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SCEA CEO Jack Tretton is leaving at the end of this month photo
SCEA CEO Jack Tretton is leaving at the end of this month
by Jordan Devore

Sony Computer Entertainment America has announced its president and CEO Jack Tretton, who has been with the company since 1995, will step down as of March 31, 2014. His successor is Sony Network Entertainment International executive VP and COO Shawn Layden, another long-time PlayStation employee. He previously served as president of SCE Japan.

This departure comes as "a result of a mutual agreement between Mr. Tretton and SCEA not to renew their contractual relationship," according to an SCEA press release.

Calling his time with the company "the most rewarding experience of [his] career," Tretton said "Although I will deeply miss the talented team at SCEA and the passion demonstrated every day by our fans, I'm very excited about starting the next chapter of my career.

"I want to thank the employees, partners and customers for their tireless commitment to the PlayStation brand and, of course, to our fans who have pushed us to new heights of innovation and entertainment over the past two decades. I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation."

Ah, man. I always enjoyed hearing from him at E3. You couldn't help but root for the guy.

[Image source]

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Review: TxK photo
Review: TxK
by Steven Hansen

If you came up to me and told me I could be this turned around, bearingless and disoriented, on a two dimensional plane of movement, I would say, "Gee, that's oddly specific, why are you telling me this?"

And then you would flee into the unbearable flatness of space under cover of a blinding vector graphic laser light show with explosions and flowers and bulls and I would try really hard to shoot you with my pointy little crab legs.

That's TxK, basically. It's fun.

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Media Molecule on the challenges of making Tearaway photo
Media Molecule on the challenges of making Tearaway
by Dale North

Earlier this month, I caught up with Media Molecule's Rex Crowle, lead creator on one of my favorite games of last year, Tearaway. My main goal was simple: to thank him for such a fantastic Vita game. But we ended up chatting about Tearaway's reception, as well as some of the challenges that Media Molecule had to work through to bring us the final release.

I also repeatedly told him that they should make another Tearaway game.

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NEW PS Vita coming this spring to North America photo
NEW PS Vita coming this spring to North America
by Dale North

The new PlayStation Vita will be launched this spring, coming in a Borderlands 2 bundle. This was confirmed today at a PlayStation media event in Santa Monica. It will include the game with six DLC packs (Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage, Psycho Character Class, Mechromancer Character Class, Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 1 and the Collector’s Edition Pack.), an 8GB PS Vita memory card, and will all retail for $199.99.

For this new model, battery life is now 4-6 hours for gaming, and a new LCD screen replaces the current version's OLED one. Its shape has changed a bit -- it's more rounded and a bit more portable.

It's the same one we saw released in Japan last year, and Europe earlier this year. 

Yay?

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Nintendo Fusion, Machinima Xbox Scandal & 'CandyŠ' Crush photo
Nintendo Fusion, Machinima Xbox Scandal & 'CandyŠ' Crush
by Max Scoville

Welp, here's your exciting video game news! Lots and lots of fun things, like Nintendo's financial problems, [obvious] lack of plans to move into mobile games, a single Super Smash Bros. screen, and the rumored new console,"Fusion." Microsoft, meanwhile, is in hot water over secretly paying Machinima partners to say nice things about the Xbox One. Alienware's Steam Machines will be un-upgradeable AND annualized, oh boy! Resident Evil 4 is coming out for PC in HD, Sony's got some great Playstation Plus deals, the Candy Crush Saga guys have copyrighted the word "Candy," Disney has abandoned copyrights for Star Wars 1313, and there's a sexy new Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes action figure.

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Atlus' baby-making RPG earns an 'M' rating from ESRB photo
Atlus' baby-making RPG earns an 'M' rating from ESRB
by Wesley Ruscher

Atlus' upcoming Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita role-playing rendezvous, Conception II: Children of the Stars has been rated 'Mature" by the ESRB. 

The M rating lists “Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Blood, Partial Nudity, and Sexual Themes” in the content descriptors for the game's 3DS iteration. Currently the Vita version's rating has yet has to be published.

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PlayStation 14 for '14 sale has something you want photo
PlayStation 14 for '14 sale has something you want
by Steven Hansen

Enslaved for as low as $5? How can you pass that up? Make amends for not buying that gem the first time around. It's a lovely game. Puppeteer for $7, down from $40? You couldn't shut me up about that gorgeous platformer last year and still no one bought it. To spite me, probably.

This is a heck of a sale, especially for PlayStation Plus users. Cool, smaller titles like Rain, Spelunky, and Thomas Was Alone for Steam-sale pittance. Full disc releases like Tales of Xillia and Puppeteer cut to ten bucks and under. You can finally buy some games for your Vita.

The 14 for '14 sale will run from January 14 (hah!) to January 20. Check all the PS3 and Vita deals below.

What are you buying? I might actually want to try that new Sly Cooper.

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PlayStation Now hands-on impressions photo
PlayStation Now hands-on impressions
by Dale North

Sony set up a media mixer today outside of CES to let us get a better look at PlayStation Now, their new streaming technology they announced this morning. The same games were available on the Vita and Bravia television demo stations: God of War: Ascension, Puppeteer, The Last of Us, and Beyond: Two Souls.

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Sony's streaming game service is PlayStation Now photo
Sony's streaming game service is PlayStation Now
by Jordan Devore

Revealed by Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House at CES 2014, the company's Gaikai-powered cloud gaming service is called PlayStation Now, and it's coming sooner than anticipated -- this summer in the United States.

Through this service, PS1, PS2, and PS3 games will be playable over the internet on PS3, PS4, PS Vita, and also on devices like tablets, smartphones, and televisions. Even non-PlayStation devices will eventually support PS Now.

The service will allow users to rent on a per-game basis, or subscribe with a currently undisclosed plan. The beta program for PS Now is launching at the end of this month in the US. Pending the finer details and the actual experience, I'm eager to try this out.

PlayStation Now Streaming Game Service Coming this Summer [PlayStation Blog]

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Destructoid's most wanted games of 2014 photo
Destructoid's most wanted games of 2014
by Steven Hansen

Ugh. Mondays, am I right? They're a day that people don't like because you have to do stuff and things after (maybe) not having to do those things, you know? Lame. 

Let's reverse the trend and brighten the day with a positive. A list of some of Destructoid's most anticipated games of this, year 2 of Anno Luigi. That's 2014 for you streets behind Luddites still operating in AD. 

 

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Review: Samurai Gunn photo
Review: Samurai Gunn
by Chris Carter

Arena-like games are seeing a resurgence in this era, with titles like Towerfall and Gun Monkeys -- games that take us back to the days where local play reigned supreme, and couch parties were commonplace. They offer up a unique blend of fighting game-esque strategy and platformer grace -- a combination that's pretty rare, even dating back to the retro era.

Samurai Gunn seeks to capture the essence of arena fighting in a rather unique way, as it takes a minimalist approach that favors skill over flash. Despite the lack of online play, I'd say it succeeds in spades.

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Impressions: Assault Android Cactus (PC) photo
Impressions: Assault Android Cactus (PC)
by Chris Carter

Assault Android Cactus has been gaining some momentum in the gaming community lately -- mostly because it's yet another title to join the ranks of supporting the Wii U. It also helps that it sports an incredibly cool-looking art style, and promises of hardcore gameplay to boot.

I got a chance to play the Early Access build, and I have to say, as a hardcore shoot-'em-up fan -- I can't wait for the final version.

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Review: Tearaway photo
Review: Tearaway
by Steven Hansen

I was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room, lost in my Vita because doctors are terrible timekeepers. 2:00 pm means 2:00 pm, life-saving scumbag. Suddenly, I was looking at dimly lit tartan chairs and an old, wrinkled man with a mustache of frayed steel wool.

When I realized it was the seats and man across from me, a hole ripped open in the waiting room, spewing shredded strips of paper, and I fell into the papery world of Tearaway.

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Where's your next-gen money going? photo
Where's your next-gen money going?
by Wesley Ruscher

The holidays are quickly approaching and so are two brand spankin' new consoles. It's already one of the craziest times of the year to buy things, and both Sony and Microsoft are only adding to the chaos. How does one even prepare for the madness of the next gen of gaming?

Well, while they may have the two hottest items to hit the stores this season, there are still a myriad other choices out there clamoring for some of ours, and your, hard-earned cash. Nintendo is coming full force with the Wii U and Super Mario 3D World, the 3DS has a new Zelda, and Sony's Vita is finally finding its groove after a price drop. Let's not even forget that looming around the corner is the Steam Box, and some killer current-gen titles like Ultra Street Fighter IV and Castlevania: Lords of Shadows 2

So what will you be buying this holiday season? PlayStation 4, Xbox One, perhaps a shiny new Wii U? Not one of those you say? Wait, all of them...

Yeah, you sound like most of the Destructioid team below:

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Review: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes photo
Review: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
by Brett Zeidler

Star WarsIndiana JonesBatman (later the entirety of DC), Pirates of the CaribbeanHarry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings -- arguably a majority of the world's largest entertainment properties -- have all been brought to life in videogames after being passed through the adorable LEGO filter by Traveller's Tales. And, well, they've handled each franchise masterfully and created some truly great games with each of them over the years. What could possibly be next?

I can't be the only one who's been dreaming since LEGO Star Wars that we would one day see LEGO Marvel make its videogame debut, but, seeing as Traveller's Tales is a subsidy of Warner Bros., it was seemingly never going to happen. However, by some remarkable turn of events (due to the magic of licensing), here we are with LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.

It's nothing short of a miracle this game was even made, but it's something we can only be happy about.

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Review: Skylanders: Swap Force photo
Review: Skylanders: Swap Force
by Chris Carter

Skylanders has had a bit of an odd history. Initially, it launched under the auspices of the Spyro name, and made a very small splash in the market -- so small, that barely anyone knew what it was. Fast forward to six months later, and it was the hottest toy on the shelves, so much so that many retailers couldn't even keep it stocked consistently.

A sequel was greenlit, and the rest was history, as Activision raked in over a billion dollars from the Skylanders franchise alone. It's a massive success, and now, the third iteration is attempting to claim the throne once again, fighting off the juggernaut that is Disney Infinity.

Let's just say it's going to be a very interesting holiday season for videogame toys.

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