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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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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]

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]

Oddworld: New N Tasty review: Fresh produce

Question: When is a video game remake not a remake? Answer: When it adds enough new ideas and tweaks existing content so that the resulting product is neither a re-hash nor a re-imagining. When it doesn't stop at HD textures and smoother character models, and instead opts for new gameplay, expanded objectives and modern conveniences.

When is a remake not a remake? When it's Oddworld: New N Tasty.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Pinball dated for all systems



This past weekend the Guardians of the Galaxy pinball table was announced, bringing the crazy crew to Zen Pinball 2 in addition to their appearances in Disney Infinity 2.0 and Marvel: Avengers Alliance. The table was revealed for PS3, PS4 and Vita, available for $2.99 on July 29.

The table will also be available on the following platforms and dates:
  • Steam, Xbox 360 - July 30
  • Xbox One, Android, iOS and Amazon - July 31

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Watch Dogs is still the UK charts' best friend

Watch Dogs continues to rise above the summer drought, notching its sixth week in total as the British No. 1. Again, there's not one new release in the UK top 40, so it's not shocking to see the country's games market drop another three percent in revenue this week.

The Last of Us: Remastered should reinvigorate the market, but until then we're staving off the tumbleweeds with more music below the break. This week, we're honoring Watch Dogs' achievement with a 1969 rock track that featured memorably in British gangster film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Woof!

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The Guardians of the Galaxy are pinball wizards in Zen Pinball 2



You're going to see a whole lot more of Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Gamora, Drax and Star-Lord - AKA The Guardians of the Galaxy - very soon. We already knew that the rag-tag group of renegades would bring daring adventures to theaters, Disney Infinity 2.0, and Marvel: Avengers Alliance, but now we can add virtual pinball tables to that list.

A Guardians of the Galaxy-themed table will be available for Zen Pinball 2 on PS3, PS4 and Vita starting July 29, and for $2.99 you can bring together all five of the starbound heroes as they battle Ronan the Accuser using the most powerful weapon in the galaxy: friendship a giant laser cannon pinball.
[Image: Zen Studios]

Fat Princess returns in match-three spinoff for mobile, Vita

The Fat Princess series has been overloading on real-time strategy-flavored sweets since its 2009 debut on the PlayStation Network, but Fat Princess: Piece of Cake adds a layer of match-three puzzler frosting to the metaphorical gameplay cake. IGN reports that Piece of Cake will be served on the Vita this fall, but a free, micro transaction-sprinkled mobile version is currently available on the Canadian App Store and Google Play.

Conquering one of Piece of Cake's 55+ stages requires making intelligent matches on its match-three game board, which guides the actions of your party's Warrior, Ranger, Worker and Priest. Pieces are attributed to different skills: matching three hearts will have the Priest use healing magic, for example. All puzzle-based progress is translated into an above battle against the blue army in a scene that's reminiscent of the series' established gameplay.

In a game featuring extensive portions, Piece of Cake's bonus feels fitting: the App Store and Google Play descriptions notes that after clearing level 15, players with a linked Facebook account will "earn access to a download of Fat Princess for your PS3 system at no additional cost." Assuming that amount of progress is feasible without purchasing power-ups or character upgrades, that's a pretty sweet deal.
[Image: SCEA]

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]

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]

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

PlayStation Store Play event offers pre-order discounts, bonus PSN credit


Throughout the next month, Sony is launching a selection of new cross-platform games at a discount for PlayStation Plus members as part of its annual PlayStation Store Play event, with cash-back credit offered for buying multiple titles.

Featured games include Cellar Door's roguelike platformer Rogue Legacy (premiering July 29), Facepalm Games' side-scrolling puzzler The Swapper (August 5), Honeyslug's fanciful exploration game Hohokum (August 12), and Dynamighty's espionage-themed CounterSpy (August 19). All games are available as Cross-Buy releases, and are playable on the PlayStation 4, PS3, and PS Vita.

PS Store Play games are available for pre-order at a 20 percent discount for PlayStation Plus subscribers. PSN members are eligible to receive $3 in store credit for buying two featured games, $6 for three, or $10 for all four between July 22 and August 25.

[Image: Sony]

PSN Tuesday: Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty, Superhero Sales

This week's PlayStation Store update features a host of games ... you can pre-order! Downloadable PS3 and PS4 exclusives CounterSpy – launching August 19 – and Hohokum – coming August 12 – are both available to pre-purchase ($14.99 each) today. Pre-orders for PS3 and PS4 versions of popular PC titles Rogue Legacy – arriving July 29 for $16.99 – and The Swapper – recently delayed to August 5 for $19.99 – are also available. Plus members can enjoy a 20 percent discount on advanced orders of each title.

As for actual releases, the PlayStation 4 welcomes Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty today. The game, a "re-crafted take" on Abe's Oddysee from the original PlayStation, is available for $29.99.

PSN also features a slew of discounts on superhero games. Injustice: Gods Among Us (PS3, PS4), for example, is down to $27.99 or a staggering $8.40 for Plus members. Never has punching Lex Luthor in his dumb, bald head been so cheap! The sale includes everything from Batman: Arkham Origins ($27.99, $8.40 for Plus members) to Lego Marvel Super Heroes (PS4) ($34.99, $10.50 for Plus members).

For the complete listing of superhero-sized sales, check out the PlayStation Blog.

[Image: Oddworld Inhabitants]

Entwined tunnels to PS3 and Vita today

Entwined is now available on PS3 and Vita in North America, and will float to Europe tomorrow. The game launched on PS4 in June on the same day it was announced during Sony's E3 2014 press conference. Developed by a group of Carnegie Mellon University graduates, Entwined has players controlling two characters at once - a fish and a bird - flying through a colorful tunnel and collecting memories.

The brief getaway elicits "a sense of serenity and peace," according to our review, and is also easy on the checkbook: The $10 game is Cross-Buy compatible, so those that own the game on PS4 can download it for free on PS3 and Vita. It's also Cross-Save capable, so Entwined veterans will be able to carry their progress across the three consoles.
[Image: Sony]

The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 4 review: Life and Death

This review covers the latest episode in an ongoing season, and may contain minor spoilers.
Death is better than zombification, but life is the best option of all. Even in a hellhole of a world; even with rotting corpses hunting you down every path, salivating for your flesh; even when you have to kill your friends every day – life is the better option.

That's what "Amid the Ruins" teaches us. More than any previous episode of The Walking Dead, it throws the importance of life in our faces – the fragility of breathing, the futility of fighting, the need to do it anyway – and it makes us wish for life harder than we ever have. Not necessarily our own lives, either. Clementine, for her part, is capable and in charge in this episode. She's rarely in direct danger herself (at least not in any way she hasn't already conquered 50 times before), but she bears witness to the potential deaths of many others, multiple times over. She saves some people. She kills some people. And she survives.

She lives.

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