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Visit exotic locations and grind on them in OlliOlli 2

Image The debut trailer for OlliOlli 2: Welcome To Olliwood (sequel to the addictive skateboarding platformer OlliOlli) promises "bigger tricks, epic new locations" and a "silky new style and flow," alongside locations ranging from Aztec temples to carnivals populated by zombies. [Image: Roll7]... Continue Reading

Transistor, Yakuza 4 heading to PlayStation Plus next month


Sony has revealed next month's PlayStation Plus lineup, announcing that subscribers will receive free downloadable copies of Transistor, Yakuza 4, and more starting next week.

Featured PlayStation 4 freebies for next month include Supergiant Games' Bastion follow-up Transistor and Alien Trap Games' side-scrolling action game Apotheon, while PlayStation 3 owners can expect to see Sega's open-world crime drama Yakuza 4 and Eidos Montreal's first-person stealth game Thief. The PlayStation Vita will host Jaywalkers Interactive's Kick & Fennick, and Cellar Door Games' roguelike platformer Rogue Legacy will be freely downloadable across the PlayStation 4, PS3, and Vita.

All featured games will be available as free downloads for PlayStation Plus subscribers after the PlayStation Store updates on February 3.

[Image: Sony]

Sony pulls support for Vita's Maps, YouTube apps

In a brief Twitter message, Sony has announced that official support for the Maps and YouTube apps found on the Vita handheld will soon come to an end.

The message offers links to support pages for both apps which reveal exactly when the software will cease to function. While all features of the Maps app (and unspecified features of the Near app) will go dark as part of an update planned to launch in March, the YouTube app will be gone by April 20. Today marks the final day the Vita's YouTube app will be available for download from the PlayStation Network store.

Despite the removal of the apps, Vita owners will still be able to access YouTube and numerous (superior) online maps via the handheld's web browser. Our attempts to reach Sony for an official explanation of this decision have so far gone unanswered.
[Image: Sony]

PSN Store Update: Phrasing!

Alright, let's talk about dying lights, grim fandangos and how life is strange. No, not that recent rumor, silly-billy! We're totally referring to this week's new releases on the PlayStation Store, which include Techland's Dying Light ($60), the Grim Fandango remaster ($15) and the debut episode of teen drama Life is Strange ($5).

All three of those are on PS4, while you'll also find Life is Strange on PS3 and Grim Fandango on Vita. By the by, Grim Fandango is cross-buy; if you buy it on PS4 you'll unlock it on Vita for free, and vice versa. Meanwhile, Life is Strange won't be available until Friday, January 30.

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Sony accepting claims on 2011 PSN data breach settlement

If you were a PSN, Qriocity or Sony Online Entertainment user at the time of the April 2011 Sony hack that disrupted the PlayStation Network for nearly a month and compromised 70 million user accounts, now's your chance to get a piece of the class action settlement levied against Sony last year.

To qualify, you must have held a PSN, Qriocity or Sony Online Entertainment account on or before May 14, 2011. Each service is eligible to receive different claims, but PSN users are able to receive either one or two games - if you already received a free game in Sony's 2011 "Welcome Back" promotion, you're only eligible for one; if not, you're eligible to choose two - from a list that includes standouts like LittleBigPlanet and God of War HD. Notably, none of the games on offer are for the PlayStation 4. If none of the games tickle your fancy, you can instead choose free dynamic themes for your PlayStation 3 or free PlayStation Plus subscription time.

After wading through multiple pages of bureaucratic legalese, you'll find everything you need to make your claim at the PSN-SOE settlement website.
[Image: Sony]

PSN Indie game flash sale: Resogun, Brothers, Shadow Warrior

A lineup of more than 60 indie games and various movies are on sale right now on the PlayStation Network as part of a new Flash Sale, the PlayStation Blog has revealed.

From now until Monday, January 26 at 9:00am, titles like the PS4 original downloadable indie title Resogun, Joystiq favorite Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and the modern revival of Shadow Warrior and more are available for up to 80% off. The sale features games across the PS4, PS3 and Vita libraries.

A handful of movies are also discounted as part of the deal, including Snowpiercer and The Raid 2.
[Image: Sony]

PSN Store Update: Stop It Don't Open That Door Edition

This week's headline new release on PSN is definitely Saints Row: Gat out of Hell, the $20 standalone follow-up to Saints Row 4. PS3 and PS4 owners can both get their Gat on, but the latter group can also get it in a $50 bundle with SR4: Re-elected. The visually enhanced, DLC-stuffed PS4 version of Saints Row 4 is also available on its own for $30.

This week's other big deal is also a remaster, but of a much, much less recent game. The PS4 and PS3 edition of the first Resident Evil brings the S.T.A.R.S. into HD, and at an asking price of $20. Since it's a remaster of the GameCube game, itself a remake, we'll just have to reminisce about the original's memorably awful voice acting.

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PlayStation exclusive TV show 'Powers' debuts in March

The PlayStation-exclusive original series Powers will debut on March 10, the PlayStation Blog has announced. The series will span ten episodes, with the first episode available for free to all PSN account holders. PlayStation Plus subscribers will have access to the complete season.

Based on the ongoing Image Comics series from writer Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man) and artist Michael Avon Oeming (Judge Dredd), Powers is a police-procedural set in Chicago where two homicide detectives investigate cases involving citizens with superhuman abilities.

The series stars District 9 standout Sharlto Copley as Christian Walker, a former superhero who becomes a detective after he loses his powers, and his partner Deena Pilgrim, played by The Following's Susan Heyward. Eddie Izzard portrays the villainous character Wolfe. Watch a trailer for the series after the break.
[Image: Sony]

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PSN members get one-use 10% discount code this weekend

Sony's goodwill discount is up for the taking this weekend, allowing users to save 10 percent off a one-time total cart purchase in the PlayStation Store. The offer is part of Sony's show of appreciation for PSN members' patience following the network issues over the holidays.

The rules are that the purchase must be made between 9AM PT/12PM ET on January 23 and the same time on January 26. To reiterate, it's 10 percent off a total cart purchase rather than a single item, so if you're in the mood for a PSN splurge then it's your lucky day. However, it's a one-time dealio, so make sure you put all your PSN eggs in your 10 percent basket.

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GTA 5 continues to hold off FIFA & CoD in this week's UK charts

And now for something completely similar: Right now you'd need a microscope to find the week-to-week changes in the UK charts. Nonetheless, it's interesting to see Grand Theft Auto 5 stay ahead of traditional front-runners FIFA and Call of Duty, especially since Rockstar's game is a re-release on current-gen. At this new release-less time of year, we'd normally be talking about a 28th consecutive No. 1 for FIFA [Insert Year Here].

The current top three are the same trio that sold the most in the UK last year, though FIFA 15 won out overall in 2014. Moreover, seven of this week's top ten are in the 2014 top ten, and most of those hit store shelves in the second half of the year.

Right, stop that UK charts analysis! It's silly. This week's full top ten can be found below the break, along with the customary music video that's a bit suspect.

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Toukiden: Kiwami battles fresh Oni on PS4, Vita in March

PlayStation 4 and Vita owners, we're trusting you to rid us all of the creepy beasts lurking in Toukiden: Kiwami once Koei Tecmo releases physical and digital copies on March 31 in North America and March 27 in Europe. What is that twisted take on felines seen above? Other than unsettling, we mean.

As detailed on the PlayStation Blog, Kiwami will have "double the size and content" of last year's Toukiden: The Age of Demons (which is included with Kiwami), with additions including "newly discovered Oni, [over 100 Mitama], new Slayers, new moves, and twice as many stages." The post estimates that Kiwami's standalone story, which picks up three months after the previous battle to prevent another Awakening, is also "roughly the same size" as The Age of Demons'.

If you've spent plenty of time saving the world in The Age of Demons, know that existing save data can be carried over. Koei Tecmo Europe's Chin Soon Sun has also confirmed that PS4 and Vita players will be able to take down Oni together. As for cross-buy compatibility, that's still up in the air – Sun has stated he'll share more info "when the time comes."
[Image: Tecmo Koei]

Oddworld: New 'n Tasty on Steam next month; Vita, console ports still underway

Just Add Water, developer of Oddworld: New 'n Tasty, is getting ready to distribute the remaining ports for its revisit of the series' origins, and Steam users are next in line. A cloud save-compatible version of New 'n Tasty will be offered on PC, Mac and Linux via Steam on February 25 for $20 (£15, €20). A 10 percent discount will also be available for those that place pre-purchases, though further details and recommended specs will be shared at a later date.

The related press release also notes that PS3 and Xbox One arrivals will follow sometime in early March, and a note from the Oddworld Staff states that the above versions will feature post-launch improvements that have been made to the existing PS4 version, including "old school" control settings.

Series creator Lorne Lanning assured fans the remaining ports were being "adamantly worked on" about two months ago. At that time, Lanning also spoke of problematic limitations concerning the Wii U hardware, but the post from Oddworld Staff explains that work "continues on the Wii U and PlayStation Vita versions," adding that "recent progress is encouraging."

If you're wondering whether all this waiting and extra development time is really worth it for a remake, consider Sam Prell's review of the PS4 version: "This HD remake is more than a simple reskin of nostalgia, and offers a compelling adventure with contemporary design that will satisfy most anyone's puzzle-platformer appetite."
[Image: Just Add Water]

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Destiny tops PS4 downloads in 2014

Bungie's Destiny topped the PlayStation Store's PS4 best-sellers list for all of 2014, Sony revealed today. The store's top sellers on the current-generation console don't include many surprises; Grand Theft Auto 5 took the second spot, followed by Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Minecraft and The Last of Us Remastered to round out the top five. GTA 5 was the most purchased PS4 game in the month of December.

As for PS3 games, Minecraft led all purchases on the system in 2014 on the PS Store, followed by GTA 5, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Destiny and Battlefield 4. Likewise, the list of top-selling PS4 and PS3 add-ons are a mix of Destiny, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Call of Duty: Ghosts DLC for the most part; Battlefield 4 Premium and The Last of Us' Left Behind DLC swooped in to the third spot in the PS4 and PS3 lists, respectively. Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment was the highest-selling game last year on the PlayStation Store for Vita. The Bandai Namco RPG was trailed on the handheld system by Minecraft, Killzone: Mercenary, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster.
[Image: Activision]

December NPD: Xbox One leads consoles in December, hardware sales surge in 2014

Video game hardware sales saw a significant uptick last year in comparison to 2013, but software sales at retail continue to chart a decline, the NPD Group's latest report states.

Hardware sales saw a slight drop to $1.31 billion in December compared to the $1.37 billion earned during the same period last year. Annual hardware sales for 2014 peaked at $5.07 billion, however, representing a 20 percent increase over the $4.24 billion reported in 2013.

Software sales at retail channels totaled $5.30 billion in 2014, dropping 13 percent compared to 2013's reported $6.11 billion.

Though console-specific sales numbers are not available, Microsoft notes that the Xbox One emerged as 2014's "best-selling console in the U.S. in November and December."

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Hotline Miami 2 refused classification in Australia [update]

Hotline Miami 2 is effectively banned from sale in Australia, following the Australian Classification Board's decision to refuse classification. According to Kotaku and Player Attack, the legislative body's report describes an implicit rape scene featuring "visual depiction of implied sexual violence" as part of the offending content.

On its website, the ACB says the ruling is accordance with National Classification Code that refuses classification to games featuring "matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena" that offend accepted standards.

The site's listing doesn't note the scene specified in the report obtained by Kotaku and Player Attack. According to both publications, the report notes that it doesn't include a complete list of the content that contributed to the ACB's decision.

[Update: Devolver Digital published a response to the ruling this morning, which you can read in full below the break. The publisher says it's "concerned and disappointed that a board of professionals tasked with evaluating and judging games fairly and honestly would stretch the facts to such a degree..." Devolver added it has no plans to officially challenge the decision.]

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