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Sonic Team will release untitled Project Sonic on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and NX in Holiday 2017

As promised, Sonic Team announced their next Sonic the Hedgehog game during the Sonic 25th Anniversary Party. The untitled game is known internally as Project Sonic, and a short trailer was revealed during the Comic-Con event.

We didn’t learn much about the game, but the video did show Sonic dashing through a post-apocalyptic landscape where he was eventually joined by “Classic Sonic” from Sonic Generations, so we might be looking at a sequel to that game.

Sega promised to announce additional information about Project Sonic “at a later date,” but for now, they’ve confirmed it’ll be released for the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo’s upcoming NX console during the 2017 holiday season.

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Sega will release Sonic Mania, a 2D Sonic game with remixed classic levels, in Spring 2017

While we already knew that Sonic Team would talk about their next Sonic game during this year’s Comic-Con convention, Sega had a surprise up their sleeve and also announced a second Sonic game set to debut in 2017.

Co-developed by Sega of America and Pagoda West, and with contributions from Christian Whitehead and Simon “Headcannon” Thomley, Sega Mania is a 2D side-scrolling Sonic game that’ll reimagine familiar levels from Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic CD, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic and Knuckles. But instead of going full remake, the developers will also create “completely new Zones with all-new Acts, and bosses” for Sonic Mania.

Running with its theme as a celebration of the entire Genesis era, Sonic Mania will also give players the chance to play as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles.

“Sonic Mania was born out of our fans’ love of the classic Sonic 2D platform games,” said Takashi Iizuka, Head of Sonic Team. “This type of collaboration is a first for Sega and we hope everyone will be both surprised and delighted by this title. Sonic Mania has been a passion project for the entire team and we look forward to sharing more details about it later this year. Having the game actually playable at the event itself tonight was testament to the dedication of the team behind it.”

Sonic Mania will be released in Spring 2017 as a digital download for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One… though Comic-Con attendees will get to try it out this weekend. For the rest of us, the debut trailer embedded above will have to be enough.

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Overwatch climbs to the top of the NPD’s list of best-selling games for June 2016

overwatch-header

June is typically a slow period for new game releases, but The NPD Group’s look at last month’s best-selling games proves just how slow it was. According to tracking firm, consumer spending on games was down 20% from last year, when Batman: Arkham Knight launched to strong reviews and even stronger sales.

To make matters worse, the only new release to crack the top ten were Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (#3) and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst (#5). But that means the path to the top of the list was clear for Overwatch, which rode a wave of support from fans to become June 2016’s best-selling game. Grand Theft Auto V (#2) and Doom (#4) rounded out the top five.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom in June, as NPD Analyst Liam Callahan told GamesIndustry.biz: “After 32 months since the launches of the PS4 and Xbox One, the combined cumulative hardware sales for these two consoles exceed the sales of [the PS3 and Xbox 360] by 40% at the same point in their lifecycles.”

However, the biggest news this month might be the new way that the NPD reports their monthly sales data. Provided a publisher supplies the numbers, the company has agreed to begin integrating digital sales into their monthly tally. Most publishers have already signed on, though Bethesda, Sony, and Mojang remain holdouts, and Blizzard has decided not to share sales data from Battle.net.

A complete look at last months top ten best-selling titles can be found after the break. (more…)

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Juri will join the Street Fighter V roster on July 26

Capcom will add another latex-clad ninja to Street Fighter V next week. Beginning on July 26, Juri will be available to download for the game on the PC and PS4.

Introduced in Street Fighter IV, Juri is “a sadistic fighter who enjoys violence and loves tormenting her prey.” She also hates M. Bison and his Shadaloo organization, which has fueled her involvement in the events of Street Fighter V’s recently released Story Mode, “A Shadow Falls.” Available as part of the Season Pass, as a standalone purchase, or for free with Fight Money, the Capcom-Unity blog has the full scoop on Juri’s new fighting style:

About Juri
Juri returns to Street Fighter V with a brand new look and some tricks up her sleeves. A trained expert in Taekwondo, Juri also possesses a ki booster called the Feng Shui Engine equipped in her left eye to aid her during battles. She focuses on flashy, fast and furious kicks, and has a wide range of ki-based attacks at her disposal. Her trademark moves are her ki-based fireball attack and pinwheel kick.

V-Skill: Kasatsushu
Juri builds charges up and rushes at the opponent, kicking them from behind. Juri can choose to charge Kasatsushu by holding down the V-Skill command. During this charge, she can cancel Kasatsushu at any time by inputting a forward or backward dash. Additionally, she maintains her charge level after the cancel.

V-Trigger: Feng Shui Engine Type Alpha
Juri activates the Feng Shui Engine which allows her to cancel all of her standard attacks, both in the air and on the ground, into one another. In addition, each strength of her Fuharenkyaku attacks will remain in their charged state.

Critical Art – Sakkai Fuhazan
Juri kicks out a large slicing blast towards the opponent that hits multiple times.

Capcom also announced today that three more Premium Summer Costumes (priced at $3.99 apiece) will be available on July 26 for Cammy, Laura, and Ibuki. And if you don’t want to wait until the 26th, fans attending this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con will get the chance to try out Juri and costume these female fighters in new threads at the Street Fighter V booth.

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Life Is Strange’s first episode is now available to download for free

Dontnod Entertainment has announced that players who have yet to try out Life Is Strange can now download the first episode for free on the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

In case you missed it last year, Life Is Strange follows Max Caulfield, a teenage photographer who finds out she can reverse time after saving her best friend from a school shooter. But that one act could have apocalyptic consequences for everyone in her small town…

“Although our team set out to create an award-winning narrative we still cannot believe the response we’ve had from players of Life is Strange” said Oskar Guilbert, the CEO of Dontnod Entertainment. “We’re really glad that Square Enix have decided to give the first episode away for free so more players can begin their journey and see why people have fallen in love with the game for themselves.”

Life Is Strange’s near-universal critical acclaim, highlighted in the new trailer embedded above, eventually lead to several year-end awards including a Peabody Award, the “Games For Change” trophy at The Game Awards, the “Audience Award” at the GDC Awards, and “Best Story” at the BAFTAs.

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Inversus will be released for the PC and PS4 on August 16

Inversus is an overhead shooter that mixes the color-switching mechanics of Othello and Ikaruga to create one of the most inventive shooters in recent memory. For that reason, the game easily found a place in our Best of PAX East list earlier this year.

And now, developer Hypersect has announced that Inversus will be released for the PC and PS4 on August 16.

“One of the key things I’ve taken from working as the lead sandbox engineer on the multiplayer shooter, Destiny, is the critical attention to feel and feedback in gameplay,” said Hypersect’s Ryan Juckett. “It’s what players will notice right away in Inversus, and something I’ve consistently seen people enjoy.”

A new trailer showcasing Inversus’s single-player Arcade Mode has been embedded above, and another focusing on the multiplayer-only Versus Mode can be found after the break. (more…)

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Bandai Namco officially announces Pac-Man Championship Edition 2

Lace up those sneakers and get ready to compete for the Championship Edition once more, because Bandai Namco has announced that Pac-Man’s hypersonic spinoff series will receive a new entry this September.

Players will be able to use portals to zip around the mazes even faster in Pac-Man Championship Edition 2, and the massive Giant Ghost will add boss fights to the series for the first time. Even more new features are visible in the trailer embedded above, and in this short blurb direct from Bandai Namco:

Currently under development at Bandai Namco Studios Inc. in Tokyo, Japan; Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 features new eye-popping 3D mazes with unique visuals, a wide variety of dynamic mazes, the new ability to bump ghosts, and the addition of intense giant sized ghost boss battles. Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 will also build upon Pac-Man Championship Edition DX’s “Chain Eating” mechanics by enabling fans to build up to four ghost trains before chowing down for maximum chompage points. Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 returns with the fan favorite Score Attack mode where players need to gather as many points within a specified time and a new Adventure mode that will have players chasing fast moving fruit, battling big bad bosses, and experiencing fun new ways of playing Pac-Man.

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 is in development for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and it’ll be available sometime this September. In the meantime, fans can visit the Bandai Namco booth (#129 in Hall A) at this weekend’s Comic-Con for their first chance to play the game before it launches.

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New “Explore” trailer released for No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky will be out in less than a month, and over at the PlayStation Blog, they want to discuss what you can do in the game.

Hello Games’ Sean Murray wants to focus on the “four key pillars to the game: explore, trade, fight, and survive,” and Sony plans to create “short videos that highlight each of these key pillars” ahead of the game’s release. The first video, “Explore,” details the “more than 18 quintillion planets to be explored across billions of miles of space.”

No Man’s Sky is scheduled to be released on August 9 for PC and PlayStation 4.

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