Culture
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That bucket came from the moon: Yep, Destiny took the ice bucket challenge

GameStop, Notch, Xbox boss Phil Spencer, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson, Bill Gates and just about everbody else have jumped on the Ice Bucket Challenge bandwagon. So, why not the Ghost from Destiny too? And yep, his notorious catch phrase figures in, too. Apparently video game characters can challenge one another to this — in which people dump buckets of water on their head to raise publicity for ALS research (and/or contribute directly to said philanthropy). Warframe's developers took the plunge and nominated Destiny, which now is obligating Kevin Spacey's character from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Joel from The Last of Us and George Lucas, to take a soaking. Additionally, until Destiny's launch on Sept. 9, Bungie is donating 20 percent of the proceeds from sales at the...
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Sony closing down PlayStation Home in Japan and Asia

Sony is ending PlayStation Home in Japan and Asia but assures western fans of the virtual world that it will continue in their regions. Beginning Sept. 24, virtual items will no longer be for sale in PlayStation Home in Japan; the service there will end completely in March. A PlayStation representative told Game Informer the termination is only in that region. "PS Home in SCEA [Americas] and SCEE [Europe] operates independently, so this announcement does not apply to the service in those territories." PlayStation Home, an attempt to bring a Second Life-type of virtual lifestyle to the PlayStation 3, began in 2008. As of March 2013, it claimed 31 million users, though an account was free to anyone with a PlayStation 3.
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FIFA to crack down on Ultimate Team cheating and coin-farming

Despite banning "hundreds of thousands" of accounts in FIFA's Ultimate Team mode since February, EA Sports says cheating, bot use, and coin farming and selling remains such a problem that they have to warn users they face automatic and permanent bans for certain prohibited activities. FIFA 15, according to lead producer Marcel Kuhn, will deploy with automated systems that recognize these abuses, where in the past they were policed manually. A post today on EA Sports' official site prescribes a "straight red" card — that's a total account ban — issued for any discovered instance of coin selling or farming, or for using exploits to record false match results in FIFA Ultimate Team on PC. "In the past, this banning has been manual and labor intensive," Kuhn told Polygon. "That's part of...
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Sony ending PlayStation Home service in Japan and Asia in 2015

Sony is shutting down PlayStation Home, its virtual hang out space for PlayStation 3, in Japan and Asia territories next year, the company announced today. Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia plans to end PlayStation Home service locally in March 2015 and will end the sale of in-game content on Sept. 24, 2014. Sony announced last year it would no longer provide new content for Home after March 2014. SCEJA is planning to hold a special event for Home users before service ends. A notice from SCEJA says that the shutdown will not affect PlayStation Home service in North America and Europe. PlayStation Home launched in beta in 2008. The service has received numerous updates, including a major overhaul in 2011 that turned Home into a social hub that connected to themed districts. Sony...
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How Dark Souls influenced Alienation, the next game from Resogun's developer

When Housemarque, the creator of Super Stardust HD and the particle-filled PlayStation 4 shooter Resogun, revealed its next game earlier this month, there was no way to know that the twin stick shooter Alienation was influenced by a series of Japanese action role-playing games — but a teaser was in there nonetheless. Mikael Haveri, director of public relations at Housemarque, told the PlayStation Blog that, like a lot of projects at the developer, Alienation began with technological experiments and tinkering, which were also influenced by games developers play. "We happily admit that we do borrow from what we think are some of the greatest games ever, but then we reinvent them in the Housemarque way," Haveri said. "For example, we play a lot of Dark Souls and Demon's Souls, and a lot...
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Solving Silent Hills' playable trailer

P.T., the playable trailer for the upcoming Hideo Kojima-produced Silent Hills, has been stumping players ever since its release on the PS4 on Aug. 12. YouTube user TheGrateDebate appears to have found the solution to the game's enigmatic final puzzle. Players have stumbled on the game's ending — which results in a cinematic trailer for Silent Hills — but until now, no one knew how to get to the ending consistently. Using translated clues from the game, TheGrateDebate found a sequence of triggers that they claim to have reproduced "over 30 times," with consistent results. So, how did they do it? Research, code-breaking, and good old-fashioned detective work. Research, code-breaking, and good old-fashioned detective work First, TheGrateDebate acknowledges what we already knew: that...
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Sony's secretive division is hoping to find the next PlayStation or Walkman

There was a time when the word 'Sony' wasn't just a consumer electronics brand; it carried meaning about innovation and modernity.But for the last 20 years ago, the company has declined, weighed down by its own success and by the ferocious innovation of competitors in the digital world, like Apple. As management-culture has superseded innovation-culture, Sony has sought to build on the success of brands like PlayStation, without really coming up with groundbreaking new ideas. Japanese newspaper Nikkei has looked into a new unit within the company that is aggressively seeking to create new products. Created by Shinji Odajima it invites ideas and applications from Sony employees. So far, he said, response has been overwhelming. A call for auditions was met with 800 replies. The unit is...
Video
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Watch 20 minutes of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain gameplay from Gamescom

In the event that you missed Konami's livestream of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain from Gamescom last week, now's your chance to correct that. Konami uploaded all 20 minutes-plus of its The Phantom Pain walkthrough, showing off all manner of new gameplay features. The new capabilities of Snake's cardboard box are explored in the video, as are some creative ways to use the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system. There's even a tactical horse excrement deployment. For the uninitiated, there's some helpful narration about what's happening in the latest Metal Gear Solid. At Gamescom last week, series creator Hideo Kojima announced that Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and its prologue, Ground Zeroes, are coming to PC via Steam. The Phantom Pain is also bound for PlayStation 3,...
Video
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Destiny launch trailer shows combat readiness

Here's the launch trailer for Destiny. Activision released the trailer this morning, which pulls together many of the game's selling points; grand sci-fi adventure, player choice, fast combat, good looks and seamless multiplayer. Created by Bungie, the studio behind the original Halo series, Destiny will be released on Sept. 9 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. Be sure to read Polygon's full Destiny coverage.
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Clementine will make a stand as The Walking Dead Season Two closes next week

The fifth and final episode of The Walking Dead Season Two, No Going Back, will launch next week, developer Telltale Games announced today. No Going Back will be available for Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Windows PC on Aug. 26, Xbox 360 on Aug. 27 and for iOS on Aug. 28. The announcement was made alongside the release of the season's final trailer, which chronicles the emotional journey of protagonist Clementine and asks players to reflect on the choices they've made for her character. Be warned, the trailer is packed with spoilers for previous episodes in both seasons of Telltale's episodic drama — so you may want to hold off watching until you're all caught up — and includes an all-new scene created specifically for the trailer. The Walking Dead: Season Two episodes are...
News
42 Comments

Sexual conquest and emotional connections in Dragon Age: Inquisition

We've seen plenty of games in which romantic encounters are nothing more than sexual challenges. The player manages a character's actions in order to score, and this is counted as a relationship.It's a dynamic rooted in both the competitive, goal-driven nature of games, and the laddish perspectives of many of the people traditionally making games. But things are changing as games, and the people making them, take a more sophisticated approach. Dragon Age: Inquisition, BioWare's big fantasy role-playing game, focuses on the relationships between the character and the non-player characters he or she encounters throughout the story. Players have latitude about who they wish to spend time with, and how. Simply conquering another's affections, and notching a win on the bed-post, is not the...
Video
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Caped crusader goes kinda nuts in new Lego Batman 3 trailer

A new trailer for TT Games' Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham today shows Batman in a freaky frenzy over his little buddy Robin. There's no explanation about the dark knight's weird behavior, but we do know that many characters in this game are subverted by evil Brainiac as he seeks to take over the world. It just so happens that this trailer is almost entirely focused on Brainiac and his incredible shrinking device, but we also get a song and dance routine from Joker. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will be released on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Wii U, 3DS and Windows PC this fall
Video
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How Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition tricked us into playing Diablo 3 again

Once again, Diablo 3 has buried its brimstone claws into the gaming community — this time in the form of the Ultimate Evil Edition on consoles. What's changed since the action-RPGs last, insidious incarnation? Well, for one thing, the font looks far less menacing, falling far short of the "Ultimate Evil" designation promised on the box. For more insightful insight, check out the Overview video posted above.
Video
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P.T.'s secret radio transmissions may point to a returning Silent Hill tradition

One of the mysteries in Kojima Productions' P.T., the playable teaser for the next Silent Hill game, wasn't much of a mystery to Swedish-language speakers. But those who aren't gifted in the Swedish tongue probably weren't aware of the radio transmission's possible implications. A video recording of the in-game transmission translated by Swedish speakers reveals that a familiar Silent Hill trope might be at play yet again: Everything that happens in P.T. could be the result of the involvement of aliens. Here's the English language translation of what's broadcast in P.T.'s ever-present radio. Close your eyes. Let your ears listen in to the radio. Do you hear my voice? Can you hear the screams of your own soul? Let us choose: my voice, which tells the future, or your tormented...
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Driveclub was delayed due to a 'huge technical issue,' says Yoshida

The decision to delay Evolution Studios' racing game Driveclub from the PlayStation 4 launch window into 2014 was due to a large-scale technical issue, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida told Eurogamer. Driveclub was announced alongside the PS4 console reveal in Feb 2013, with Sony touting the social-focused car title as a launch game. That October, with one month to go before the PS4's Nov. 15 launch, the game was delayed into early 2014. This past April, Sony announced that Driveclub had been delayed again, and instead of launching in "early 2014" the game will hit PS4 on Oct. 7. At the time, Evolution Studios' game director Paul Rustchynsky said the delay was due to problems with "primarily just one feature" — the game's dynamic menu system. "We're excited with what D...
News
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Interest in motion control may have waned, Sony says, but hold onto those Move controllers

The days of motion gaming are more or less behind us, but throwing away your Move controllers is probably not the best idea. "Motion gaming was a big thing but, like with social games, dance games, music or guitar games, I don’t think there’s a lot of appetite for another motion game at this moment," Sony's Shuhei Yoshida said in a recent interview with Pocket-lint. "However, what we are realising ourselves is that PS Move was a bit ahead of its time — a precise and accurate 3D input device. We were very excited about the possibility of using 3D positional tracking to make games, but it’s really hard to do so with a regular 2D screen." It may not be worth holding your breath for another Move-enabled game on the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4, but that hardware does have another...
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