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Persona 3 movie green-lit for theaters

Persona 3 FES on PS2 Image / Screenshot

Persona 3

A theatrical movie of Persona 3 is underway.

The announcement came from the final scene of Persona 4 The Animation: The Factor of Hope, which hit theaters in Japan this month as a condensed version of the anime featuring new scenes. The ending showed the protagonist from Persona 3 holding a gun to his head, firing, and then confirming the film's green-lit status.

The character appeared in traditional 2D, although the teaser did not mention whether the film would be an anime.

Persona 3 FES released on PSN in April. The game originally came to PlayStation 2 and also PSP.

Follow @wita on Twitter for tales of superheroes, plumbers in overalls, and literary adventures.

[Anime News Network]

Tags: Atlus, Persona 3

By Stephanie Carmichael

PlayStation Vita sales drop again in Japan

PS Vita on PS Vita Image / Screenshot

PS Vita Image

Following last week's report that Sony's PlayStation Vita sales fell to an all-time low in Japan, we have numbers for the week of April 9th and it didn't get better.

PlayStation Vita sales fell once again, moving only 8,250 units for the week covering April 9 through April 15th. A slow week for new releases didn't help as all major platforms saw a drop in sales. The NIntendo 3DS fell nearly 9,000 units selling only 63,796 while the PS3 sold 17,765. Perhaps the most interesting number here is that the PSP managed to sell almost 5,000 more units than the Vita – not good at all for the new handheld.

Below are the full hardware sales charts for the week of April 9th, with the previous week's sales in parentheses.

    3DS: 63,796 (72,115)

    PS3: 17,765 (19,370)

    PSP: 13,166 (14,804)

    PSV: 8,250 (8,931)

    Wii: 6,837 (7,099)

    X360: 1,373 (3,764)

    PS2: 1,212 (1,355)

    DSi LL: 800 (793)

    DSi: 633 (743)

Software sales pretty much followed the same with PSP and 3DS titles dominating sales. 2nd Super Robot Wars Z Sasei Volume was the top seller with 34,403 units followed by Kingdom Hearts 3D (20,977). The Vita had no titles in the top 20.

Tags: PS Vita

By Matt Liebl

Hakuoki visual novel returns with less love and more katanas

Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom on PSP Image / Screenshot

Hakuoki

Aksys Games is releasing a spin-off of the Hakuoki games here in the West, and this time it's more action-oriented.

Early this year, Aksys localized Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom, a romance-focused visual novel for PSP from developer Idea Factory. It's one of the few "otome," or "maiden," genre games to make it to North America — a kind of "choose-your-own-adventure/boyfriend book" targeted at girls, lead translator Noba Nakayama told Joystiq in 2011.

This is different from Aksys's other published visual novel, the success 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and its recent sequel, Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward.

The upcoming Hakuoki game for PSP, titled Hauoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi, gives players control of the same six characters from Demon of the Fleeting Blossom. It features two main modes: one loyal to Fleeting Blossom's story (Shinsengumi Memorial) and one alternate, called Shinsengumi Chronicle.

Warriors of the Shinsengumi also promises both the "powerful story of adventure" and "cut-em-down action."

Aksys has yet to announce a release date for the game.

Follow @wita on Twitter.

[Joystiq]

Tags: Aksys Games, Hakuoki

By Stephanie Carmichael

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky returns in HD

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Nihon Falcom is bringing a graphically improved The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky to the PlayStation 3.

The role-playing game came to North America last year for the PlayStation Portable. Now an HD, console version of the game is expected to release in Japan on December 13. It will cost 3,990 yen ($51).

Xseed Games, which brought Trails in the Sky (the first game in the series, or "FC") stateside, could do the same with this new edition. But the company has previously considered the possibility of localizing the game's first sequel, Second Chapter ("SC"), especially since Trails ends on a particularly bothersome cliffhanger.

Developer Nihon Falcom also makes the Ys series of RPGs, which Xseed has taken over localization for in recent years.

Follow @wita on Twitter for tales of superheroes, plumbers in overalls, and literary adventures.

[Siliconera]

Tags: The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, PS3, PSP

By Stephanie Carmichael

GameStop might figure out a way to resell digital content, a sure sign of the Apocalypse

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There was a time when Publishers and Developers only hated GameStop due to the resale of used games. It makes sense, since the Publishers and Developers in turn lose money on the sales. Many studios have by-passed this by making certain modes, or online functionality only available if the game was new. Even more importantly, some studios skip retail altogether and only offer their games digitally, which for retail stores like GameStop isn't ideal, since there is no way to resell that digital content. Or is there?

Selling used digital content might seem completely farfetched, but apparently GameStop CEO Paul Raineshinted that it might in fact be possible.

"It's very interesting," saidRaines. "There are some technologies out there in Europe, and we've looked at a couple that are involved. We're interested; it's not a meaningful business yet. Right now we're not seeing that as a huge market, but I think we're on the leading edge. There are a few companies, a few start-ups, out there that we've talked to that are doing this."

What does this mean exactly? Well it's mostly bad news for Pubs and Devs who counted on the fact that digital sales was a fool proof method of securing sales. For consumers however, it might be yet another great way to access digital content on the cheap, without the need to wait for Steam Sales.

I'm still racking my brain at how this process is done, especially considering when you register a key for a digital game, you become the owner, and to my knowledge, there is no way to un-register that key. It's certainly an interesting move for GameStop, and I really wonder how they're planning on implementing this.

[Games Industry]

Tags: GameStop, Used games

By Mike Splechta

Sony announces plans to layoff 10,000 workers by March 2013

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In an effort to "regain global competitiveness", Sony has revealed a phase of its plan that will eventually trip its "global headcount by 10,000 [workers]" by March of 2013.

Although we've known of these plans for quite a while now, Reuters has revealed a phase of the plan that is currently underway. The report outlines plans to layoff works from the various Sony divisions including 2,000 from its head office and plan in Gifu and another 1,800 at a "chemical business" that it sold to a state-run bank in Japan.

Another 2,000 workers from Sony Europe will be let go, "half at a joint mobile phone venture with Ericsson" that recently ended. Reuters noted the remaining job losses will be at "other factories around the world".

For Sony, these cuts are much needed to get the company back on track. Predating the announcement of the massive restructuring, the company reported a loss of over $2 billion. Sony expects these job cuts to save about $378.6 million a year.

GameZone wishes the best to all of those affected by these recent layoffs.

Tags: Sony

By Matt Liebl

PlayStation Suite SDK open beta begins

PS Vita on PS Vita Image / Screenshot

PS Vita Image

Open beta for the PlayStation Suite SDK has begun, Sony announced today.

The Developer Program for PlayStation Suite is now available to the public, giving developers a more streamlined development environment for creating content for portable devices like the PlayStation Vita, Xperia Play, and other PlayStation-certified devices.

The open beta version of the PS Suite SDK will allow developers to conduct performance verification of their content on the PS Vita in addition to other certified devices. It incorporates a 2D graphics game engine and 2D physical engine, as well as a variety of content samples which utilize these libraries, "in order to help developers create content that is optimized for portable devices."

The official version of PS Suite SDK will launch along with the Developer Program for PlayStation Suite later this year. This will allow developers to distribute their content through PlayStation Store on a commercial basis, after completing the license agreement with SCE.

Tags: Sony, PlayStation Suite

By Matt Liebl

UK Sales Charts: Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City debuts in 2nd

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 Image / Screenshot

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Image

Capcom's Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City broke up EA's grip on the top four UK sales charts, but didn't perform well enough to dethrone FIFA Street who remained number one for a second straight week despite a 44% drop in sales.

Operation Raccoon City released last week, debuting second in the UK Sales charts. Of its sales, 60% were for the Xbox 360 platform while 40% were for the PS3. According to GfK Chart Track, when Resident Evil 5 launched three years ago, 55% of the units sold in the UK were for the Xbox 360 while 45% were for the PS3.

EA remained strong, however. Mass Effect 3 dropped down to third following a 55% drop in sales. FIFA 12 remained at number four and SSX slipped to fifth.

Activision's Modern Warfare 3 had a boost in sales climbing four places to number six in sales, while Kid Icarus: Uprising was Nintendo's only title to appear in the top 10 following Mario Party 9's drop.

Below are the top 10 titles in UK sales for the week ending March 24, 2012:

    FIFA Street (EA)

    Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Capcom)

    Mass Effect 3 (EA)

    FIFA 12 (EA)

    SSX (EA)

    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision)

    Kid Icarus: Uprising (Nintendo)

    Battlefield 3 (EA)

    F1 2011 (Sega)

    Mario & Sonic London 2012 Olympic Games (Sega)

Tags: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, FIFA Street

By Matt Liebl

Despite increased PS3 sales, Sony reports Q3 losses

Playstation 3 on PS3 Image / Screenshot

Playstation 3 Image

Despite PlayStation 3 hardware and software sales being up from the previous year, Sony has reported a 17.4% year-on-year decrease in total revenue. Reporting their third quarter financial results for the period ending December 31, 2011, the Consumer Products & Services division, of which Sony Computer Entertainment is part of, reportedly brought in $12.8 billion in revenue, a 24.4% year-on-year decrease resulting in losses of $1.1 billion.

The company cited a decrease in LCD television sales resulting from poor market conditions, the impact of floods in Thailand, and unfavorable exchange rates. Despite Sony's PlayStation 3 sales being up, the company also pointed the console's price cut as one of the factors resulting in the loss.

The PlayStation 3 sold 6.5 million units, up 200,000 from the same period in 2011. The software for the PS3 saw a growth as well, with 66.2 million units being sold – up 13% from last year's 57.6 million.

Unfortunately, other Sony consoles and software didn't fare much better. PSP hardware sales fell 800,000 units to 2.4 million. Software was also down by 5.1 million units from last year's 16.5 million to 11.4 million this year. The PS2 decline also continued with 900,000 units sold in Q3, down 1.2 million on the 2.1 million units sold in the same period last year. PS2 software was down as well with sales of 2.5 million compared to the 5.3 million in the previous year.

The PlayStation Vita, which wasn't included in the report, is off to a scary slow start in Japan with the most Media Create numbers showing sales of 18,000 last week and just over 500,000 lifetime. The Vita is set to release worldwide later this month.

Full-year outlook, for the 12 months ending March 31, was lowered to ¥6.4 trillion from ¥6.5 trillion.

Sony announced yesterday that former SCE boss and current head of the Consumer Products & Service division Kazuo Hirai would be taking over as president and CEO beginning April 1st, as current CEO and President Sir Howard Stringer shifts to become a Chairman of the Board of Directors.

[Sony Financial Report]

Tags: Sony, PS3

By Matt Liebl

‘Toukiden’ is a new IP from the Dynasty Warriors dev

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Sony's Tokyo Game Show was filled with plenty of exciting announcements. We got a smaller, lighter PS3 and learned that PlayStation Plus will be coming to the Vita in November. Of course, most gamers probably already own those consoles; we want the games darnit! Well, at the press conference, we did learn about one game in particular:Toukiden.

Developed by Omega Force, the team behind theDynasty Warriors franchise,Toukidenis a brand new IP centered around dark fantasy, samurai action. It will be available for both the PlayStation Vita andPSP sometime in 2013, and will support cross-platfrom play between both of the handheld devices.

Toukiden was revealed during Sony's TGS 2012 keynote with a brief trailer that showcased a female samurai, most likely the game's protagonist, slicing giant spiders and ogres.

Tags: Toukiden, PSP, PS Vita

By Matt Liebl

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