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Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Aspiring murderers-for-hire who pre-ordered Hitman: Absolution have been able to play the exclusive standalone sniping minigame Hitman: Sniper Challenge since May 15, but PC killers have been left sullenly polishing their gun. No longer! It's finally launching on PC today, so shave that head sharpish and tidy up your tie, scruff bucket--you have men to shoot.

You'll want to hit up the official site to redeem your code. Then you can show this console punks what a real sniper can do when armed with a mouse.

Developer IO Interactive is also winding up to show off the PC edition of Absolution for the first time at Gamescom later this month. Fingers crossed it's a careful and loving port.

"IO is fully committed to delivering a PC version of Hitman: Absolution that lives up to the high standards of our PC community," Hitman brand director Jon Brooke said in the announcement. "Hitman: Sniper Challenge will give them a first taste of what's to come."

Hitman: Absolution launches on November 20. IO showed off a whopping seventeen minutes of gameplay, so peep that, then watch this for a little more on the Sniper Challenge:

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The large roster update for Street Fighter X Tekken is hitting today for $19.99. It adds 12 new characters, along with several balance adjustments for the current set of fighters.

The new fighters include Cody, Guy, Dudley, Elena, Blanka, and Sakura from the Street Fighter side, and Lars, Alisa, Jack, Bryan, Christie, and Lei from the Tekken side. The Capcom Unity blog also outlines the balancing notes for Ryu, Ken, Rolento, Juri, Akuma, Yoshimitsu, Raven, and Xiao Yu. The blog also reiterates that any DLC you buy on the PS3 version will transfer to the Vita version once it comes out on October 23.

Shacknews - Tyler J. Smith

Shacknews receives a slew of new screenshots and trailers for upcoming games everyday. The most anticipated titles receive their own post, because we know you're eager to see that content. For the rest, we have the Daily Filter, a place to feature all of the media we add to our enormous database on a daily basis.

Today's Filter features launch trailers for Deadlight and Orcs Must Die! 2, and more.

Deadlight


Orcs Must Die! 2


We also have a new gameplay trailer for War of the Roses, a fight lab trailer for Tekken Tag Tournament 2, a first gameplay trailer for NASCAR The Game: Inside Line, a trailer for Death Rally, a gameplay trailer for Miner Wars 2081, and new screenshots for Legends of Pegasus. Be sure to check out additional trailers and screenshots on each game page.

Shacknews - John Keefer

We already knew Shackers were interested in the upcoming free to play MMORTS End of Nations from the huge response for alpha keys, but publisher Trion Worlds has upped the ante a bit, announcing what's included in the digital Collector's Edition.

For $70, players will get access to a special Black Dragons company (and the accompanying Black Knight hero unit, a Skunk skin set for units, the ability to start two commanders at level 5, two additional commander slots and 50 percent more in-game cash for five days. The game will also give you a three-month VIP membership that gets a store discount, in-game credits and and experience point boost for 90 games. The benefits are a step up from the $30 Founders Editions, but Trion is allowing players to upgrade from Founders to Collectors.

The second closed beta is coming up this weekend, so if you can get in, you can get a taste of the action. No official release date has been announced, other than later this year. If you aren't familiar with the lore in the game, this developer diary will give you some background.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

The PS3 digital re-release of Grand Theft Auto 3 was supposed to happen today. Unfortunately, it's been pulled at the last minute. The PlayStation.Blog tells fans that "due to an unforeseen complication, the Grand Theft Auto III PS2 Classic is not publishing with today's Store post. We will update you when a new release date has been identified. We apologize for the inconvenience."

So what happened?

According to PlayStation community manager Morgan Haro, music licensing issues are to blame for the game's sudden delay. "There were some last minute issues with getting clearance for a certain audio track in the game," he said. "But the teams at Rockstar are on it to review how to best get this title on PSN."

There's no ETA for the GTA3 re-release at this point. However, this sudden delay shows that digital re-releases aren't as easy to make real as many would imagine.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Subscription numbers for Star Wars: The Old Republic have slipped below 1 million for the first time, Electronic Arts confirmed in their latest earnings call, prompting CEO John Riccitiello to call the game's performance "disappointing."

The high-profile MMO had 1.3 subscribers as of three months ago. Today's update reflects the game's downward momentum.

EA maintains that the game is doing better than the "break-even" level of 500,000 subscriptions, but it's clear that drastic changes needed to be made. The company announced a move to free-to-play earlier today. EA's Frank Gibeau confirmed that the goal of the F2P initiative is to get lapsed players back into the game, but admitted there are no expectations on what the response to the new program will be.

Shacknews - Ryan Calavano

Looking forward to High Moon Studio's final take on the Transformers? You'll be able to experience a bit of the Fall of Cybertron in a brand new demo. Then, the STALKER dev may be dead, but the franchise might live on. A new rumor suggests that Bethesda may have picked up the rights. Finally, are you tired of military first person shooters? One analyst suggests there might be some fatigue for this year's Medal of Honor.

Check out today's episode of Shacknews Daily.

You can also watch this episode on YouTube. And, don't forget to subscribe to get the latest episodes as they go up.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Max Payne 3's multiplayer DLC schedule has been completely revamped. The remaining five packs have been consolidated into three larger packs, with content from the New York Minute co-op pack and Trickle Down Economics map pack "spread across" upcoming releases.

The DLC schedule will resume in August with the Disorganized Crime Pack, which adds the Hoboken Rooftops multiplayer map. There's also new modifiers for Score Attack in Arcade Mode such as "Headshots Only." This first release will be free.

The remaining three DLC releases will be available for $9.99 (800 Microsoft Points) each. Purchasers of the Rockstar Pass (DLC season pass) will automatically receive this content. Here's the full schedule:

  • Disorganized Crime Pack: August [Free]
  • Hostage Negotiation Map Pack: September
  • Painful Memories Map Pack: October
  • Deathmatch Made In Heaven Mode Pack: October

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Electronic Arts' late-arriving attempt to compete with Call of Duty Elite is paying off. Less than two months since release, more than a million players have purchased Battlefield 3 Premium, a $50 "subscription" that includes access to every map pack for DICE's popular shooter, including Aftermath and Armored Kill.

In a financial earnings call, EA revealed that Battlefield 3 Premium has sold over 1.3 million subscriptions to date. That means EA is inching ever closer to Call of Duty Elite's 2 million subscribers.

In addition, EA says that catalog sales of Battlefield 3 is outperforming expectations. Combined sales of Battlefield 3 and FIFA 12 are over 2 million units in the company's first fiscal quarter.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Here's yet another collection of mini-games for your PlayStation Move controller. Lights, Camera, Party! is a TV show-themed party game that's due out on August 28.

The game promises 24 mini-games in the Story Mode, for four players across five rounds. Each round is modeled after a type of TV show like Cooking, News, or Sci-Fi. The other modes support up to eight players and feature 50 mini-games. It also requires just one Move controller, so you won't need to go out and buy a bunch of extras.

The game stars the unfortunately named Funzini family, who have a TV satellite crash into their living room. Rather than call the police or a lawyer, the Funzinis play a variety of mini games.

Developer Frima Studio tells the PlayStation.Blog that the studio's goal was to make the game fast, funny, and quick to set up. You can check the game out in its debut trailer.

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