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Sony accepting claims on 2011 PSN data breach settlement

If you were a PSN, Qriocity or Sony Online Entertainment user at the time of the April 2011 Sony hack that disrupted the PlayStation Network for nearly a month and compromised 70 million user accounts, now's your chance to get a piece of the class action settlement levied against Sony last year.

To qualify, you must have held a PSN, Qriocity or Sony Online Entertainment account on or before May 14, 2011. Each service is eligible to receive different claims, but PSN users are able to receive either one or two games - if you already received a free game in Sony's 2011 "Welcome Back" promotion, you're only eligible for one; if not, you're eligible to choose two - from a list that includes standouts like LittleBigPlanet and God of War HD. Notably, none of the games on offer are for the PlayStation 4. If none of the games tickle your fancy, you can instead choose free dynamic themes for your PlayStation 3 or free PlayStation Plus subscription time.

After wading through multiple pages of bureaucratic legalese, you'll find everything you need to make your claim at the PSN-SOE settlement website.
[Image: Sony]

Destiny dev: DLC mistakes won't be repeated

Destiny designer Luke Smith recently addressed concerns over Bungie's future updates for the game. Namely, Smith said "the mistakes [Bungie] made with the DLC1 reward economy will not be repeated," in a NeoGAF thread, admitting the developer's previous attempts at expanding the first-person shooter with add-on content resulted in a few problems for players. Smith claims the developer will avoid mistakes such as "vendor gear invalidating the effort of [Vault of Glass] Raiders" and exotic gear upgrades resulting in a talent reset.

"Our philosophy about rewards/loot continue to evolve as we see how players play and react," Smith wrote. He noted that item drop rates appear to be "much improved" in the Crota's End DLC compared to Vault of Glass, and that Bungie plans to "improve acquisition stories and frequency" as well as "lessen the grind and get players to the fun parts of their arsenal faster." It issued a hot fix for Destiny in December to boost the drop rates for the Crota's End raid mission.
[Image: Activision]

Lady Hammerlock joins Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's playable lineup

Lady Hammerlock, sister to researcher Sir Hammerlock and heir to the family's fortune, will add a bit of class to Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's playable lineup on January 27. Aurelia is included in The Pre-Sequel's season pass, but a related press release notes that fans who prefer to pick up DLC a la carte can also don her fashionable demeanor for $9.99.

Lady Hammerlock's progression branch into Huntress, Cold Money and Contractual Aristocracy skill trees. Huntress focuses on sniping, offering a skill that dishes out critical hit bonuses for each consecutive shot on a target. Cold Money is all about ice damage, as made evident by one of its abilities implementing Cryo damage with any equipped weapon. Contractual Aristrocracy is all about status, as suggested by one of its unlockables reaping Lady Hammerlock bonuses from kills made by her peasant teammates.

When firefights call for desperate measures, Lady Hammerlock's Cold As Ice action skill spawns a Frost Diadem Shard that chases down and latches onto targets, dealing constant damage until they finally keel over so that the shard can move onto its next target.

If you sat out The Pre-Sequel in hopes of a current-gen port but still want to freeze things to death as Lady Hammerlock, don't fret – Borderlands Handsome Collection will include all season pass DLC when it arrives on March 24.
[Image: Gearbox]

PSN Indie game flash sale: Resogun, Brothers, Shadow Warrior

A lineup of more than 60 indie games and various movies are on sale right now on the PlayStation Network as part of a new Flash Sale, the PlayStation Blog has revealed.

From now until Monday, January 26 at 9:00am, titles like the PS4 original downloadable indie title Resogun, Joystiq favorite Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and the modern revival of Shadow Warrior and more are available for up to 80% off. The sale features games across the PS4, PS3 and Vita libraries.

A handful of movies are also discounted as part of the deal, including Snowpiercer and The Raid 2.
[Image: Sony]

EA snitches on Battlefield Hardline, reveals maps and modes

Following a raid by local authorities, informants at publisher EA were compelled to give up detailed information on the multiplayer maps and game modes included in the upcoming cops versus robbers shooter Battlefield Hardline.

The nine maps included in Battlefield Hardline all seem either ripped from a Michael Mann heist film or from one of the earlier, military-focused Battlefield games. Bank Job centers around an imposing financial institution that must be relieved of its cash, Hollywood Heights is populated by expansive houses likely belonging to media moguls and hip hop artists and Riptide is an ocean-front map that continues the Battlefield series' long-running fascination with gun battles set against a tidal backdrop. There's also a map called "Growhouse," but we're guessing you can figure out what happens there. A full rundown on each of the maps can be found on the game's website.

Battlefield Hardline will include seven gameplay modes, ranging from the classic to the wholly novel. Conquest is a Battlefield mainstay mode that pits teams of players (up to 64 in total) against one another in a battle to see who can control certain areas of the map. Blood Money, by contrast, is a new mode where both cops and robbers attempt to swipe money from the opposing teams' vault while gunfire rages all around. Perhaps the most intriguing new mode is Hotwire, a vehicle-focused addition in which the criminal team attempts to steal a list of cars while the cops try to stop them with extreme prejudice, leading to the sorts of high-speed gunfights pictured above. Full details on the game modes found in Battlefield Hardline can also be found on the game's website.

Battlefield Hardline is slated to launch on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC on March 17.

Jon Snow brings lack of knowledge to Game of Thrones Episode 2

The second episode of Telltale's six-part Game of Thrones saga debuts early next month, starting February 3 for PC, Mac, PS4 and PS3. Titled "The Lost Lords," the episode is also coming to Xbox One and 360 on February 4, iOS on February 5 and Android at a later date.

The Lost Lords continues the story of House Forrester, a Westeros family who in history have aligned with the Starks - not always the wisest alignment, it has to be said. Telltale's game is interwoven with HBO's TV series, and the plot takes place between the end of the third season and the start of the fifth.

If you've played the first episode then you've already had a few chit-chats with Cersei Lannister, her brother Tyrion, Margaery Tyrell and the huggably lovely Ramsay Snow. As the teaser trailer below the break reveals, another Snow is coming to the game in Episode 2.

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Pelicans' Holiday is T-Rexing in NBA 2K15 glitch video


We're fairly certain that New Orleans Pelicans basketball player Jrue Holiday has perfectly functional arms in real life. As demonstrated by YouTube user wEEman33, it appears that NBA 2K15 disagrees. As seen in the video shared shared above, a recent glitch in the game caused Holiday's arms to seemingly retreat into his body following a server-side update to its MyTeam mode, leaving his hands to jut out from his shoulders like fish fins with opposable thumbs. To make matters worse, the shirtless Holiday was also missing part of his torso and occasionally disappeared, but none of it stopped him from sinking multiple three-point shots.

According to Operation Sports, the special armless "Sapphire" version of Holiday no longer exists, as Visual Concepts issued a patch to squash the bug yesterday. 2K Sports' basketball game is no stranger to horrifying glitches; NBA 2K15's face-scanning feature resulted in numerous monstrosities for created players. The publisher had fun with the issue, offering fans Halloween masks based on the face-scan glitch to print out and wear.
[Image: 2K Sports]

Alien: Isolation: One million sold, scared

Publisher Sega and developer Creative Assembly are indirectly responsible for one hell of a laundry bill, as it was announced today that Alien: Isolation has officially sold one million copies worldwide. Accounting for at least one million players, and factoring in regular sessions with Alien: Isolation's precision engineered terror, we're talking millions of soiled undergarments. We're not aware of any spikes in detergent sales, but it seems like a given.

We're rather fond of Alien: Isolation here at Joystiq, where the game stealthily crept into our top ten games of 2014.

Joystiq Streams: Resident Evil HD bites back plus free PS4/PC copies!

A whole lot of superstars in this game here tonight, but I want you all to know one thing: This is Resident Evil in high definition. Whose blood? Chris' blood. I said whose blood? Chris' blood! Y'all know what time it is!

While the impossible dream of a Resident Evil soundtracked entirely by classic Run DMC cuts remains elusive, the HD remaster of Capcom's Gamecube classic is a sweet, sweet reality this week. After 13 years restricted to Nintendo's SD consoles, the hardest, prettiest version of the survival horror game is finally playable on more modern machines. How does it stack up? Do the new controls make it too easy? Is this indeed Chris' blood and will we ever discover the ingredients in a Jill sandwich? Join us and find out.

We're streaming Resident Evil on PC starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch. This will be a New Game+ run so some fresh costumes will be on display as well. Plus: we're giving away a few copies of the game on PC and PS4. Join us!

Joystiq.com/Twitch broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST. It's Wednesday, you say? That's right! We stream all the time at random times so follow us on Twitch to never miss a show.

Lawsuit alleges EA infringed on sports stadium update patent

White Knuckle IP filed a lawsuit late last week against EA, alleging that the publisher infringed on a patent that focuses on methods for updating sports games based on real-life changes. The suit referred to U.S. Pat. No. 8,529,350, which described methods that record real-world parameters, then store those elements on a server so players can download them to update their games. The patent dates back to October 2002.

While the patent is related to another one that deals with updating an athlete's statistics and skills based on real-life performance, the lawsuit focuses on changes to the appearance and attributes of stadiums and venues. The lawsuit specifically targets games in EA Sports' NCAA Football and Tiger Woods PGA Tour series, from NCAA Football 10 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 through the last respective entries, NCAA Football 14 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14. According to Patent Arcade, White Knuckle "did not identify any specific feature in its complaint."
[Image: EA Sports]

Exo Zombies invade Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer


The latest trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare shows off the game's upcoming downloadable content, Exo Zombies. Arriving as part of the first content pack, Havoc, Exo Zombies features the voice acting talents of John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, Rose McGowan and Jon Bernthal. The Havoc DLC pack will launch on January 27 for Xbox One and Xbox 360. Havoc also includes four multiplayer maps, the AE4 assault rifle and Widowmaker custom variant.

While the Havoc DLC can be purchased separately for $15, season pass holders will receive the pack at no additional charge. Advanced Warfare's $50 season pass grants access to three other pieces of downloadable content: Ascendance, Supremacy and Reckoning. Activision struck a deal with Microsoft to bring Advanced Warfare DLC to the Xbox platforms before it arrives on other systems, so the publisher has yet to offer a release date for Havoc on PS4, PS3 or PC.

Evo 2015 line-up announced, double helping of Smash

Super Smash Bros Wii U and Melee are two of the nine games already confirmed for this year's Evolution Championship Series. As revealed during last night's Twitch stream, the line-up for Las Vegas this July also includes returning games Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ultra Street Fighter 4 and Killer Instinct, The remaining four games are new for this year, and they are Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, Guilty Gear Xrd Sign, Mortal Kombat X and Tekken 7.

Recent years have seen more games added closer to the event, though a roster of nine is already on the high end for an EVO championship. Whatever the full line-up proves to be, it's coming to the Bally's/Paris Las Vegas Casino, where the world's fighting game specialists will duke it out across July 17-19.

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PSN Store Update: Stop It Don't Open That Door Edition

This week's headline new release on PSN is definitely Saints Row: Gat out of Hell, the $20 standalone follow-up to Saints Row 4. PS3 and PS4 owners can both get their Gat on, but the latter group can also get it in a $50 bundle with SR4: Re-elected. The visually enhanced, DLC-stuffed PS4 version of Saints Row 4 is also available on its own for $30.

This week's other big deal is also a remaster, but of a much, much less recent game. The PS4 and PS3 edition of the first Resident Evil brings the S.T.A.R.S. into HD, and at an asking price of $20. Since it's a remaster of the GameCube game, itself a remake, we'll just have to reminisce about the original's memorably awful voice acting.

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Plex media streaming app arrives on PS4, PS3

Plex, the personal media streaming service, can now send content directly to the PlayStation 4 and PS3 with a new app now available on the PSN.

The program allows users to stream media from their computers to any Plex-ready device, including mobile phones, tablets and now the PlayStation home console ecosystem. While the service may not mean much to PS3 users – since that console has its own built-in media server support – a Plex debut on PS4 means users can now use the console as a hub for their own downloaded media content.

There is a catch, of course: Plex streaming to PlayStation consoles is only available for Plex Pass subscribers, which is priced at $5 a month ($40 year, $150 lifetime). The app "will be made available, for a fee, to those without a Plex Pass" in the future, a post on the PlayStation Blog revealed.

The PlayStation Blog says the app is available in the US, Canada and Latin America. On the Plex website, the company notes a select number of other regions where the app will be available, including the UK. The Plex site also reveals a few additional details, such as the PS3's limitation of streaming 720p content using the app and the Plex on PlayStation's lack of support for the MKV file format and DTS audio.

At launch, Plex on PlayStation will only support video content, but music and photo streaming "will be coming shortly."
[Image: Plex]

PlayStation exclusive TV show 'Powers' debuts in March

The PlayStation-exclusive original series Powers will debut on March 10, the PlayStation Blog has announced. The series will span ten episodes, with the first episode available for free to all PSN account holders. PlayStation Plus subscribers will have access to the complete season.

Based on the ongoing Image Comics series from writer Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man) and artist Michael Avon Oeming (Judge Dredd), Powers is a police-procedural set in Chicago where two homicide detectives investigate cases involving citizens with superhuman abilities.

The series stars District 9 standout Sharlto Copley as Christian Walker, a former superhero who becomes a detective after he loses his powers, and his partner Deena Pilgrim, played by The Following's Susan Heyward. Eddie Izzard portrays the villainous character Wolfe. Watch a trailer for the series after the break.
[Image: Sony]

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