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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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Titanfall adds 'Black Market' and in-game currency system

Respawn Entertainment added a new in-game market to Titanfall known as the "Black Market," which allows players to redeem credits in the game for burn card packs and insignias. For instance, the game's standard burn card pack costs 5,000 credits and contains six random pilot and Titan burn cards. Players will have access to the Black Market once they reach level 11 and have opened the burn card menu.

Respawn emphasized that the game's new currency and market updates do not indicate that Titanfall players will be spending real money in the game at any point, driving the point home with an all-caps "NO MICROTRANSACTIONS" note in its announcement.

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Dark Souls 2 'Crown of the Sunken King' review: Lost and crowned

After losing days to just navigating Lordran, I understood the switch to more linear pathways in Dark Souls 2. Still, I missed getting truly lost in the first game's open world. It was a labyrinthine mess that coiled in on itself in the most confusing ways, and it added another layer to an already oppressive game. The world itself was against you in Dark Souls, and it magnified those feelings of dread, challenge and, eventually, satisfaction.

It's great to see Crown of the Sunken King, the first Dark Souls 2 DLC expansion, is closer to the first game's mazey madness, albeit in a more conscise form. Its rocky inclines and crumbling chambers don't so much twist and turn as gently lead you astray, and the interconnections are more foreshadowed. It makes sense for the DLC's scope; it takes five hours to find and defeat the final boss, and that's even if you lose your way a few times.

All the same, in its stone-cold heart of hearts, Sunken King is just more Dark Souls 2, albeit inevitably tougher. There are a few new enemies - some total bastards - while others are more reworked and re-skinned, but generally the higher difficulty comes from placement and numbers.

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Disney Infinity 2.0 hits North America on September 23.0

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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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]

Relive classic Grand Theft Auto moments in GTA Online

In its latest newswire update, Rockstar Games highlights a handful of GTA Online jobs that revisit pivotal moments from past Grand Theft Auto entries courtesy of creative fans and the game's powerful Creator tool.

From the classic Grand Theft Auto 3 to the underloved GTA: Chinatown Wars, Rockstar's selection covers a wide swath of open-world sandbox mayhem. "Four Iron," for instance, is a modern, deathmatch take on the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City mission of the same name, in which Tommy Vercetti chased a land developer through a golf course before murdering the poor sap. "Valet Parking," on the other hand, is a lap race homage to those recurring side missions in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in which CJ would pose as a valet, and either politely park cars to earn extra cash or drive off with a fancy new ride.

The Rockstar newswire has a full list of throwback missions, for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but keep in mind that the limitations of the GTA Online Creator prevent any of these jobs from being singleplayer affairs. The only way to truly relive Rockstar's classics is by replaying the original games.
[Image: Take Two]

Destiny Beta Google Hangout and Xbox One Stream Spectacular [Update: Relive the stream!]



Update: Watch the Google Hangout discussion here and the Xbox One stream above!

At first, Joystiq said, "Sure, I'll check out Destiny. Why not? Bungie's made some good games. We like playing games." Then we played it. A lot of it. Then the beta went offline for a couple of days and Joystiq said, "Whatever. I'll wait three days to call Destiny back. We're not that serious or anything." Then we couldn't stop thinking about Destiny. The only course of action is to get everyone in the crew together and make a list of everything we like about the Destiny beta and everything we don't like to determine if we're ready for a real Destiny commitment.

Starting at 2:30PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, the Joystiq staff will be in a Google Hangout to discuss all things Destiny after our first taste of the action. Then we'll roll directly into a stream of the Xbox One version of the game immediately afterward, with a brand new fire team including Jess Conditt, Xav de Matos, and Susan Arendt.

Tune in to hang out with us and ask many questions at Joystiq.com/Twitch at 2:30PM EST!
[Images: Activision]

Crysis 3, Ryse producer Mike Read departs Crytek

Crytek's exodus of company talent continues, as Ryse: Son of Rome and Crysis 3 producer Mike Read has left the studio, The Escapist reports.

The Escapist notes that Read's recently updated LinkedIn profile no longer lists Crytek as his current employer. Read's Twitter bio additionally states that he is a "former producer" at Crytek.

Read's departure follows up on the recent resignation of 11-year Crytek veteran Tiago Sousa, who now serves as Lead Rendering Programmer at id Software. Subsidiary Crytek UK also saw a number of departures last month, losing more than 30 employees and Homefront: The Revolution director Hasit Zala amid rumors of late staff payments.

[Image: Crytek]

Guardians of the Galaxy converge in Disney Infinity 2.0

The Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel's oddball ensemble leaping from comics to film on August 1, are visiting earth in the form of tiny figures. Disney Interactive is preparing a cosmic Play Set for the upcoming launch of Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, rooted in the likenesses of Groot (the tree), Gamora (the assassin), Drax (the Destroyer), Rocket Raccoon (you know) and Star-Lord. (Star-Lord, man. Legendary outlaw?)

The five space criminals on the cusp of heroism are playable in their own story, joined by a handful of crossover characters from other sets. Iron Man swings by to help out in the battle against Ronan the Accuser, while Nova jets in from the Spider-Man Play Set. Oh, and switch "swings" with "jets" there. Now it's wordplay.

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Microsoft unveils 100 cars from Forza Horizon 2 garage

With the debut of Forza Horizon 2 less than two months away, publisher Microsoft has unveiled the first 100 cars included in the open-world racing sim's roster of exotic machines.

Though not a complete list - Playground claims that Forza Horizon 2 will ship with 200 cars in tow - the 100 vehicles mentioned today provide a nice glimpse of what the game's garage will look like. Ferrari, Jaguar, Lexus, Volkswagen, Ford, Audi and all the other manufacturers you'd expect are included, and alongside the typical high-powered sports cars, the Forza Horizon 2 roster even includes a few novelty vehicles, such as the World War 2-era 1945 Jeep Willys and the countercultural icon 1963 VW Type 2 De Luxe van. Notably absent are any vehicles from Porsche, though given the manufacturer's long-standing licensing agreement with EA that omission should come as little surprise.

For a full rundown of the first 100 vehicles included in Forza Horizon 2, pay a visit to the Xbox Wire website.
[Image: Microsoft]

Microsoft's Xbox revenue up 14% thanks to console sales

Microsoft reported an increase in revenue for the Xbox platform to the tune of $104 million, or 14 percent, in its fourth quarter results (ending June 30). Xbox One and Xbox 360 sales teamed with the company's Surface sales to boost its Computing and Gaming Hardware category by 23 percent for the quarter to $1.44 billion (an increase of $274 million). In total, Microsoft reported a 17.7 percent leap in revenue, from $19.9 billion to $23.4 billion in the past quarter.

Microsoft says it shipped 1.1 million consoles during the quarter, which compares to one million in the same period of time one year ago. Just last week, the company said sales of its Kinect-less packages doubled Xbox One sales in June. As of April, Microsoft shipped 5 million Xbox One systems to date. Meanwhile, NPD reported a substantial lift in video game hardware sales across the board last week, an increase of 106 percent in June compared to the previous month.
[Image: Microsoft]

Guardians, the Destiny beta is back and early on Xbox

Maintenance on the Destiny beta has concluded early, Bungie has announced, and Guardians are invited to proceed on their galaxy-saving quests.

"We know you've been waiting, so we busted our asses to finish our chores up early," a post on Bungie's blog says. "Every single Guardian with a pre-order code is welcome to join us in the Tower," it adds. This appears to include Xbox One and Xbox 360 users, as Destiny beta codes are now available for Microsoft's platforms.

While the beta was scheduled to begin tomorrow for hardware crafted by Bungie's previous overlords, codes work right now. Download the beta on Xbox One or Xbox 360 and help join the fight.

Remember, on Saturday, Bungie has something special in store: "If you've already played, you haven't seen everything yet. We've got some surprises in store, and if you play on Saturday, July 26th beginning at 2pm PDT, we've got a permanent reward on reserve that will commemorate the experience."

The beta is scheduled to end on July 27.

Battlefield Hardline delayed, now arriving in 2015

Despite earlier claims that EA's cops versus robbers shooter Battlefield Hardline would debut in October of this year, the publisher has now officially delayed the game to 2015.

According to a new entry on the Battlefield blog, Battlefield Hardline has been delayed to give developer Visceral Games more time to ensure that Hardline is "the best, most innovative Battlefield experience we can give to you, our fans." Full details on how Visceral plans to accomplish that feat are lacking, but the developer claims the delay should allow it to improve the game's single-player story depth, add more innovative multiplayer features and enhance the shooter's online stability.

Battlefield Hardline is not the only game delayed by EA today, as Dragon Age: Inquisition has also been pushed back to November 21.

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