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Minecraft: Xbox One Edition blocks shelves in November

A boxed, retail version of Minecraft for Xbox One is slated to hit shelves on November 18 in the US, Microsoft announced today. In-store, Minecraft: Xbox One Edition is $20.

The digital edition of Minecraft hit Xbox One early in September. Those who own Minecraft on Xbox 360 are able to upgrade to the digital Xbox One version for $5 – to be clear, that trade-up system doesn't apply to the retail version.

Microsoft purchased Minecraft studio Mojang for $2.5 billion earlier this month, and Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson announced he'd step away from the company to return to his experimental, Ludum Dare roots.
[Image: Microsoft]

Hackers charged with Xbox One, Valve, Call of Duty data theft

The United States has charged four members of an international hacking ring with stealing up to $200 million in intellectual property and other data from Microsoft, Epic Games, Valve, Zombie Studios and the US Army. The hackers are charged with stealing software related to Xbox Live, Xbox One, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Gears of War 3.

"Specifically, the data cyber-theft allegedly included source code, technical specifications and related information for Microsoft's then-unreleased Xbox One gaming console; intellectual property and proprietary data related to Xbox Live, Microsoft's online multi-player gaming and media-delivery system; Apache helicopter simulator software developed by Zombie Studios for the US Army; a pre-release version of Epic's video game, Gears of War 3; and a pre-release version of Activision's video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The defendants also allegedly conspired to use, share and sell the stolen information," the US Department of Justice says in a press release.

The hacking group used SQL injection and stolen usernames and passwords to break into the targeted companies' networks. The men charged are Nathan Leroux, 20, of Bowie, Maryland; Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, 28, of Washington, New Jersey; David Pokora, 22, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; and Austin Alcala, 18, of McCordsville, Indiana. Pokora and Nesheiwat have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit computer fraud and copyright infringement, both scheduled for sentencing in January.

"Pokora's plea is believed to be the first conviction of a foreign-based individual for hacking into US businesses to steal trade secret information," the Department of Justice says. Authorities in Australia have charged an Australian citizen in relation to this conspiracy.
[Image: Microsoft]

Pre-order Alien: Isolation digitally, watch it download in terror

Digital pre-orders for Creative Assembly's frightful first-person game Alien: Isolation are now available. Players can put money down in advance of the game's impending launch in one week on Steam, PSN and Xbox Live to pre-download the game and pick up its season pass.

Xbox One players can pre-purchase the game's Nostromo Edition on Microsoft's store, which includes the full game as well as the "Crew Expendable" bonus content. PS4 and PS3 players can scoot over to PSN to pre-order either the Nostromo Edition or the Season Pass bundle, with individual passes available on launch day, October 7. Likewise, the Nostromo Edition as well as the Digital Deluxe Edition are available to pre-purchase on Steam, the latter of which also includes the game's season pass. The $30 season pass give players access to Alien: Isolation's survivor mode map packs.

Destiny State of Service: Week Three

This is State of Service, an ongoing review of the online service of a recently launched game. You can read our scored review of Destiny here.
Tuesday, September 30 | T-minus 9 days until final verdict
Current State of Service:
Good
Summary: Destiny servers have been largely stable, with a couple of hiccups. Bungie closed the "Loot Cave" exploit, though players have already flocked to a new one. An upcoming patch aims to improve the loot system.

Destiny's third week was mostly a smooth one, with only a few isolated server problems. Bungie noted sign-in issues across all platforms on Thursday, September 25, which were resolved quickly. Xbox 360 players ran into similar trouble on Monday, September 29, but these too were quickly rectified. The Joystiq staff encountered no outstanding complications at all last week. Meanwhile, Bungie states that it is still addressing outlying networking issues, reporting that "Bee," "Lion," or "Fly" error codes have been reduced by 50 percent over the last week.

Elsewhere in the galaxy, Bungie put an end to Destiny's infamous "Loot Cave." Undaunted, players immediately latched onto a different Loot Cave. Perhaps in response to the design problems that the Loot Cave represents, Bungie announced that patch 1.0.2 will significantly change the loot system. Namely, Purple Engrams will guarantee Legendary quality items, while Blue Engrams will guarantee Rare or better quality items.

If you encounter any connection problems while playing Destiny, let us know in the comments, or on the Joystiq Twitter or Facebook accounts. Use the hashtag "#sos" and specify your platform, please.

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Get a push, win the belt in WWE 2K15's 'My Career' mode

2K Sports offered details today on WWE 2K15's other career mode, My Career. Much like the mode of the same name in Visual Concepts' NBA 2K series, in My Career, players take a custom wrestler through the career path of a WWE superstar. The mode begins by having players learn the ropes at the Orlando-based WWE Performance Center, eventually headlining WrestleMania and winning the top championship titles in the company.

The mode features seasoned trainer Bill DeMott and general manager Vickie Guerrero, the latter setting matches and giving wrestlers goals to advance their career. As the journey unfolds, wrestlers improve their attributes and unlock new abilities and moves while developing alliances and rivalries with others on the WWE roster. With each decision a player makes in My Career, the crowd's reaction will change and "multiple branching storylines, surprises, twists and turns" will manifest, complimenting the game's other, historical career mode, 2K Showcase. WWE 2K15 will launch October 28 for Xbox 360 and PS3, arriving later on November 18 for PS4 and Xbox One.
[Image: 2K Sports]

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Roller coaster builder Screamride revels in destruction

Image Screamride is aimed at giving players a blank canvas upon which they might construct and ride their ideal rollercoaster, but as this footage shows, the game's most interesting, bombastic moments come when a coaster goes off the rails and smashes through pieces of the background... Continue Reading

The Legend of Korra difficulty level just for Platinum fans



The Legend of Korra has a special difficulty level tuned for fans of Platinum Games – Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – producer Atsushi Kurooka says in the latest behind-the-scenes video. Activision approached Platinum to do The Legend of Korra, and the show's depth and silky smooth fight scenes convinced Kurooka it was "worth the challenge," as he puts it. And the final boss fight? It "has Platinum Games written all over it."

The video shows off a few cool fight scenes between the talking heads, too. The Legend of Korra is due out on October 21 on PS3, PS4 and PC, and on October 22 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Killer Instinct community reminds us why he's named TJ Combo

Image After Killer Instinct fan and YouTube user Maximilian posted a colossal 175-hit combo featuring upcoming season two roster addition TJ Combo, experts in the game have pulled out all the stops to create the most vicious ultra combos. The current high score? 195 hits from YouTube user... Continue Reading

Track, time Destiny public events online

Public events in Destiny can be hit-or-miss, but there's a simple way to up your own hit ratio: DestinyPublicEvents.com. This website isn't sanctioned by Bungie or Activision, but it offers a collection of events happening right now and those to come soon. Each event is on a timer, and the site displays the amount of time left in each entry. Everything is broken down by region: Earth, Moon, Venus and Mars.

Be lonely no longer, Guardians, and have fun collecting that Glimmer. Thanks for the tip, @PunkrawkBbob!
[Image: Destiny Public Events]

Project Cars targets 1080p on Xbox One, PS4

Visual fidelity has always been important to players, especially when the resolution between two versions of a game doesn't match. A class-action lawsuit was even filed over a multiplayer game that failed to live up to its promised resolution. With that in mind, racing fans will be happy to know that Project Cars is aiming for 1080p and 60 frames per second on PS4 and Xbox One. Slightly Mad Studios' Andy Tudor told Eurogamer that while recent Xbox One demos of the racer were "not quite 1080p at the moment," the developer is "still aiming to get there."

"Towards the end of the game you're always optimizing, and during development it's a rollercoaster. Sometimes you look at the game and think oh god, that's not working, that's not working. But other days you hit 60 fps, and it's awesome," Tudor said. He explained that the "physics underneath runs at 600 times a second," and that the developer calculates "the input you're doing on the controller 250 times per second." The racing sim will launch on the next-gen systems as well as PC on November 18, arriving in 2015 on SteamOS and Wii U.
[Image: Bandai Namco]

Bungie: Leaked Destiny DLC descriptions are real, not final

The nuggets of information about coming Destiny DLC packs have been verified by Bungie Community Manager DeeJ in the Destiny forums. Some players this weekend hit an in-game glitch that revealed information about two DLC bundles, The Dark Below and House of Wolves.

"We noticed that you noticed that we already have plans for upcoming content packs in Destiny," DeeJ writes. "We do! They have activity names (which may or may not change) and we have a really good idea what they're going to contain. They even have placeholder nodes in the Director, as you've already discovered. But neither of the Expansion Packs we've announced are finished."

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Xbox One launches in China with 10 approved games

The Xbox One is out in China, following a brief, last-minute delay. This launch marks the first time a foreign console has been allowed on the Chinese marketplace in 14 years. Microsoft partnered with Chinese media company BesTV on the release, and it reports that the Xbox One is now on sale in 4,000 retail locations in 37 cities around the country, Venture Beat says.

The Xbox One hits China with 10 government-approved games, including Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, Dance Central Spotlight, Max: Curse of the Brotherhood, Rayman Legends and a Chinese ID@Xbox game, Naughty Kitties. See the full list of Chinese launch games below. Chinese authorities have established guidelines for the types of games allowed to be sold in the country, banning those that threaten "China's national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity," and those that promote cults, superstitions, obscenity, drug use, violence or gambling. Microsoft says it's working to get an additional 70 games on Xbox One consoles in China.

Sony is looking to launch PlayStation products in China via a deal with the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, though it hasn't announced any firm plans.
[Image: Microsoft]

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Shadow of Mordor season pass trailer tastes a little Sauron

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment may have revealed its $25 season pass for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor last month, but it's now offering a closer look at the add-ons that pass holders are guaranteed access to. The DLC includes an exclusive Guardians of the Flaming Eye mission and two story missions, Lord of the Hunt and The Bright Lord.

The latter quest has players controlling Celebrimbor, "the great Elven smith of the Second Age," eventually encountering the Tolkien universe's primary antagonist, Sauron. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will launch tomorrow for PS4, Xbox One and PC. The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game were delayed to November 18 earlier this month. It received good marks critically, including our five-star review that praised the Mordor's Nemesis system. Head past the break to see the game's season pass trailer.

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PvZ: Garden Warfare's Legends of the Lawn update drops tomorrow


A sizable update for PopCap's team-based shooter Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare launches on September 30 across all available platforms, publisher Electronic Arts announced today.

The new "Legends of the Lawn" update introduces over 200 new customization items and seven character variants, including Golf Star, Centurion, Paleontologist, Chomp Thing, Alien Flower, Jade Cactus or Sanitation Expert. Also featured is the new "Taco Bandits" gameplay mode, a Capture the Flag variant that challenges the Zombies team to steal away delicious tacos from the defending Plants. Mmm, tacos.

Legends of the Lawn will be available as a free download starting tomorrow for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PS3, and PC platforms.

[Video: Electronic Arts]

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Rejoice! Visceral says Battlefield Hardline 'will work' at launch

Battlefield Hardline will operate as expected at launch, according to Ian Milham, creative director at Visceral Games. "What you're basically asking is, 'Is your game going to work?' And the answer is yes, it's gonna work," Milham told Game Revolution.

The statement follows a rough launch for the last game game in the series, DICE's Battlefield 4, which suffered months of connectivity issues after its October 2013 arrival. That led to multiple law firms alleging that publisher EA issued "materially false and misleading statements" regarding Battlefield 4's playability. When a CEO like EA's Andrew Wilson publicly deems a game's launch as "unacceptable," questions about the next game's stability will certainly come up.

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Destiny State of Service: Week Three

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