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Sony ups loss forecast to $2 billion following smartphone struggles

Sony is now forecasting a 230 billion yen ($2.15 billion) loss for the fiscal year ending in March 2015, a revision nearly five times more than the company previously projected. The Japanese electronics giant was expecting a 50 billion yen loss, but today it announced it's downgrading the value of its mobiles business by 180 billion yen ($1.68 billion) following an internal review.

Sony began the review in July after cutting forecast smartphone sales by 14 percent following a sluggish opening quarter. The mobile business' "mid-range plan" is now no longer focused on growth, but instead designed to "reduce risk and volatility, and deliver more stable profits."

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Report: Final Fantasy 15 demo in 2015, Type-0 HD release date

Players can sample Final Fantasy 15 next year through a downloadable demo, according to a now removed Game Informer post. The report claimed the demo is titled Episode Duscae - a name Square Enix trademarked earlier this year - and it features some opening sections from the PS4 and Xbox One game. Square Enix hasn't as yet announced a Final Fantasy 15 demo, and we've reached out to the publisher for clarification. The JRPG wasn't included in Square Enix's announced Tokyo Game Show line-up, but today's report will fuel speculation that'll it'll nonetheless appear in some form at the Japanese expo this week.

Game Informer also reported a March 17 release date in North America for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, the PS4 and Xbox One port of the 2011 PSP game released only in Japan. The post said the game includes a voucher for the Final Fantasy 15 demo, adding, "A representative from Square Enix could not confirm that the demo will be available the exact same day as Type-0 HD, but it will be coming to both PS4 and Xbox One when it does release."

We'll update this story as we learn more.

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Blood Bowl dev launching football simulator next week

Blood Bowl developer Cyanide Studio announced the impending launch of its new sports management game today, Front Page Sports Football. The PC simulation game has players managing a fictitious football team, picking from over 2,300 plays to lead their franchise to gridiron glory. Squad members rely on over 20 skills such as speed, agility and morale, each influencing the effectiveness of plays called by armchair coaches.

The game marks a resurgence in Sierra Online's American football management series of the same name that spanned 1992 to 1999, though Sierra is not involved in the latest game. Cyanide Studio announced Front Page Sports Football in July, and is also working on a Blood Bowl sequel in addition to its stealth game, Styx: Master of Shadows. Images of Front Page Sports Football's menu-heavy interface can be seen in the gallery below, or when the game launches next Thursday, September 25 for $19.99 (€19.99, £14.99). It's not the only upcoming football simulation game, as the developers behind the Out of the Park Baseball management series plans to launch Beyond the Sideline Football in 2015 with full NFL licensing support.

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Dementium series developer obtains sequel rights

Developer Renegade Kid has reacquired control of its Dementium series, a horror-focused intellectual property that birthed two frightening games on the Nintendo DS. Renegade Kid co-founder Jools Watsham took to Twitter to announce the deal:

The first game in the series, Dementium: The Ward, was distributed by publisher GameCock, which has since shuttered. Its sequel and the IP was then handled by SouthPeak Interactive, which had published the first game in Europe. Developer Renegade Kid has since gone on to create the Mutant Mudd series and the episodic 3DS game Moon Chronicles.

"We have always retained ownership of the Dementium IP," Watsham told me. "SouthPeak used to have first right of refusal on sequels, but that is no longer the case."

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Monaco, Race the Sun join Humble Indie Bundle 12

Three new games have been added to Humble Indie Bundle 12, the digital distributor has revealed. Monaco, a co-op heist game; Race the Sun, a super-fast minimalistic racer; and The Bridge, a 2D logic puzzle game.

All three games have been added to the "pay more than the average" category for the pay-what-you-want bundle. Spending more than $7.76 – the current average price, as of press time – earns the three bonus games along with the bundle's initial offerings of SteamWorld Dig, Hammerwatch and Gunpoint.

In all, buyers have the potential to land ten independent games for $10. Proceeds of each sale can be split between game developers, the Electronic Frontiers Foundation and the charity organization Child's Play.
[Image: Pocketwatch Games]

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai Deluxe is Japan's Remix

Hatsune Miku is all about music and love, and she wouldn't want anyone – or any country – to feel left out. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai Remix is due out on 3DS in western territories in 2015, but it's also heading to Japan as Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai Deluxe, scheduled to launch in spring 2015.

The new Project Mirai is a "complete" version of Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2, which launched in Japan in 2013. Project Mirai Remix is the first time Hatsune Miku will appear on 3DS in the western world, following recent series launches on Vita and PS3 with the Project Diva games. Project Diva F 2nd is due out on western PS3s and Vitas this fall.
[Image: Sega]

Borderlands reclaims its online co-op prowess via Steamworks

With just weeks to go before Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! brings people back to the Skag-infested wastes of Pandora, now's the perfect time to revisit the original Borderlands. Thanks to a fresh migration to Steamworks servers, PC players can actually get the full four-player co-operative Borderlands experience again.

Borderlands was in danger of going offline earlier this year when Glu Mobile announced that it would be closing GameSpy's online gaming services once and for all. 2K Games had a sizable catalog of online games that were scheduled to shut down alongside GameSpy in May 2014, but Borderlands was one of the few that 2K planned to salvage and migrate to a new platform by Summer 2014. With less than a week left in the summer, 2K announced that Borderlands is now playable online via Steamworks.

Borderlands has been updated for Steam in a number of ways, small and large. In addition to a news ticker offering updates on tweaks to Steamworks support for the game, SecuROM copy protection has been removed. Support for retail disc versions of the game meanwhile has been added, so anyone with an actual physical copy won't be left out.
[Images: 2K Games]

Mortal Kombat X controllers from PDP are lopsided, not final

Gaming accessory manufacturer PDP is working on new gamepads designed specifically for Mortal Kombat X, and the company showed off designs for Xbox One and PS4 at GameStop Expo last week. Iron Galaxy Community Manager Alex Jebailey snapped some photos of the gamepads and posted them on Instagram.

The controllers displayed at the conference featured six big buttons on the stumpy right side of the gamepad – A, B, X, Y, LB and RB for Xbox One – and a directional stick on the left side. It's not an analog stick, PDP told IGN. "The stick that you see is actually a series of micro-switches as well (just like the buttons), not an analog stick. It helps to bring the player closer to the classic arcade feel."

PDP clarified that the gamepads shown at GameStop Expo were not final products. "The Mortal Kombat X controller that we showed at the GameStop Expo is still in development, so platforms have not been finalized," PDP said. "We like to work with the manufacturers to get a licensed product when possible. The controllers are designed along the lines of our VS Fight Pads which came out for the Xbox 360 and PS3 a few years back."

Mortal Kombat X is due out on April 14, 2015, for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.
[Image: PDP]

PSN Tuesday: Murasaki Baby, Fibbage

This week's PlayStation Store update brings a handful of games to PS4 that began life elsewhere. The future-set strategy game Anomaly 2 arrives ($14.99) after first emerging on PC and mobile platforms, alongside a "special edition" of the originally PS3/Vita exclusive rhythm game, KickBeat ($9.99). Fibbage ($6.99), a local co-op party game that first launched on Xbox One, is also now available for PlayStation platforms.

The marquee game of this week's release list is Murasaki Baby ($14.99), a Vita-only platforming title that Sony put in the spotlight during its Gamescom 2013 presentation. A Joystiq review for the game is forthcoming.

For more PlayStation Store updates, including details on a number of discounted items across all platforms, check the official PlayStation Blog.
[Image: Sony Europe]

Conan O'Brien tackles Minecraft dev's $2.5B acquisition

Image We covered the events leading up to Microsoft's purchase of Minecraft developer Mojang this week, but didn't stop to consider how its creators plan to spend all that cash. Comedian Conan O'Brien addresses this vital issue in the clip above, making Notch's motives much clearer. Good job, Minecraft... Continue Reading

First Bloodborne alpha invites roll out to Europe

Alpha testing invites for Bloodborne are now appearing in select email inboxes. Joystiq's own Sinan Kubba received an invite to the "small-scale test," which features early access to the game and "a sample of its online features," according to the email.

Those that would like to take part in the testing phase for From Software's next sort-of-like-Dark Souls game can apply on the PSN Beta page. The trial is for European players only, as invites are granted at SCEE's discretion. The enrollment period ends on Tuesday, September 23 at 11:59am BST (6:59am EST). Bloodborne will launch on February 5 in Japan and early 2015 in Europe.
[Image: From Software]

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SingStar: Ultimate Party takes the stage in Europe next month


Sony's decade-spanning karaoke game SingStar: Ultimate Party will debut in Europe next month for the PlayStation 3 and PS4, director Chris Bruce revealed today.

In a first for the series, SingStar: Ultimate Party lets players use their smartphone's mic to sing in-game songs, though the game still features support for dedicated microphone peripherals. SingStar Ultimate Party's 30-song tracklist includes modern classics like Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" and TLC's "No Scrubs" alongside more recent fare like One Direction's "Best Song Ever" and Pharrell Williams' "Happy," with hundreds of additional tracks available for purchase from the PlayStation Store.

A retail version of SingStar: Ultimate Party will launch alongside a major update for the standalone SingStar app in Europe on October 29. A North American release date has not been announced.

[Video: Sony]

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX going free-to-play on iOS

An iOS version of Bandai Namco's high-octane Pac-Man remake Pac-Man Championship Edition DX has soft-launched in New Zealand, suggesting that a worldwide App Store release is imminent.

Released as a downloadable title for consoles in 2010, Championship Edition DX retrofits Pac-Man's classic gameplay with chain-based scoring mechanics and mazes that continually evolve throughout each play session. The iOS edition is free-to-play, and introduces an energy-refilling mechanic that limits the number of available lives and bombs before requiring players to either wait or pay to recharge.

A worldwide release date for the iOS version of Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is not yet known.

[Image: Bandai Namco]

Joystiq Streams: New Gauntlet needs a workout badly



All these space wizards and Dinklages and space balls telling us about our Destiny as conqueror of the darkness have exhausted us. Now we thirst for simpler pleasures. No more moon wizards! Just regular wizards, who are mightily hungry and may or may not need food in the immediate future. The Joystiq crew is going old school today, diving into an early build of the newly resurrected Gauntlet!

Joystiq.com/Twitch will be broadcast a piping hot plate of Gauntlet one week before its release, starting today at 4:00PM EST. Jess Conditt (@JessConditt), Alexander Sliwinski (@Sliwinski), and Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello) will dive into the game blind with absolutely no clue how to succeed! Come and talk to us as we wonder what the hell we're supposed to do with all these arrows.

That's Joystiq.com/Twitch at 4:00PM EST, just like we broadcast every Tuesday and Thursday. Want to catch our irregular streams like last week's all-staff Destiny roundtable? Make sure to follow us on Twitch, Facebook, and Twitter!
[Images: WBIE]

Killzone: Shadow Fall drops three new multiplayer maps

Sony dished out three free maps for Killzone: Shadow Fall today, the publisher's FPS that launched with the PS4 last November. One of the maps is The Statue, a competitive affair that takes place at a Scolar Visari memorial statue surrounded by scaffolding. A trailer for The Statue map can be found after the break.

The other two maps, The ATAC Tower and The Canal, feature cooperative multiplayer action. Players that want to check out those two levels must also own Killzone: Shadow Fall Intercept, either in its add-on expansion form or the standalone version. The DLC launched in June, while the lone Intercept download arrived last month. For an extensive look at Intercept, check out our archived stream of the DLC from July.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 112: Danganronpa 2, Azure Striker Gunvolt, downtime & future games

Latest episode: Friday, September 12th, 2014

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