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Hitman HD, Deadly Premonition join December's free PS Plus slate

Sony already mentioned that PlayStation 4 owners with subscriptions to PlayStation Plus will receive gratis access to both Secret Ponchos and Injustice: Gods Among Us in December, but this morning we learned of the other four games joining the service that month.

PlayStation 3 owners with active PlayStation Plus subscriptions will have access to both bizarre horror game Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut and the Hitman HD Trilogy, an upgraded re-release of Hitman 2, Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Blood Money. Vita owners will also receive two games: tower defense strategy game Final Horizon and neo-retro shooter Titan Attacks.

As always, these free games are only available to those with active PlayStation Plus subscriptions. A one month subscription is priced at $10, while a year-long subscription features a $50 price tag. Sony has all the information you need to sign up at its online store.
[Image: Ignition Entertainment]

Tales from the Borderlands Episode One review: Busy earnin'

PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS, Android

You should probably know who Handsome Jack is. That's really the only advice I'd give to anyone looking to dip into Telltale's latest episodic series, Tales from the Borderlands. Granted, Borderlands doesn't have the most sophisticated lore, subsisting largely on dick jokes, pop culture references and lots of screaming jerks, but suffice it to say that you don't have to be intimately familiar with Gearbox's first-person shooters to appreciate Tales. If you know that Handsome Jack is a villain, perhaps heard his smarmy voice in a trailer or two, you should be fine.

In other words, regardless of your level of Borderlands experience, Tales from the Borderlands is a witty, well-written adventure with broad appeal. And yeah, there's a dick joke or two.

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PlayStation Co-Op Sale: Dark Souls 2, Far Cry 3, Rayman

In the spirit of the money-saving holidays (and Thanksgiving, we guess), Sony kicked off a new Co-Op Gaming sale today that discounts games with local or online multiplayer functionality. The deals end on December 1, and PlayStation Plus subscribers get a bigger discount than other PSN users: up to 80 percent off the price of some games.

Of the group, there are ten PlayStation 4 games on sale through PSN this week, among which are Awesomenauts Assemble ($5.39), EA Sports UFC ($13.99), Mercenary Kings ($8.99), Rayman Legends ($19.59), Surgeon Simulator: A&E Anniversary Edition ($6.39), TowerFall Ascension ($7.34) and Trine 2: Complete Story ($7.99). Other notable deals include Borderlands 2 (PS3, $4.54), Dark Souls 2 (PS3, $19.59), Rayman Origins ($13.29 on Vita, $9.79 on PS3) and Far Cry 3 (PS3, $9.79).
[Image: Ubisoft]

PSN Tuesday: Tales from the Borderlands, Geometry Wars 3

This week, PS4 and PS3 people get episode one of Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions and the FIFA 15 Holiday Edition. There's also a demo of Tales from the Borderlands for free on PS3.

PS4 now has Speakeasy, Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed, Aqua Kitty – Milk Mine Defender DX and Thomas Was Alone. PS3 players can now buy Jetpack Joyride Deluxe, the Armageddon Riders + Planets Under Attack Bundle and PSOne Classic Boxing. Vita gets Aqua Kitty as a Cross-Buy game with PS4, Jetpack Joyride Deluxe, Rocket RPG and Boxing.

Pre-orders are now live for Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, both on PS4.
[Image: Telltale]

Sony to shift focus from TVs, smartphones to PlayStation

PlayStation 4 console
Following a recent forecast that predicts Sony's mobile division will lose up to 30 percent of its sales by next Spring, the electronics giant has opted to increase its focus on the perennially successful PlayStation brand.

According to a Reuters report, Sony has instituted a three-year plan for the shift that aims to reduce support for its mobile device and television divisions and to boost sales of the PlayStation division by 25 percent, up to as much as $13.6 billion. Sony is also relying heavily on sales of image sensors, which the corporation believes could increase by as much as 70 percent, thanks to their use in iPhones and an increasing number of Chinese-manufactured smartphones.

"There's a lot of expectation for Sony now, but nothing is sure until there are results," Ichiyoshi Asset Management chief fund manager Akino Mitsushige told Reuters. "Getting out of the mobile market is an option, but they can't do that now, so they will need to make some fundamental changes."
[Image: Sony]

Sony to refund Vita customers in FTC settlement over false ads

LittleBigPlanet Vita
Sony Computer Entertainment America has settled with the FTC over charges that it produced false and misleading advertisement during the Vita's launch campaign from late 2011 to early 2012. Sony will provide refunds to Vita customers who purchased the device before June 1, 2012 – either a $25 cash or credit refund, or a $50 voucher for select games and services. Sony will email eligible customers after the settlement is finalized.

The FTC alleges that some of Sony's claims about the Vita were misleading, including that the Vita "would revolutionize gaming mobility" by enabling remote play and cross-platform play with the PS3, allowing players to start a game on PS3 and finish it on Vita. Sony is barred from similar advertising practices in the future.

The FTC alleges the following: "Sony claimed, for example, that PS Vita users could pause any PS3 game at any time and continue to play the game on their PS Vita from where they left off. This feature, however, was only available for a few PS3 games, and the pause-and-save capability described in the ads varied significantly from game to game.... Sony's PS Vita ads falsely implied that consumers who owned the 3G version of the device (which cost an extra $50 plus monthly fees) could engage in live, multi-player gaming through a 3G network. In fact, consumers could not engage in live, multiplayer gaming.... In reality, most PS3 games were not remote playable on the PS Vita."

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Marvel's Venom infects Zen Pinball games next month

Zen Studios announced a new table for its pinball games based on the popular villain from Marvel's Spider-Man universe, Venom. The table explores Venom's rivalry with Spider-Man as well as Carnage, the offspring of the dark Symbiote, hosted by the first of Venom's victims from the webbed superhero's comics, Eddie Brock.

As with Zen Studios' other tables, the add-on will launch for multiple Zen Pinball and Pinball FX games on December 10 and December 11. It will cost $2.99 (€2.99/£2.49) for Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX 2 players on PS4, PS3, Vita, PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Wii U. Those playing Zen Pinball, Zen Pinball HD and Marvel Pinball on iOS and Android will need to pay $1.99 (€1.79/£1.49) to access the Venom table in those games.
[Image: Zen Studios]

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Hatoful Boyfriend released from its cage: PS4, Vita in 2015

Finally, you can go to the park and feed the pigeons while simultaneously dating a handful of pigeons and discovering their bird-brained plot to overtake the world and enslave humanity. Finally.

Pigeon-dating simulator Hatoful Boyfriend is due out on PS4 and Vita in early 2015 from Devolver Digital and Mediatonic. It'll be $10 (£7 /€8), and "a launch party is currently being planned in front of a bench in Central Park with a bar serving a range of high-end breadcrumbs," according to the press release.

The PC version of Hatoful Boyfriend launched in September, based on the visual novel by Hato Moa. "I never dreamt when I first made Hatoful Boyfriend I'd see it on PlayStation," Moa says. "Thanks to the amazing fans and Mediatonic, I hope now even more people will discover pigeon love. All you need is dove."

Hatoful Boyfriend is a surprisingly deep game about dating pigeons – yes, you really date pigeons – and uncovering the dark secrets of a new avian world. Our review describes the drop as follows: "The larger narrative kicks in and everything is suddenly colored with an awareness that something has gone horribly awry." For those just diving in, make sure to play through all of your pigeon-suitor options.
[Image: Devolver Digital]

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Grand Theft Auto 5 becomes the UK's all-time bestseller

The new king of Britain is Grand Theft Auto 5, after it claimed the crown for the most units sold in the nation in the ever of ever. On the back of hitting PS4 and Xbox One, Rockstar's latest crime circus usurped the former rule of Call of Duty: Black Ops, according to data-bods Chart Track. While Chart Track didn't report specific sales figures, MCV claims GTA 5 was at "almost 4 million" units sold in the UK ahead of its arrival on the newest systems.

As per other re-releases, GTA 5 offers enhanced graphics on PS4 and Xbox One. In its case, however, there's also the undoubted showpiece of the new first-person camera.

"Rather than lowering the camera and shoving it in the chests of its three protagonists, GTA 5's first-person mode adds detailed animations that give the perspective a feeling more akin to simulation than a shooter," said Joystiq's Xav de Matos in our updated review.

GTA 5 isn't the only rock star in this week's UK charts, so head below the break to see how well Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition did, and just how badly Sonic Boom flopped. You'll also find the UK top ten and, as ever, the minimally-beloved customary music video.

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Vib-Ribbon's return began with an attempt at stage cred

When president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America Shawn Layden praised Vib-Ribbon's outside-the-box concept during this year's E3, he hoped it would show his legitimacy as a nerd worthy of standing beside better-recognized faces of PlayStation like Adam Boyes or Shu Yoshida, according to a report from Wired. Excited fans flooded social media in response, but their joy turned to rage when Layden took a sharp turn from his fond remembrance to introduce the gameplay debut of Mortal Kombat X.

As he was drinking in the backlash the following morning, Layden remembered that Vib-Ribbon was never actually released in North America. Instead of finding common ground with fans of the cult classic, he had reminded part of his audience of what they had never had a chance to play.

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Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd review - Pretty punisher

PS3, Vita

We had the chance to stop her, but now it's too late. Hatsune Miku has taken over.

At this point, Miku is a global phenomenon. The virtual pop idol recently infiltrated American culture in a guest appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman and as an opening act for Lady Gaga, but her worldwide success comes as a result of a fascinating mixture of official licensing and fan-made mythos. Miku herself may be rooted in sterile voice synthesis software, but it's the work of fans that gave her a vibrantly marketable identity.

This unique melding of fandom and Japanese idol culture defines Sega's Hatsune Miku: Project Diva series, which showcases fan-made art and music alongside slickly produced rhythm-driven gameplay. The latest series entry, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd, introduces game-changing features and streamlines its predecessor's weaker elements while crafting a surprisingly diverse challenge for rhythm game veterans.

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Disgaea team lets loose Firefly Diary in February 2015

The Firefly Diary, a new game from the developers behind Disgaea and The Guided Fate Paradox, is due out on Vita on February 24, 2015, published by NIS America. The standard edition is $20, while a limited edition runs $30 with pre-orders directly from NIS America. The limited edition includes the game, a collector's box, softcover artbook and the original soundtrack CD.

The Firefly Diary is a dreamy, fairytale-style platformer about a young girl named Mion and her two fireflies, one that thrives on darkness and the other one full of light. Players shift between the two fireflies to guide Mion among beast-filled ruins, uncovering her lost memories along the way.

See the second official trailer for The Firefly Diary below.
[Image: NIS America]

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PSA: Hatsune Miku wants to kill all humans

Image I noticed something strange while playing through Sega's recently released PlayStation 3 and Vita rhythm game, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd. During one of the included songs, "This is the Happiness and Peace of Mind Committee," Miku's friendly autotuned warble suddenly took on an unsettling, si... Continue Reading

Joystiq Deals: Free year of GameFly, free Ouya giveaways

We've got a pair of can't-miss giveaways on offer today at Joystiq Deals. First up is our Year Of Free GameFly Giveaway, a prize package that includes a free year of GameFly's deluxe 2-games-out-at-a-time subscription service (valued at $275).

You'll also want to check out our Triple Crown Ouya Giveaway, which offers up three Ouya consoles free of charge for three lucky winners. You can enter both of today's featured contests by submitting your e-mail address, and you can earn additional entries by referring your friends via Twitter. Good luck!


Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

PSN Store Update: Stop He's Already Dead Edition

That scene in The Simpsons? November's new release pile-up is like that, except the games industry isn't about to let up. A glance here should tell you there's still an absolute drove of games waiting to beat us all up before the year ticks over. Brace yourselves, people.

This is a particularly games-stuffed edition of our weekly PSN Store updates; there are 13 games out on PS4 alone, including the small matters of Far Cry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Grand Theft Auto 5 and LittleBigPlanet 3. Since it's so games-stuffed, we're going to take a leaf out of our eShop round-ups and condense all of this week's new releases into a nice, digestible list. You'll find that below the break, complete with links for further coverage as well as SEN store links.

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