stuffed Disney Infinity 2.0 is officially hitting North America's store shelves on September 23, a date that's been rumored for a while. We've confirmed with Disney the release date applies to the PS4, Xbox One. Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the sequel.

Disney also confirmed the pre-order program GameStop's been advertising, which bundles in an extra $14-value Disney Infinity 2.0 figure, is available at "top retailers nationwide." We reached out to Disney to find out the figures are available in the promo - UK retailer GAME says players can choose between Nick Fury, Hawkeye and Iron Fist.

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Akiba's Trip 2 brings the full monty, including PS4, to North America


Akiba's Trip 2 AKA the helpfully named Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed is confirmed for PS4 in North America. Acquire's action-RPG leaves its hat on the PS4 sometime this holiday season, after arriving on PS3 and Vita on August 12.

One of this year's more intellectual games, Akiba's Trip 2 tasks you with taking the clothes off vampire-like enemies terrorizing Tokyo. Because you want to shine sunlight onto their vampiric skin, of course. There's no other motivation than that, as the above NSFW trailer clearly shows.
[Image: XSEED]

PlayStation 4 gets 3D Blu-ray support next week

Sony revealed 3D Blu-Ray support is coming to PlayStation 4, the announcement arriving just days after Microsoft confirmed the same thing for Xbox One. Whether it's a response by Sony, a coincidence or something else entirely, what's important is both PS4 and Xbox One owners get to watch all those lovely Frozen snowflakes right up close.

The PS4's 1.75 firmware arrives next week, while the Xbox One update - which introduces a few other features - is pinned for sometime in August.

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Hohokum launch trailer is just the right amount of weird


The arrival of Honeyslug's cheerful Hohokum is mere weeks away, and it's still impossible to classify. The game received a new trailer to celebrate its August 12 launch date (August 13 in Europe), showing the meditating hermit-like star of the game in addition to the squiggly, flying worm that players control.

Devised by artist Richard Hogg, Hohokum became a 2011 IGF finalist before Sony Santa Monica began working with the Hogg and Honeyslug in May 2013 to bring the game to PlayStation platforms. It will be Cross-Buy-enabled as well, so the $14.99 price will give players access to the PS4, PS3 and Vita versions.

Hohokum is part of the PlayStation Store Play event Sony announced just yesterday, in which players that pick up four games in August will receive $10 of in-store credit. Additionally, pre-orders for the four games are 20 percent off each for PlayStation Plus members. Joining Hohokum in the deal are Rogue Legacy, The Swapper and CounterSpy.
[Image: Sony]

Destiny Beta roundtable breakdown with the Joystiq staff


We've had a lot of time with the Destiny Beta and now it's time to talk about it. The Joystiq staff got together this afternoon to discuss the deep details from the beta and answer questions from viewers. So, pour yourself a tall glass of glimmer and join us for a spell.

Live and let CounterSpy

Image Yesterday we learned that Dynamighty's mod stealth-action game CounterSpy will reach the PlayStation 4, PS3 and Vita on August 19. Today we're presented with a launch trailer that's less "debonair, Connery-era James Bond" and more "Daniel Craig on a murderous rampage." [Image: Dynamighty]... Continue Reading

Play Destiny's Beta on Saturday, get a reward in the full version

Bungie is offering Destiny Beta participants an exclusive reward for the full version of the game as an incentive for logging in this weekend, according to an in-game message relayed to players today.

"To earn your reward, play the Destiny Beta on Saturday, July 26th at 2pm PDT (9pm GMT)," the message reads. Bungie did not specify what the reward is, but free is free, so be sure to hop on this weekend if you're intrigued. Here's hoping that it's a gold-plated Peter Dinklage-bot. Or new character dances. Or a dancing Dinklage-bot.

[Update: Bungie confirmed that the featured reward is an in-game emblem.]

[Image: Bungie]

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