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Guild leaders converge for The Elder Scrolls Online's first guild summit

We've brought our most dedicated fans here in what is sure to not have any sort of echo chamber effect.
If you weren't invited to The Elder Scrolls Online's current guild summit... well, don't feel bad; only the leaders of 20 guilds and online communities were invited. But it's still kind of nail-biting. What could they be talking about in there? What strange and arcane topics will be brought up? Will special items be handed out? Are there designer cheeses available? Lucky for you, though, the folks at the Tamriel Foundry have taken the time to transcribe what's going down in Maryland so that even those not at the summit can get a sense for what's happening.

The first day of the summit covered combat responsiveness, system design, AvA mechanics, and the Champion system. This means both detailed examinations of where the game is currently lacking and what's coming in the future; the Champion system and the rework of the veteran experience is slated for "when it's done" rather than a specific date. So sit back and take a look at all of the hard details on display, possibly whilst eating some designer cheese of your own.

Angry Birds studio cuts 130 jobs to 'simplify' company

With profits down and an announced executive shuffle for year's end, it's not surprising that Angry Birds publisher Rovio is flinging some jobs into the dumpster. Outgoing CEO Mikael Hed announced today that the company will cut about 16 percent of its workforce, which is a "maximum of 130 people."

"It is never easy to consider changes like this, but it is better to do them sooner rather than later, when we are in a good place to reignite growth," wrote Hed in a post entitled "Towards a Simplified Organization."

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Virtual reality gets touchy-feely with haptic exoskeleton

The world of virtual reality is constantly expanding, even though the major gaming headsets still aren't yet available to consumers – the most recent piece of interesting hardware is a hand exoskeleton that allows users to "feel" objects within virtual reality. It's called Dexmo (missed opportunity to use the way-cooler name "Phantom Limb") and it comes from Dexta Robotics.

Dexta imagines a lineup of uses for Dexmo, including music production (a la Imogen Heap), drawing, rehabilitation, animation and, of course, virtual-world immersion. The company offers comparisons to similar VR input devices, including Leap Motion, which it classifies as an optical solution and as such can't offer any haptic feedback. Dexmo does have haptic technology, but it can't simulate "softness," a Dexta team member said in a Reddit AMA.

Also covered in that AMA: Dexmo should cost less than $200, and a Kickstarter campaign should pop up in October seeking $200,000 or so.
[Image: Dexta Robotics]

Star Citizen earns Guinness world record for crowdfunding efforts

As Star Citizen recently crossed $55 million in funding, Roberts Space Industries founder Chris Roberts announced that the game is entering the Guinness Book of World Records "not as the largest crowdfunded game of all time, but as the largest crowdfunded anything of all time."

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PlayStation TV explained in one family-friendly video

Image PlayStation TV isn't an actual television, in case anyone was still wondering. It's a teeny tiny console that plays Vita, PSP and PSOne games, and streams PS3 and PS4 games. Sony recently revealed that PlayStation TV would play "nearly 700" Vita games, to be precise. [Image: Sony]... Continue Reading

Dead Rising film director: It's 'Indiana Jones with zombies'

The Dead Rising digital film in production under Legendary Digital Media has an original storyline with new heroes and a new city, set between Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 3, director Zach Lipovsky tells SlashFilm. There will be "familiar faces," too, Lipovsky says, before teasing original Dead Rising protagonist Frank West: "I can't reveal too much, but the character has covered wars, you know."

Lipovsky describes the tone of the film as "Indiana Jones with zombies." He wants to recreate the series' massive hordes, even with a smaller, straight-to-digital film budget. "Pretty much every person I know has already emailed me saying they want to be a zombie, so I think we'll be fine," Lipovsky says. "We are also planning a long one-take action shot with hundreds of zombies, which I'm very excited about .... Online there is no ratings board, there is no run time limit, there are no rules. This is an experiment for Legendary, and they have been incredibly willing to take creative risks."

The film, dubbed Dead Rising: Watchtower, will be one 90-minute movie on Sony's streaming service, Crackle, but it will be episodic on other platforms, Lipovsky says. See the cast list below.

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Peter Dinklage, Jason Sudeikis to star in Angry Birds film

Mobile developer Rovio announced the voice cast for its upcoming Angry Birds animated feature film today, revealing that Horrible Bosses star Jason Sudeikis and Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage will play major roles.

Other featured actors include Josh Gad (Frozen's Olaf), Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down), Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader, and Bridemaids co-star Maya Rudolph. Though no plot details have been divulged thus far, the preview image above indicates that Angry Birds' film adaptation will feature redesigned bird characters with legs and wings. Weird!

Angry Birds will hit theaters on July 1, 2016.

[Image: Rovio]

PlayStation Plus fees increase in multiple regions

PlayStation Plus subscription fees are on the rise in various regions, Sony confirmed. "We slightly increased prices for PlayStation Plus in South Africa, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and India regions due to various market conditions," a representative told Joystiq via email. "Currently, price adjustments are not being planned for PS Plus in the SCEA [North American] region."

The confirmation follows a report from iAfrica that stated subscription costs were due to rise within 24 hours of email notifications sent to PS Plus subscribers. The emails reportedly stated that "the price of a three month subscription will rise from R145 to R219" as of today ($12.88 and $19.46). The change represents a 51 percent increase in the three-month PS Plus prices. Additionally, a second email seemingly noted a change in the annual PS Plus costs in South Africa from R489 to R749 ($43.45 to $66.55, a 53 percent increase).
[Image: Sony]

EVE's Oceanus release is now live

EVE players fight like the French
EVE Online's latest update has been successfully pushed to the sci-fi sandbox's live Tranquility server, according to a CCP announcement post.

Oceanus includes new cloak effects, notification tweaks, new burner missions, easier fitting import/exports, French localization, and some other stuff that you can read about via the full patch notes.

PS Plus in October: DriveClub, Dust, Arkham Asylum

Sony announced October's PlayStation Plus lineup today, revealing that service subscribers will receive free copies of Batman: Arkham Asylum, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Spelunky, and other featured games starting next week.

PlayStation 4 owners will receive newly-released ports of Dean Dodrill's 2D action-adventure game Dust: An Elysian Tail and Mossmouth's roguelike platformer Spelunky, along with a PlayStation Plus-exclusive version of Evolution Studios' long-in-development racer Driveclub.

Landmark comic-based brawler Batman: Arkham Asylum and Capcom's arcade beat-'em-up compilation Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara arrive as this month's featured PlayStation 3 releases, while the PS Vita gets the multiplayer maze game Pix the Cat and tactical RPG Rainbow Moon.

Subscribers who download Spelunky will get free access to previously-released PlayStation 3 and PS Vita ports, and Pix the Cat and Rainbow Moon are also available as Cross-Buy downloads. October's PlayStation Plus lineup goes live on October 7.

[Video: Sony]

Joystiq Deals: Remote aerial drone, Wolfenstein: The New Order

Today's edition of Joystiq Deals brings you the Micro Drone 2.0, a gadget aimed at those of you who've always wanted to experience the freedom of flight, but were born without wings or the vast fortune necessary to build a jetpack.

The Micro Drone 2.0 weighs just over one ounce, yet the miniscule quadcopter is powerful enough to carry an aerial camera. It boasts a range of "up to 400 feet" and can be recharged via a convenient USB battery. Best of all, the Micro Drone 2.0 has received a 46 percent discount, reducing its price from $140 to $75 for the next 12 days. Full details can be found on the Joystiq Deals website.

On the gaming side of things, Amazon is offering a sizable discount on Wolfenstein: The New Order. Currently, the Bethesda-published shooter is available at 50 percent off its normal price, which means you can murder legions of alternate history Nazis for only $30. The discount applies to all versions of the game, from the PC to the PlayStation 4. For more information, visit the game's Amazon listing.

Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Themes coming to Vita in imminent 3.30 system update

If the aesthetics of your Vita handheld are looking a bit drab, don't worry: A system update slated to hit the device "later tonight" adds support for a host of themes that can alter the appearance of your Home screen, Start screen, icons and background music.

Initially, the themes available for purchase from the PlayStation Network will be generic, colorful additions, though later themes will be patterned after hit games such as Tearaway, Freedom Wars and Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Sony has yet to reveal a price point for any of these themes, though if they follow the same pricing scheme as the PlayStation 3, expect the themes to fall somewhere between $1 to $3.
[Image: Sony]

Customize your 'stache in Dragon Age: Inquisition

Image While a thick handlebar mustache, like the ones frequently seen in the above customization and crafting trailer, won't directly increase the power of your character in Dragon Age: Inquisition, it has been proven that dragons are far less likely to flash-fry a person sporting an impressive... Continue Reading

Ghosts, pools, Darth Vader coming to The Sims 4

Hoping to appease fans upset that The Sims 4 lacks a number of features that have long been a standard of the series, publisher EA has outlined plans to add a host of new content to the virtual life simulation over the next few months.

In the October update, The Sims 4 will receive costumes based on iconic Star Wars characters, as well as new ghostly forms for your deceased Sims. According to EA, these ghosts will behave much as they did prior to death, but the manner in which they died will grant the apparition wholly new behaviors. Those ghosts will come in handy once the November update arrives, as the mortality rate of your Sims is expected to skyrocket once pools are finally added to The Sims 4. Then, in December, EA and developer Maxis plan to introduce new career paths that are slightly less likely to result in your Sims drowning in the backyard.

There's no word on when exactly these updates might be released, but they will each be free additions, requiring only that players log onto EA's Origin digital distribution service to download each update.

Grab a Super-Size Punkaboo in Pokemon X/Y for Halloween

Nintendo is offering a spooky treat for Pokemon trainers this Halloween. Throughout the month of October, Pokemon X and Y players can receive an exclusive Super-Size Pumpkaboo via the Nintendo Network, granting access to the upcoming Trick-or-Treat Friendly Online Competition.

To get Pumpkaboo, players must choose the "Mystery Gift" option on Pokemon X/Y's main menu, then select "Get Via Internet." The Pumpkaboo comes equipped with Halloween-themed moves like Trick-or-Treat and Scary Face, and evolves into a competition-ready Gourgeist when traded with a friend.

Pumpkaboo is available as a free download starting today, and will be up for grabs through October 31.

[Image: Nintendo]


The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 114: Super Smash Bros. 3DS, Shadow of Mordor, Destiny

Latest episode: Friday, September 26th, 2014

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