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Persona 4 Arena Ultimax heads to Europe courtesy of Sega

It's been up in the air, but Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is confirmed now to be coming to Europe and other EMEA territories. Sega revealed it's publishing the follow-up fighter in November, with retail and downloadable versions on the way for PS3 and Xbox 360.

Atlus is bringing Ultimax to the Americas on September 30 without region-locking, in contrast to the controversial decision to region-lock the first Persona 4 Arena. That decision caught more attention when the game was delayed by nine months in Europe. Distributor Zen United has since returned the P4A digital rights to Atlus.

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Harmonix announces closure of moribund Rock Band Network

Despite a nearly half-decade-long run, developer Harmonix has made the decision to shutter the Rock Band Network, effective immediately.

As a counterpart to the numerous, official DLC tunes on offer for Harmonix's wildly successful Rock Band games, the Rock Band Network once allowed fans to upload and share their own compositions with Rock Band players around the world. Ostensibly, the idea was to expose players to new, lesser-known music, but the 2,121 songs listed on the Rock Band Network were just as often fan uploads of popular songs that Harmonix never added to the Rock Band DLC setlist. Somehow this never exposed Harmonix to copyright infringement claims, but it did offer players an entirely new well of content to draw from. When you include the Rock Band Network alongside the series' official DLC tunes, the total Rock Band series tracklist comes to a staggering 4,221 songs.

Despite its impressive utility, in the end the Rock Band Network was laid low by mounting technical problems. "Some of those problems were server side here at Harmonix, while others were entirely outside of our control," reads the developer's official announcement. "At this point, with Harmonix resources devoted to several other titles in development, we're no longer able to operate RBN with the kind of consistency that it deserves."
[Image: Harmonix]

Destiny combines arms in the Crucible this weekend

The next two community events for Bungie's Destiny will start this weekend. We had names for the two events before, Combined Arms and The Queen's Wrath, and now we have dates and descriptions for them as well. The Combined Arms event is an "all out war on a massive scale" in the Crucible multiplayer section. Players form fireteams of up to six, driving across the map and making use of increased heavy weapon ammo drops. The event starts today and lasts through the weekend.

Next up is The Queen's Wrath, a set of bounty missions that begin on Tuesday, September 23 and runs through Monday, October 6. By completing the mission, players earn unique rare and legendary gear. The following two Destiny events are September's Salvage mission and October's Iron Banner mission. This week's Vault of Glass quest was first conquered roughly 11 hours after it opened. Bungie opted to double its well-broadcasted shooter's public events for players to encounter while patrolling areas in the game.
[Image: Bungie]

Need for Speed Rivals 'Complete Edition' revs up for October

The "Complete Edition" of Need for Speed Rivals will launch on October 21. The special edition package includes all of the game's previously-issued DLC, six packs in total. NFS Rivals' Complete Edition will arrive on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, and will launch three days afterwards in Europe on October 24. The Complete Edition does not appear to include the game's Ultimate Racer Pack, which is only available on PC and Xbox platforms, the game's official site noted.

The standard version of NFS Rivals launched in November alongside the latest home consoles from Sony and Microsoft. The racing game was added to the EA Access vault earlier this month, allowing subscribers to play the full game at will. EA did not list a price for the Complete Edition, though pre-orders are expected to be available shortly. The game-and-DLC bundle will replace a new entry in the series this year, the first time in 13 years that EA has gone without a brand new Need for Speed game. The next entry will arrive in 2015.

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A Dragon Quest Heroes gameplay video draws near!


Square Enix gave a first look at the gameplay featured in Omega Force's PlayStation 4 and PS3 action-RPG Dragon Quest Heroes: Anryuu to Sekaiju no Shiro at TGS this week, showcasing army-slaughtering mechanics similar to the developer's Dynasty Warriors series.

The video above, transferred from streaming service Nico Nico Douga, shows a party of heroes squaring off against dozens of Golems, Drakees, Skeletons, and other monsters ripped from prior entries in the Dragon Quest series. Gameplay sticks closely to the beat-'em-up formula featured in Dynasty Warriors and the upcoming Hyrule Warriors, as players have access to a number of melee combos and screen-clearing magic attacks in battle.

Square Enix also revealed its first Dragon Quest Heroes character details (via Siliconera) this week. Playable party members consist of royal bodyguard Acht (or Mehr, if players opt for a lady protagonist), Elsarze Kingdom ruler Dirk, and magic-wielding sorceress Julietta. Familiar faces like Terry from Dragon Quest 6 and Dragon Quest 4's Alena will also make appearances throughout the campaign.

Dragon Quest Heroes will launch in Japan in the second quarter of 2015. A North American release has not been announced.

[Video: Square Enix / Game Kana]

Tales of Zestiria out in North America, Europe by summer 2015

The next PlayStation 3 entry in the long-running "Tales of" JRPG series is due to hit store shelves in North America and Europe by next summer, a Bandai Namco representative told IGN this week.

The representative stated that Tales of Zestiria will debut in North America and Europe "no more than six months after its Japanese launch," pegging it for a spring or summer release. Tales of Zestiria hits Japan on January 22, 2015, and if Bandai Namco's worldwide release schedule pans out, its localization will be the quickest the series has seen to date.

Bandai Namco revealed the sequel late last year, and showed off its protagonist and lush scenery in the weeks afterward. Zestiria follows up on Tales of Xillia 2, which launched digitally and at retail last month for the PlayStation 3.

[Image: Bandai Namco]

Watch 20 minutes of new gameplay from MGS5: The Phantom Pain

Image Hopefully witnessing 20 minutes of new gameplay footage direct from Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain can alleviate the sting of learning that Metal Gear maestro Hideo Kojima refuses to commit to a release date any more specific than a nebulous "2015." [Image: Konami] ... Continue Reading

Destiny attracts 5 million unique viewers on Twitch in first week

Destiny drew in 5 million unique viewers and 20 million total views on Twitch last week, making it the "biggest console game launch of the year" on the streaming service, Activision said in a press release. Viewers watched 240 million minutes of Destiny gameplay during the week.

It's difficult to directly compare these numbers to other console game launches on Twitch, since those stats aren't readily available. "We can't provide those numbers since it is up to our partners to determine what they want to publicize about their channel's engagement," a Twitch spokesperson told Joystiq.

However, there are Twitch engagement numbers for the Xbox One and PS4: Titanfall was the game most often broadcast on Twitch via Xbox One in its first month, with 10 million minutes of streaming. Players broadcast 23 million minutes of gameplay in Xbox One's first month with Twitch, and on launch day, Xbox One players accounted for 30 percent of all Twitch streams. In its first month, PS4 players accounted for 10 percent of all Twitch streams, with 20 million minutes of live broadcasting.
[Image: Activision]

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PlayStation Now PS3 open beta starts

PlayStation Now, Sony's oddly priced game streaming service, will enter open beta on PS3 in the US and "parts of Canada" today. The PS Now library currently has over 150 games.

Good news for those interested in the future of the service: Sony reiterated it's still in the early days of the program and is listening to feedback, along with "working towards a PS Now subscription option."

PS Now is currently also in open beta on PlayStation 4. The service will make its way to Europe in 2015, with a quick stop in the UK first before crossing to the mainland.

Gran Turismo 6 gets its first original track in 1.12 update

It's been 10 months since Gran Turismo 6 first hit retail shelves, but developer Polyphony Digital is still adding new content to the PlayStation 3 racing simulation.

The latest update, version 1.12, brings with it a handful of bug fixes and gameplay tweaks, but is most notable for the additional content it adds to the game. Two new vehicles highlight the update, including the Nissan GT-R NISMO and the Toyota FT1 Vision Gran Turismo (pictured above). While the latter is a fancy concept car available exclusively to Gran Turismo 6 players, the former vehicle is a bit more commonplace - assuming that's a descriptor that could ever reasonably be attached to a machine that once set the record at Germany's legendary Nürburgring racetrack for the world's fastest volume production car.

Additionally, the 1.12 update adds a new track to Gran Turismo 6, the "Circuito de la Sierra." This mark's Polyphony's first attempt at crafting an original long course for Gran Turismo 6, though, according to the developers, the track draws aesthetic inspiration from the Ronda region of Southern Spain.

As with all updates, everything included in the 1.12 patch is available at no charge to Gran Turismo 6 owners. Simply fire up your PlayStation 3, start the racing sim and you should be prompted to download the update, assuming your console hasn't already done so. For more information, visit the Gran Turismo website.

NBA 2K15 scans your face, thinks you're beautiful

NBA 2K15 will feature the ability for players to scan their faces into the game and onto the bodies of digital athletes. 2K Sports revealed the feature in a tutorial video, which instructs prospective virtual basketballers to hold the PlayStation Camera six to 12 inches away from their faces. After slowly turning their head both ways, players will find their mapped mugs in the game, at which point they can fine-tune their features. Created players can then be used in MyCareer mode, where they will likely get dunked on by cover star Kevin Durant.

While the tutorial mentioned the PlayStation Camera by name, 2K says the feature uses "first-party camera hardware." The publisher also doesn't specify whether the feature is locked to a given console, indicating that Xbox One players can use the Kinect to scan their faces as well. NBA 2K15 will launch October 7 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

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Destiny's plot condensed to Dinklebot size

Image A brief and accurate retelling of Destiny's story. Take that information in whatever spirit you wish to interpret it.... Continue Reading

Alien: Isolation Season Pass is for Survivor Mode DLC

Alien: Isolation's Survivor Mode is simple and scary: survive against the clock and the alien, with limited resources on each map. The first Survivor Mode map, Basement, is included with the game when it launches on October 7. Alien: Isolation is getting a Season Pass for all five of its Survivor Mode map packs, the first of which launches on October 28. Each Survivor Mode pack includes three maps.

The first map pack has its "own set objective and challenges, a new playable character and a variety of enemy types between you and your escape," Sega writes in a press release. "Over the following months, four more add-on packs will release, each featuring a new playable character, and a mix of new maps and game modes to challenge even the most proficient player."

All of the Survivor Mode maps are due to be out by March 2015, Sega says. There's no word on a price for the individual packs or the Season Pass, but the pass gives players a discount of "up to" 25 percent.

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Unity Pro now free for all licensed PlayStation developers

Unity Pro is now available for all licensed PlayStation developers at the low, low cost of nothing. Those that become approved developers for Sony's platforms will have access to "PlayStation ready versions" of Unity Pro, which offers developers the tools to create 2D and 3D games and applications. Unity Pro normally costs $1,500 or $75 per month, as listed on Unity's store.

Unity entered a partnership with Sony to offer optimized tools for the PlayStation platforms in March 2013. Sony has since shown greater interest in hosting the creations of independent developers, adding "fully-integrated solutions" for PS3 and Vita this past March. PlayStation Mobile developers received free access to Unity for PSM in June before Sony killed support for PSM on Android last month.
[Image: Unity]

Capcom slashes prices on PSN, from Okami to Street Fighter

Capcom fans with access to the PlayStation Network have good reason to be excited, as the publisher has unleashed a deluge of discounts on games ranging from classic 2D fighters to modern survival horror epics.

Highlights of the sale include fan-favorite PlayStation 2 crossover fighter Capcom vs SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001 at $5 and Lost Planet 3 at $13.49. The Resident Evil games are likewise discounted, with Resident Evil 4 HD at $6.80, Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition at $15 and the HD remake of Resident Evil: Revelations at a mere $13.49, among other sizable survival horror discounts. Capcom's discounts on Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max and Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen are especially tempting, as both the classic 2D fighter and the uneven but compelling third-person fantasy adventure can be purchased together for less than $10.

For full details on all of Capcom's newly-announced discounts, visit Capcom Unity. Not only are all of the discounted games listed in an easy to read format, but Capcom also links directly to the Sony Entertainment Network, saving potential customers the hassle of looking up each game individually on their Sony console of choice.
[Image: Capcom]

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