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Nintendo unveils 'new' 3DS, 3DS XL

Nintendo announced 'new' models of the 3DS and 3DS XL during this morning's Direct stream for Japan. The new versions feature a small "C-stick" analog pad on the right hand side above SNES-like colored face buttons. During the presentation, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata compared the pad to the GameCube controller's own yellow analog C-stick.

The new devices also have revised dimensions, as shown below the break. They also have NFC-tech built in, meaning they can communicate with Amiibo figurines (like the ones for Super Smash Bros.) without need of an extra device. There's also a new Micro SD slot underneath the base cover.

The new models will be available in Japan starting October 11, with the new 3DS priced 16,000 yen (around $154) and the new 3DS XL 18,800 yen ($181). The new 3DS XL will be available in Metallic Blue and Metallic Black, and the new 3DS in White and Black.

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Xenoblade's Shulk confirmed for Super Smash Bros.

Xenoblade Chronicles hero Shulk was confirmed for Super Smash Bros. this morning in Japan's Nintendo Direct, giving more credence to the alleged leaked images and videos showing Bowser Jr and the Duck Hunt dog as part of the fighter's roster. Check out Shulk's reveal trailer below the break

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Watch Japan's 3DS-focused Nintendo Direct right here

Today's Nintendo Direct on 3DS games may be only for Japan, but it will probably feature games that will make their way abroad. Last time Nintendo of Japan had a 3DS-focused Direct we saw plenty of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Final Fantasy Explorers, the former confirmed for the West and the other looking likely to follow it. As for what will trickle down today's stream... who knows. Hopefully more imagery of Nintendo executives dressed up like game characters. Who we are kidding? Of course that will happen.

To watch today's stream right here on Joystiq, get your fine self below the break at 4AM PT (7AM ET/midday UK). If you miss it don't fret, because we'll have the replay up ASAP, as well as the relevant news on the site.

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New Nintendo eShop releases: Layton vs Phoenix Wright, Mega Man X3

There's a good helping of eShop eStuff to tuck into this week, both on Wii U and 3DS. On the portable side, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright features two characters who were born to point together - check out our review for a more nuanced analysis. Also, Azure Striker Gunvolt pumps Mega Man-inspired side-scrolling action onto the 3DS, complete with Mighty No. 9 crossover mini-game.

Talking of the (original) blue bomber, Mega Man X3 coming to Wii U completes the Nintendo set of X games on the system. If you prefer your platforming a bit more vertical and underground, Steamworld Dig may be the Wii U game for you.

As ever, the full list of new releases is below the break. On the sales side, Capcom has a decent-sized one this week across Wii U and 3DS, and Splinter Cell Blacklist will be permanently reduced from $40 to $20 starting September 1.

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Gone Home going to Wii U, says Nintendo manager

For more on Gone Home, check out our review. (The Unite 2014 video is below the break as well as the text from the image for anyone who has difficulty reading it.)

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Twitch out-ranks cable news networks, MTV at times

Amazon certainly thinks that Twitch is a good investment, as it just spent nearly $1 billion to buy Twitch and all of its live-game-streaming accoutrement. It turns out Twitch stacks up well against a lineup of cable networks, drawing in more viewers than HLN, CNN, E!, MSNBC, TruTV and even MTV during peak hours, The New York Times reports.

Twitch's viewership has been on the rise since 2012, topping out at nearly 800,000 primetime viewers this year. However, going by hours of content viewed per month, Twitch pales in comparison with Netflix and YouTube. Netflix is roughly eight times larger than Twitch, and Youtube is 24 times larger, NYT says.

We've reported on some numbers from Twitch recently as well: In February, Twitch hit 1 million active monthly users and it replaced Justin.tv (now defunct) as the company's corporate name; 1.1 million users participated in the first Twitch Plays Pokemon event, drawing 36 million views; during the week of E3 2014, Twitch pulled down 12 million unique views.
[Image: Twitch]

PAX10 Humble Flash Bundle discounts the showstoppers

The PAX 10 Humble Flash Bundle is live for five days and offers a lineup of really cool independent games that have been featured at PAX Prime over the years. Up for any price you feel like paying is Badland Premium, Solar 2, Containment: The Zombie Puzzler and Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony Deluxe Pack, plus a DigiPen three-pack including Deity, A Flipping Good Time and Solace. Pay more than the average to add in Fez and The Swapper. Throw down more than $15 and get Cannon Brawl (Early Access version) and Life Goes On, too.

Life Goes On is a selection in this year's PAX 10, while the rest are pulled from 2011 and upward. The PAX 10 Humble Flash Bundle supports, in part, Child's Play Charity.

We'll have all the news and previews live from PAX Prime 2014 right here.
[Image: Humble Bundle]

Home dev's oddly romantic sci-fi adventure, Alone With You

Alone With You is a sci-fi exploration and adventure game that throws off creepy and romantic vibes in equal measure. Coming from Benjamin Rivers, the creator of horror game Home, this sounds just about right. Alone With You is due out in 2015 for PS4 and Vita.

You're the last living member of a terraforming party on a planet that's due to implode in a month's time. The escape pod is broken, it's the only one left, and everyone who would know how to fix it is dead. The colony's AI is still on, and with its help, you recreate the missing party members to fix the pod and get the heck out of Dodge.

"As for the romance?" Rivers writes on the PlayStation Blog. "Well, let's just say that recreating your former colleagues might not be as straightforward as you imagine; they may be interested in more than just technical details. No matter who you are, you'll be able to take a crack at love – and your choices will affect how the story ultimately plays out."
[Image: Benjamin Rivers]

Back To Bed cuddles up with iOS, Android today

Following a recent PC debut, surrealist puzzler Back To Bed is now available on Android and iOS mobile devices.

Described as a "bizarre mix of Salvador Dali, M.C. Escher and David Lynch," Back To Bed casts players as a subconscious manifestation named "Subob" as he attempts to guide his narcoleptic real-world body through a dreamscape of deadly obstacles. To aid in this quest, developer Bedtime Digital Games has crafted new controls for the mobile version, offering players a choice between standard touchscreen navigation and a virtual controller.

If the above has piqued your interest, you can purchase Back To Bed from either the iOS or Android app stores. Regardless of which platform you prefer, the dreamy puzzle game is priced at $4.
[Image: Bedtime Digital Games]

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Amazon Digital End of Summer Sale: Half off Civ 5, Titanfall

To celebrate the waning summer months and the return to temperatures that won't cause small children to burst into flame, Amazon has instituted massive discounts on a huge number of gaming items in what it has dubbed the "Digital End of Summer Sale."

Highlights of the promotion include a 50 percent discount on hyper-addictive strategy game Civilization 5: Complete Edition which reduces its price from $50 to $25. Respawn Entertainment's flagship giant robot shooter Titanfall has also had its price cut in half, from $40 to $20. Not content to solely discount games, the Digital End of Summer Sale also offers deals on in-game currency for various online worlds. Star Wars: The Old Republic players can grab 5500 Cartel Coins for $35 while EVE Online fans can add 2 Plex to their accounts for $31.50.

The above discounts only represent a small fraction of the 339 items available in the Digital End of Summer Sale. For more, visit the sale's Amazon page. Hurry though, these discounts expire on September 1.
[Image: EA]

Nidhogg takes the duel on the road in upcoming Vita version

Developer Messhof has announced that its cult-hit, minimalist fighting game Nidhogg will soon coat Sony's Vita handheld in a thick layer of pixelated blood.

Nidhogg drops players into a high-speed duel between two sword-wielding fighters rendered in simplistic pixels. Despite its humble appearance, the game boasts tight controls, acrobatic moves and intuitive physics, which make combat a frenetic, tense experience. The combat mechanics are easy to learn, but difficult to master, and they're perfect for multiplayer combat, especially with a large group taking turns murdering the pixelated duelists. Happily, the Vita version of Nidhogg allows for both local and online multiplayer combat.

While there's currently no word on when we can expect Nidhogg to reach the Vita, Messhof notes that the handheld game is being developed in conjunction with its PlayStation 4 counterpart. The two versions of Nidhogg should be released simultaneously and both feature Cross-Buy compatibility for those with a surplus of Sony's gaming devices.
[Image: Messhof]

Dust: An Elysian Tail swishes to PS4 in 1080p, 60fps

Dust: An Elysian Tail is getting a second shot at console stardom in the near future when Dean Dodrill's anthropomorphic action exploration game jumps to PlayStation 4. Dodrill announced the new port via the PlayStation Blog on Thursday, allowing Fidget, the game's lovably freaky cat-bat character thing, to cover the pertinent details.

"Imagine a 2D side-scrolling platformer, with crazy-fast swordplay and screen-clearing MAGIC supplied by yours truly. There are power-ups! Special abilities! Hidden passages! A whole world of STUFF to find!" says Fidget, clearly still enthused about her first project as a freaky cat-bat thing.

"Now, if you can, imagine all this awesomeness is hand-drawn like an old animated movie from the 80s and 90s, but with art at crazy high resomolutions! Like, 1080p! People tell me that's pretty darn good! Also, 60fps. I'm guessing that's some sort of speed? Like, the speed of awesome? I don't know much about these things, though. I mean, look at my hands! I'm not plugging anything into expensive TVs with these ham-hocks."

Dust was originally released on Xbox 360 in 2012 to critical acclaim, after Dodrill built the game largely on his own starting in 2008. The Metroid-style quest eventually released on Windows, Mac, and Linux as well.
[Images: Humble Hearts]

The scoop on Elder Scrolls Online's Dragonstar arena

ESO
When The Elder Scrolls Online's fourth update arrives next month, a new type of content will open to players: themed PvE arenas. The first of 10 such arenas, Dragonstar, is the subject of a new developer essay on the official site today.

The Dragonstar Arena is located in Craglorn and will pit a group of four players against five waves of monsters with "escalating intensity," though not necessarily escalating numbers; ZeniMax promises there will be no "cannon fodder" to waste your time. Hazards inside the arena -- like poisonous clouds, lava flows, and immobilizing blizzards -- will further impede groups' progress through the challenges.

ZeniMax says that arenas are intended to provide difficult combat encounters and elite rewards to small, highly skilled groups, but more casual players can skip Veteran mode for normal mode if they choose. We've included the brief Dragonstar arena trailer below.

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Games with Gold in September: Super Time Force, Halo: Reach

Xbox Live's Games with Gold rolls into a new month with Super Time Force and Crimson Dragon free on Xbox One starting on September 1. Super Time Force takes the place of August's Strike Suit Zero, and Crimson Dragon carries over into another month of high-flying, scaly action.

Xbox 360 Gold members get Monaco: What's Yours is Mine for free from September 1 - 15, and Halo: Reach for free from September 16 - 30. Happy shooting, flying, sneaking and reaching this September!
[Image: Capy]

Ska Studios shifts to Sony after 6 years on Xbox

Ska Studios has been around for seven years, and during six of those it's had a close relationship with Microsoft. All of its games, from The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai to Charlie Murder, have launched on Xbox 360 or Windows Phone only. Dead Samurai won the Dream Build Play competition in 2007, serving as a catalyst for Ska's tight partnership with Microsoft.

"I've said it before: XBLA literally made all of my dreams come true," Ska founder James Silva said in 2012.

And now for the twist: Ska's first next-gen game, Salt and Sanctuary, will launch exclusively on Sony's PS4 and Vita. James and Michelle Silva, Ska's artist and community manager, made the announcement today.

"There were a bunch of factors that led to us deciding to publish Salt and Sanctuary with Sony, but it really came down to an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm from them," James told Joystiq in an email. "They loved Salt and Sanctuary, they loved our previous work, and maybe most importantly, they offered us Pub Fund support; after a bit of talking it became apparent that working together just made an insane amount of sense to us as both a business decision and a creative decision."

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