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Catch the Metal Gear Solid 5 preview at the Gamescom gala

In a powerful demonstration of the mantra "go big or go home," Konami will be previewing Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain not on a show floor, but at a special gala event in Cologne, Germany, the company has announced. The celebration will take place at the Cologne Musical Dome at 8 p.m. CET on August 13, coinciding with Gamescom 2014.

The event will also be streamed via Konami's Twitch page, meaning you won't have to be a globe-trotting super-spy in order to attend. Simply tune in at 11 a.m. Pacific / 2 p.m. Eastern to catch the preview as it happens.

A related Konami press release promises a live Q&A session with Metal Gear Solid series creator Hideo Kojima, as well as "a few surprises." Considering the last "surprise" turned out to be a massive fake-out revolving around a fake company and a Swedish pseudonym, we can't even begin to imagine what Kojima has in mind.
[Image: Konami]

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Dead Rising sales still good, can't save Capcom's Q1

Capcom's first quarter in the 2014 - 2015 fiscal year starts on a down note, with a 45.1 percent decrease in net sales compared with the previous year. Operating income is up 75.3 percent, while net income is down 7.5 percent year-over-year, Capcom says in its Q1 financial report.

Capcom attributes the downturn to a lack of major new releases in Q1, though it says that Dead Rising 3 "continued to show a robust sale" during the quarter, as did the online game Monster Hunter Frontier GG. For mobile, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (iOS) performed well, Capcom says.

"Capcom has promoted measures to improve earnings by reducing the cost of sales in the Mobile Contents sub-segment, etc. and cutting back on selling, general and administrative expenses, which resulted in 75.3 percent growth in operating income," Capcom says.

The company's forecast for the year ending March 31, 2015, remains the same – net sales of 80,000 million yen ($786 million) and an operating income of 10,500 million yen ($103 million).
[Image: Capcom]

Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition pre-order bonuses for the PS4 player's soul

Previous editions of Diablo 3 had plenty of evil on tap, but Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition will render those versions moot when it comes out on August 19. While Blizzard is releasing the Ultimate Evil Edition on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as well as their predecessors, the digital pre-orders which opened on Wednesday are only available on PS3 and PS4. Those that take advantage of PSN pre-orders will also get their hands on some exclusive content, including the truly odd add-ons themed around some of Sony's signature games.

"The Guise of the Colossi," the first of these add-ons, lets you transmogrify armor into six freaky, human-sized avatars based on the monsters from Shadow of the Colossus. It's unclear if these armor variants will also make Diablo's enemies feel horribly guilty about killing you in battle.

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F1 series making last-gen pit stop ahead of 2015 upgrade


Codemasters announced the next entry in its annual F1 series is coming to PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on October 17 in Europe and October 21 in North America. Then next year, the UK developer plans to release the series' first entry on the latest consoles, a separate game that's confirmed for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Interestingly, Codemasters Community Manager Luke Spring said the 2015 game will hit store shelves earlier in the F1 season - typically F1 seasons run from March to November. Spring added the new game will add "2015" content throughout the season, adding that players will be able to compete "against the same drivers and teams you watch week in and week out." - F1 rosters are much more static throughout a season compared to other sports, so it'll be interesting to see what the additional content exactly entails.

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There's something about Marie in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Atlus confirmed Marie as the second DLC character for Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, and like Adachi she'll be free to download during the fighter's launch week. After that, Persona 4 Golden's cap-clad scamp will revert to being paid-for content.

Marie's also starring in the new Persona 4 Golden anime, which began airing on Aniplex earlier this month. So, if you're a Persona fan waiting for the deluge of games on the way - including Ultimax, Persona Q, Persona 4: Dancing All Night and Persona 5 - that might be worth a watch before things kick off this year. Persona Q is already lined up for November 25, while Ultimax remains ready to hit PS3 and Xbox 360 sometime this fall.
[Image: Atlus]

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Madden 15 tackles top linemen, cornerback ratings

Last week, EA Sports dished out its player ratings for the top NFL rookies and positions like quarterbacks and running backs for Madden NFL 15. The athlete-ranking countdown to the game's launch continues with ratings for the top players at six positions: Offensive line, defensive end, defensive tackle, inside linebacker, outside linebacker and cornerback. Madden 15 attempts to settle the debate as to who is the best corner in the league by giving Seahawks star and cover athlete Richard Sherman a 99 overall rating. The game's top defensive end, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans also came away with a 99 rating.

EA ranked two San Francisco 49ers players at the top of the middle linebacker position as well: Both Patrick Willis and teammate NaVorro Bowman bested Panthers linebacker and reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly with 96 overall ratings compared to Kuechly's 94. Head past the break for the full list of ratings provided by EA Tiburon. Madden 15 will launch August 26 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360. The game will attempt to turn players into better students of the sport and emphasizes improved defensive control.

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Pick your favorite The Evil Within case art, win a signed copy

Bethesda is polling fans to decide which alternate cover art should be bundled with Tango Gameworks' upcoming survival horror game The Evil Within, and ten copies of the game signed by director Shinji Mikami are up for grabs as a voting incentive.

Voters can pick between the "Asylum" exterior shot, the ocular "Piercing Eye," or the limb-bending "Twisted" cover art. The winning design will be featured on the back side of The Evil Within's sleeve art, similar to BioShock Infinite's reversible cover.

Voting ends on August 8. We've collected all three designs in the gallery below -- which one is your favorite?

[Image: Bethesda]

Sky's Now TV app out on Xbox One, Verizon updates FiOS

Xbox console owners in the UK now have an expanded variety of entertainment options at the ready, as Sky has released an Xbox One version of its Now TV app, bringing the service's streamed and on-demand catalog to Microsoft's platform.

Verizon also updated its FiOS app on Xbox consoles this week, introducing 14 additional channels to its lineup. New channels available to subscribers include AMC HD, Encore, Bloomberg HD, Showtime, and Starz.

While Xbox entertainment apps were previously available only for Xbox Live Gold members, Microsoft recently updated its policies to grant access to Netflix, HBO Go, and other services to all Xbox owners.

[Image: Sky]

Watch Dogs DLC tease rats out Camden, New Jersey

According to a new tweet from the official Watch Dogs Twitter account, Camden, New Jersey was the most crime-ridden US city in 2012. That's not at all true, but it's apparently a solid enough fiction for a DLC tease.

"Our data indicates surveillance has become more prominent in high-crime areas," the account states before linking to the above infographic. First, let's debunk that core claim. Depending on how you categorize crime, the dubious honor of highest US crime rates in 2012 would go to either Detroit or St. Louis. Camden doesn't even make the top-10 lists (though Newark, New Jersey ranked among the highest crime rates per capita in 2011). Despite this, the Twitter account claims that "a surveillance program is now in effect."

Shortly after the tweet was issued, a fan did the sensible thing and plainly asked if this cryptic message was related to upcoming DLC. Watch Dogs fans have long been waiting for the first installments of the singeplayer campaign promised by the game's Season Pass, and based on the Twitter account's brief reply - "Coming this fall" - it's probably safe to assume Camden, New Jersey plays some part in the additional content. How exactly is anyone's guess, so please deposit those guesses in the comments below.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Destiny beta: 4.6 million players guided by their Dinklage

The Destiny beta was a beast, with Activision announcing today that 4,638,937 players participated in the early access stress test of the game launching September 9.

"Hosting a beta at this scale is an incredible feat, so we're thrilled to see the phenomenal response. But the beta is just a taste of what's to come," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. "This is the biggest beta of this console generation by a wide margin and the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP to date."

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Dragon Age: Inquisition combat trailer burninates the countryside


A new trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition doesn't offer new info on the game's combat, but it's encouraging to see BioWare focus on the level of strategy offered by its real-time-with-pausing system. To see more combat in action, watch our new video preview which comes with even more dragon - that's really what it's all about, right? No?

As you probably already know, BioWare's upcoming RPG is now due on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 18. What you may not know is there's also a delay to Dragon Age Keep, the tool that will let you set up story choices from previous Dragon Ages to carry over in Inquisition. As explained on the BioWare blog, the delay is in keeping with the one for Inquisition, and it'll result in an extended beta program that'll drag on for testers.

Pinball FX2 delayed on Xbox One, devs adding table transfers

Pinball FX2 won't be pulling plungers and flipping flippers on July 31 after all, developer Zen Studios announced on its blog. But before you go full tilt on the comments section, know that it's for a good reason: Zen Studios is using the extra development time to implement table transfers so that players who purchased a table for the Xbox 360 version of FX2 will be able to move that table to the Xbox One, free of charge.

Zen Studios doesn't expect the implementation of the feature to take long, as the Pinball FX2 release date has only been pushed back to "sometime in August," nebulous though that date may be. "We do apologize for the delay while we create the Pinball FX2 experience that our fans both want and deserve," the Zen Studios blog reads. "We're excited to bring Pinball FX2 to Xbox One owners, to have their previous purchases honored and transferred, and we can't wait to share with you what we've got coming in the future."

[Thanks, Kraig!]

[Image: Zen Studios]

Activision reveals Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare special editions

Activision today unveiled a lineup of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare collector's editions, putting an array of bonus-bundled physical and digital packages up for pre-order at its official website.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Atlas Limited Edition ($79.99) includes a retail copy of the game packed in a SteelBook case, the Welcome to Atlas: Advanced Soldier Manual, the bonus multiplayer map Atlas Gorge, and the Atlas Digital Content Pack, which features themed character exoskeletons and weapons. The Atlus Pro Edition ($119.99, shown above) includes all Limited Edition content along with an Advanced Warfare Season Pass that will digitally deliver four multiplayer map packs to players throughout next year.

Also up for pre-order is the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Atlas Digital Pro Edition ($99.99), which includes all Pro Edition content, minus the retail edition's physical goodies. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will hit the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PS4, and PC platforms on November 4.

[Image: Activision]

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's story includes some very hostile takeovers


Between the bang-bangs and the pew-pew-pews, developer Sledgehammer Games is using Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to tell a story. The game's latest trailer proves as much.

It seems terrorists have attacked nuclear power plants all over the globe in a show of unlikely coordination that causes the world's governments to topple. In the wake of this collapse, a private military corporation rises to restore order to humanity. Unfortunately, that corporation is lead by Kevin Spacey in full megalomaniac mode, and after cleaning up the streets he uses his company's military might to assume de facto control over the planet.

Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the planet from one of America's finest living actors? If you do, will any scenery remain unchewed? Find out on November 4 when Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare makes its official debut.
[Image: Activision]

Xbox Deals With Gold delivers discounted Battlefield 4 DLC

Battlefield series die-hards can pick up an arsenal of discounted DLC this week through Microsoft's Deals with Gold promotion, which currently offers a 33 percent discount on Battlefield 4's Premium membership, China Rising, Second Assault, Naval Strike, and Ultimate Shortcut Bundle add-ons for the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

The Xbox 360 Games on Demand versions of Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, and NHL 14 are half-off this week for Gold members, and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is available for 70 percent off its regular price. Xbox Live Silver members, meanwhile, can pick up a copy of SpikySnail's liquid puzzler The Splatters for 50 percent off through next week.

[Image: EA DICE]

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