PS Vita

Sound Shapes Includes Three New Beck Tunes

Queasy Games will release DLC for Sound Shapes on March 12, 2013, along with a patch that, among other things, allows players to play through community-created levels offline. Sony confirmed its plans to issue the patch -- out the same day as the DLC -- to PSNStores.com when asked for comment on the DLC (via Joystiq).

The content of the DLC is something of a mystery at the moment for Queasy's Cross-Buy-enabled PlayStation 3/PlayStation Vita game. The music-driven platformer unfolds in a series of multi-level stages, each of which is built around the music of one particular artist. Both Beck and Deadmau5 contribute their own work to the game, which makes many wonder which musical artist will be the focus of the upcoming content pack.

PlayStation Vita Online Modes Revealed: Near, Party, LiveArea, and Activity -- Will This Revolutionize Portable Gaming?

The price of Sony's PlayStation Vita has officially been slashed in Japan. An announcement from the company confirms that the formerly 24,980 yen Wi-Fi model and 29,980 yen Wi-Fi/3G model will both be available for the new, lower price of 19,980 yen (roughly $215) as of February 28, 2013.

Vita purchases will now also include a free one-week trial of PlayStation Plus. Good idea, Sony. There's no word on a possible change to pricing plans outside of Japan, though such an announcement could come on Wednesday when Sony holds its PlayStation Meeting -- the presumed site of the next-gen PlayStation reveal -- in New York City.

Killer Is Dead Confirmed For Summer 2013 Release

XSEED issued a press release this morning detailing its 2013 slate, and sure enough, Grasshopper Manufacture's Killer Is Dead is listed among the upcoming titles. Previously confirmed for release in Japan only, we now know for certain that XSEED will publish the game in North America for a summer 2013 release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles.

That's not all for XSEED in 2013, however. Joining Killer Is Dead this summer is the Nintendo 3DS RPG Rune Factory 4. A pair of PlayStation Vita titles will follow in the fall: Valhalla Knights 3 and Ys: Memories of Celceta. Next up, however, is Ys I & II Chronicles, an enhanced remake of the first two games in the series that is set to hit PCs sometime in February.

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Killzone Mercenary Gameplay Trailer »

Sony finally has something to show from the upcoming PlayStation Vita FPS, Killzone: Mercenary, in the form of a gameplay trailer. The game, developed by Guerilla Games Cambridge, puts players in the combat boots of a mercenary, with players accepting paying assignments from both ISA and Helghast forces.

The trailer release was accompanied by confirmation of the game's release date: September 17, 2013 in North America and a day later in Europe. Those who pre-order the game have a handful of bonuses to look forward to, including 48 hours of double XP and an in-game cash bonus for those just starting out. Don't be surprised if additional retailer-specific bonuses pop up as well in the months ahead.

What is Game Day 2013? That's what Sony wants you to ponder as you watch the above 16 seconds of... something. The clip was posted on the official PlayStation YouTube account yesterday with no supporting info. All we have to go on is a date at the end of the clip, February 1, 2013. Otherwise known as "this Friday."

The safe bet seems to be that this is a God of War-related announcement, based largely on the woman in the clip's Greek-ish dress and the ash that starts to swirl around her toward the end. Why the secrecy though? It's not like you don't know that God of War: Ascension is coming in March. And what does "Game Day 2013" mean? All will be revealed soon enough.


Resident Evil: Revelations

By now you've probably heard that Capcom's Nintendo 3DS-exclusive Resident Evil: Revelations is being remastered for a console release, but now we know that the HD version won't be heading to Sony's PlayStation Vita. Product manager Mike Lunn talked a little about the PlayStation 3 release on PlayStation Blog, and he explained to one commenter the reason for the Vita being left out.

"When we were developing Revelations for new new platforms, we really wanted to hone in on the experience you get with a large format screen, surround sound, etc. This type of setup really helps players get sucked into the horror vibe and enjoy the game to its fullest extent," Lunn wrote. That's a pretty lame thing to hear if you're a PS Vita owner, being that Revelations was originally designed for portable play.

PlayStation Network Now Allows Users To Pay With PayPal

You can now throw handfuls of digitally transferred cash at PSN content available through the Sony Entertainment Network thanks to newly added support for PayPal (via NeoGAF). It seems that money can only be transferred to your Sony wallet via PayPal via the SEN website for the time being, though don't be surprised if the PlayStation Store follows suit in the near future.

Adding cash to your SEN wallet is a pretty simple process, though you'll need access to a web browser. Sign into PlayStation Store account, click the Manage Account link, then the Account tab at the top of the page. You can access you wallet at the left side of the screen from there. Once you opt to add funds to your wallet, the payment options prompt that follows will now include PayPal.

Simple. Some GAF users are reporting issues with transferring funds via PayPal, though this appears to be a temporary problem. Anyone out there have any luck?

Racing fans: MotoGP is back! Italian developer Milestone returns to the simulation-focused series after a few years away with the newly revealed MotoGP '13 (via All Games Beta). The developer last tackled MotoGP '08, after which Monumental Games took over for a pair of releases. Milestone is back now, though it's not clear if Capcom is still handling the publishing duties.

The upcoming game's existence is revealed in the debut trailer up top, though be warned that it doesn't actually show you anything from the game. Between the trailer and the newly launched official website, we know that MotoGP '13 is due for a multi-platform release on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, and PC. 

The website also mentions the existence of a full season mode (w/ MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3) along with an assortment of other modes (2013 World Championship, IRTA Test, Quick Race, Multiplayer). Real-life MotoGP events will also apparently inform the content in some way. There's no release date mentioned, though with big races starting in early April, you can probably expect the game to arrive around then.

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2013 Games Preview: Sly Cooper: Thieves In TimeRelease Date: February 5, 2013

Developer: Sanzaru Games

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platform(s): PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita

Sly Cooper returns! Sanzaru Games takes the reins from series creator Sucker Punch Productions for Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time, the first current-gen offering for the series and the long-awaited follow-up to 2005's PlayStation 2 gem, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. In Sly's latest adventure, players hop back and forth through time as they take control of various Cooper ancestors.

What We Know:

Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time picks up after the events of the previous game, with Bentley's time machine playing an important role in the story. After discovering that the pages of the Thievius Raccoonus are disappearing, Bentley gets Sly and the gang together for a time-jumping tour through the Cooper family tree. In addition to Sly, players will also take control of his Cooper predecessors in various stages, taking advantage of their unique skills to solve a variety of platforming, stealth, and exploration puzzles.

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Retro City Rampage

The latest PlayStation Plus update is live, with both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of Retro City Rampage now available for free to members as part of the Instant Game Collection. The update also lays out a number of member-only price drops as part of Sony's ongoing Holiday Essentials Sale.

PlayStation Network favorites Journey and Papo y Yo both fall under $10 now, with a price tag of $7.35 for each. Zipper Interactive's solid PS Vita shooter Unit 13 is also a lower-priced steal, at $12.94 for PS Plus members. Then there's Duke Nukem Forever, which is still way, way, WAY too expensive at $9.80. Check out the full list over at PlayStation Blog.

Sleeping Dogs

Whatever your chosen form of worship is, life tends to stop in the United States on Christmas Day. Whether that means family time or a day at the movies, you're still going to find yourself with some free time to play with.

Looking back over the video game releases of 2012, there's something of an embarassment of riches. We've gotten some solid games this year, games that surge thanks to original design and fresh spins on old chestnuts. Why not take today to catch up with some of those? Here are five contenders that you could have easily missed as the year unfolded...

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Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable Dated For January 2013

The coming year will officially be kicking off in style, with PlayStation Vita owners in the United States getting a January 8, 2013 treat in the form of Earth Defence Force 2017 Portable. The enhanced port of the Xbox 360 game from 2006 was released in Japan in September 2012, and it's great to see that a localized version was turned around so quickly. Hopefully that'll make for some unintentionally HILARIOUS on-screen text.

When it comes to action games involving big guns fired at bigger alien insects and robots, there's no better example than EDF. It's an interactive guilty pleasure that you don't have to feel guilty about. Why? BECAUSE IT'S STARSHIP TROOPERS: THE GAME. The Vita port adds a few bonuses including series favorite flyer Pale Wing, new enemies, an assortment of new weapons (the list is 230 strong), and online multiplayer for four players in co-op and adversarial modes.

The word that you're looking for is: YES!

Dead or Alive 5 came to consoles in September 2012, but Team Ninja isn't done with the jiggle physics-powered fighter just yet. Next up for Dead or Alive 5: a PlayStation Vita-exclusive port called Dead or Alive 5 Plus.

Details are few at this point, but Team Ninja's Yosuke Hayashi revealed the title of this Sony portable-exclusive in a YouTube announcement posted on IGN Pro League's channel (via Joystiq). Hayashi also confirmed that an updated version of the console release (via a patch) -- presumably adding the Plus enhancements -- will be coming in 2013 as well.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified Review - PSV

Our reviewer Adam "Full Auto, Full Time" Rosenberg sat down with Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified for the PS Vita and came away more disappointed than Raul Menendez's sister at a beauty pageant. Straight forward level design and poor enemy AI? Huge pass.

Here's a snippet from our Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified review:

"The feeling that Declassified's campaign is a souped-up Spec Ops mode lingers after you jump into a mission as well. The franchise's focus on blockbuster spectacle in its campaigns is completely absent, replaced by straightforward running and gunning through a series of bland war-torn urban environments".

Woof. Sounds like this dog don't hunt. Check out the full review.

Have you had a chance to play it yet? Let us know your thoughts on CODBO: Declassified in the comments. Also let me know if I should have used "sounds like this game should have STAYED classified" at any point in this write up. 

Tags: G4, PS Vita

MLB 13 The Show Confirmed For March 2013 Release

Sony has a March 5, 2013 release date set for MLB 13 The Show, which is coming once again to both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita platforms. Enhancements in the coming year's update include features like a revised Playoff Mode with "in-stadium atmosphere that replicates the excitement and tension of October baseball." Woo? More exciting is a new beginner mode, which is hopefully realized as the sort of teaching tool that is sorely lacking in pro sports simulators.

The cover athlete for MLB 13 isn't set yet, and it's not going to be until the players have their say. Sony confirms that The Show's cover athlete will be selected by fans in a "Cover Campaign" that is set to start in "early January." It sounds like the potential candidates will be announced before then, so stay tuned.

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