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PSN Store Update: Damn it Otacon, Get a Grip

Some six years after it hit retail shelves, you can now download Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots from the PlayStation Store. As such, you can now sort of ruin one of the game's most memorable moments. We're of course talking about that tongue-in-cheek bit about the PS3's Blu-Ray capabilities, which arguably loses its edge when you're not playing from a disc. So, it's another Metal Gear Solid moment that only really works when playing the game in its original form. Not that that's a bad thing.

If you don't fancy shelling out $20 on a 30GB-ish download, there is other, fresher stuff on the PS Store. Guilty Gear Xrd Sign is the major new release of the week, and you can grab the fighter for $60 on PS4 and $50 on PS3. Also new on PS4 this week are free-to-play shooter Loadout, Tetris Ultimate ($10), and Super Mega Baseball ($20, cross-buy with PS3)

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Nostalgia attacks first in new Cosmic Star Heroine video

Image Maybe this footage of Zeboyd Games' upcoming PS4 and Vita roleplaying game Cosmic Star Heroine could look more like a time-displaced refugee from the dawn of the 32-bit era if its first moments featured the classic Square logo and Chrono Trigger theme song. But that's a big maybe. [Image: Zebo... Continue Reading

Landmark visual novel Steins;Gate heads west on PS3, Vita next year

Acclaimed Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate will be localized and released in North America and Europe next year for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, publisher PQube announced today.

Taking place on the streets of Japanese electronics shopping district Akihabara, Steins;Gate tells a sci-fi tale in which its characters can change past events by sending text messages through time. The mystery deepens when the cast receives replies from a dystopian future hinting at a world-changing conspiracy revolving around the Large Hadron Collider.

Steins;Gate topped PC sales charts in Japan for many consecutive months following its initial release in 2010, spawning multiple spinoffs and ports for the Xbox 360, PSP, and mobile platforms. While an English-language PC version premiered earlier this year via JAST USA, PQube's upcoming localization will mark Steins;Gate's first appearance on consoles in North America and Europe.

Speaking to Siliconera, PQube head of marketing Geraint Evans revealed that the company is pursuing a retail launch in addition to a digital release via the PlayStation Network. "I'm personally against digital-only releases, so I will do my very best to ensure a physical release happens," Evans stated.

[Image: PQube]

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This week's UK charts are last week's UK charts

It's nearly the time for merriment, which means it's nearly time for the Christmas Doctor Who special. The UK gaming chart is already getting into the festive mood by re-enacting the "Blink" episode. The chart managed to keep its eyes wide open for the whole week, meaning the top five games have stayed in exactly the same position, and nobody's going to get eaten and sent back to the 1920s by sharp-toothed gargoyles. For now.

So, it's (gasp) FIFA 15 on top for the second week running, followed by Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Grand Theft Auto 5, Far Cry 4 and Lego Batman 3. There aren't even any new releases to holler about, so the only real action comes courtesy of Destiny. Bungie's shooter planet-hopped seven places into ninth, no doubt boosted by the new Dark Below expansion.

The top ten below the break may be almost the same, but the customary (and lovably roguish) music video isn't! Don't worry, it's not at all festive; we'll save that ear-bomb for next week.

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New entry in the SaGa series to reach Vita in 2015

RPG fans enamored with the Vita, get to work on your Suidoken ports – Gematsu reports that a new entry in the SaGa series will launch on the Vita within 2015, as was announced during Square Enix's presentation that recognized the series' 25th anniversary. Details are largely absent from the announcing trailer, with concept art from SaGa series character illustrator Tomomi Kobayashi serving as our only real clue as for what to expect.

As far as the event's other announcements, a browser-based PC game called Imperial SaGa was announced for Japan, which will build a new story from worlds featured in previous SaGa games. Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song, the Japanese PS2 remake of the original Romancing SaGa, will also be brought to Japan's PlayStation Store as a PS2 Classic, but plans to offer either Imperial SaGa or Minstrel Song to Western audiences have not been announced.
[Image: Square Enix]

PlayStation Plus' free games totaled more than $1,300 in value per subscription this year

Sony would, of course, like you to see its PlayStation Plus service as a bargain, but how much value does it really add to your gaming life? Well, according to data compiled by UK publication Push Square, quite a lot, actually. After combing through the 2014 selection of games offered as part of the service's Instant Game Collection, Push Square reports that Sony offered $1,349.29 worth of games in North America, and £960.64 worth of games in Europe.

Now, there are some caveats to this data. While the games themselves are free to add to your collection and free to play while you have a current PS Plus subscription ($50 for a year in the US), once your subscription lapses you'll lose access to said games. Push Square's numbers also do not separate games by system, so you only got the full, $1,349.29 value of games if you owned a PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and a PlayStation Vita.

Still, considering that the average monthly Metacritic score (factoring in all games) was 79 for the US and 78 in Europe, as well as the fact that PS Plus also grants subscribers access to discounts, giveaways, Share Play and online multiplayer on PS4, it's not a bad deal. And that's how you (possibly) saved more than $1,200 in 12 months on your game collection.
[Image: Sony]

The Banner Saga hitches a trailer to Vita

Image A Vita version of Stoic Studio's viking RPG The Banner Saga was revealed at Sony's PlayStation Experience event earlier this month, just after the game's sequel was announced. To celebrate the game's forthcoming PlayStation ports, the developer offered a new trailer to reintroduce its story.... Continue Reading

Watch every panel from PlayStation Experience 2014

For those who couldn't make it to Las Vegas this weekend and have a few dozen hours free, Sony has compiled footage of every panel hosted at the recent PlayStation Experience event.

It's not surprising to see that most of the panels focus on flagship PlayStation franchises, but there's still quite a bit of variety available. Retrospectives on both LittleBigPlanet and God of War are hosted by the series' respective development teams, while this discussion on the future of VR technology in gaming features numerous developers discussing their experiences and plans for Sony's Project Morpheus VR initiative. A full list of all 29 panels available can be found at the PlayStation.blog, and you can find the PlayStation Experience keynote embedded beyond the break.

For more from PlayStation Experience, have a look at our full rundown of coverage from the event.
[Image: Sony]

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PS Vita Borderlands 2 bundle $170 at GameStop, Amazon

Christmas is fast approaching, and if you're looking to pick up a PlayStation Vita for a pal (or for yourself, if the Grinch in you overtakes your giving spirit), GameStop and Amazon are both offering a solid discount on a Borderlands 2-bundled limited edition unit.

Normally priced at $199.99, the Borderlands 2 Vita bundle is now up for grabs at both retailers for $169.99. The package includes a slim-model Vita, a voucher code for a downloadable copy of Borderlands 2, and an 8 GB memory card. There's no word on when the package will return to full price, so make sure to pick one up soon if you're in the market for a solid stocking stuffer.

[Image: Sony]

One Final Fantasy X PS4, please! When do you re-purchase a game?

A common lament circled around the Joystiq crew this week, echoing from staffer to staffer like a particularly winsome bird call: "Great! Now I'm going to buy Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster again!" Roughly one year after Square-Enix brought Yoshinori Kitase's freaky love-and-water-basketball story to PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, the package is making the jump to PlayStation 4. Sure it's got "system exclusive" features, but realistically this is the exact same package that came out in 2013. Excusing the thorough and comely graphical makeover, they're also pretty much the exact same games some of us already have for our perfectly functional PlayStation 2s.

This impulse is all part of the plan, of course. Game makers want games on as many platforms as possible to maximize their potential audience, but they also know that their most devoted fans will repeatedly return to the well. Square-Enix happens to be notorious for re-releasing and remaking its games - Final Fantasy IV has been re-released nine times since first coming out not counting digital re-releases of that SNES original - but they're hardly alone in the practice.

The question is: Why do we do it? Sometimes a remaster or re-release represents a significant upgrade or a move to portability, a la The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. Other times, though, it's just the same game on a different machine. Let's pick this one apart together. Take our poll and discuss in the comments.

PlayStation 4, Vita launch in China next month

Sony is bringing the PlayStation 4 and Vita to the Chinese market on January 11, 2015, the company said today. Sony's console retails at 2,899 RMB (around $469), undercutting the Kinect-less Xbox One which launched in September 2014 at 3,699 RMB ($598). As for the Vita, the region's "Slim" PCH-2000 is priced at 1,299 RMB ($210).

After China lifted its 14-year ban on consoles earlier this year, Sony partnered with the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group to bring PlayStation hardware and software to the country. Like Microsoft, Sony is following rules dictating it works with local businesses to produce the systems in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

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Add $60 from PayPal to your PSN wallet, get bonus cash back

Got a PayPal account? Here's an easy way to get some free PlayStation Network cash: Just add $60 to your SEN wallet via PayPal between now and December 16 and you'll get an additional $10 in credit by the end of the month.

Eligible shoppers will receive a PSN code for $10 in wallet credit by December 23, which can then be used to buy games, movies, or anything else featured in the PlayStation Store. You may want to spend your newfound fortune on Strider, Valiant Hearts: The Great War, and other games offered in this week's PSN sale lineup, or you can put it toward new releases like Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and Suikoden 2. Codes expire on January 22.

[Image: Sony]

Even 2014 had a montage - watch a year of gaming in 118 seconds

It's nearly 2015, which means we get to relive the last 12 months of gaming in a lovely 2 minute movie courtesy of Mr. Malcolm Klock. We've featured Malcolm's now traditional end-of-year videos for a while now - thanks, Malcolm! - and as ever we've counted up the total amount of games featured; this year, it's approximately plenty. If you can name all the games in the video, then you'll win a imaginary high five from all of us, to be immediately dispensed by your mind. If you can't, good for you too.

Now, before you say it, this video isn't just last year's but with more p and fps. Noooo, you don't need to download a patch to watch it. It's already preloaded below the break.

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'Severed' from Guacamelee dev reaches Vita in Spring 2015

Drinkbox Studios, the developer behind the stylish Metroidvania beat 'em up Guacamelee, has announced that its next game, Severed, will debut exclusively on the Vita handheld next Spring.

"Filled with ghastly enemies, including three-headed constellations, six-armed swordmasters and beasts made of crows, Severed has players take control of a one-armed heroine wielding a living sword as she knits together pieces of her story from both the past and the future," reads the studio's brief plot description. Aside from a short trailer found beyond the break, gameplay information on Severed is lacking, but Drinkbox claims that, "[P]layers will embark on a journey through a surreal, nonlinear world by using a touch-based combat mechanic to defeat enemies in this first-person adventure."

Why launch the game exclusively on the Vita, when both more powerful consoles and more successful handhelds are available? Drinkbox founder Graham Smith explains. "DrinkBox has a strong relationship working with Sony and we felt Severed's combat and exploration mechanics were a perfect match for the Vita. We hope Vita gamers will fall in love exploring Severed's uncanny world through our gameplay just like they have with our previous games."
[Image: Drinkbox Studios]

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Disney Infinity 2.0 swings to Vita in May with special Spider-Man

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes will arrive on PlayStation Vita in May 2015, Avalanche Software tweeted over the weekend. The Vita version of Disney's latest sandbox game will feature Black Suit Spider-Man, which VP of Production John Vignocchi noted will be exclusive to the Vita's starter pack for the game. The pack will come with a Bluetooth-enabled base and will be compatible with PlayStation TV.

The Vita version will be about eight months late to the party, as Disney Infinity 2.0 first launched in September for a number of other platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U. Disney issued the game as a stand-alone download for returning players last month and confirmed Disney Infinity 2.0 for Vita in June. While Disney Interactive laid off roughly a quarter of its staff in March, the division posted $116 million in annual operating profit in November.
[Image: Disney Interactive]

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