Shacknews - John Keefer

Old school beat out new school in the vote for cover athlete of Madden NFL 25. Retired Detroit Lions star Barry Sanders survived six rounds of voting to beat out current Minnesota Vikings phenom Adrian Peterson, it was revealed on ESPN 2 last night.

Sanders grabbed 58 percent of the more than 700,000 votes cast, according to ESPN. More than 40 million votes were cast since the overall voting began on March 11.

Madden NFL 25 is really Madden NFL 14, with the new title meant to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the franchise. It will be out on August 27 for PlayStation3 and Xbox 360. EA Sports released a new trailer for the game after the voting:

Shacknews - Steve Watts

XCOM: Enemy Unknown was very nearly crowned our favorite game of 2012. If you're a Mac owner wishing you could know what all the hubub is about, today you finally have a chance, as the game has released on the Mac OS platform.

You can pick up the port from Feral Interactive at the Mac App Store for $49.99. As previously reported, this version includes the Slingshot and Elite Soldier DLC, as well as the Second Wave update. The minimum system requirements include a 2.0GHz process, 4GB of RAM, and a graphics card with 256MB of memory.

If you're a member of the Apple faithful with a wide variety of its devices, though, you may want to consider waiting for the impending iOS versions. Lead designer Jake Solomon has said the mobile versions will be set at a "premium price," but we'd be surprised if that price is fifty bucks. Or you could just get them both -- the game is really good.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

PlayStation 4 comes with a new high-tech controller: the predictably-named DualShock 4. While it retains the same button layout as previous generations of Sony controllers, it adds a rather unique feature: a glowing strip of light at the controller's head, enabling the use of PlayStation Move-style tracking.

"We can track the position of this controller with multiple folks in the room. It's very easy for the PS4 to identify who's who, who's holding which controller," Scott Rohde, SVP of product development at Worldwide Studios said.

Being able to track players and their controllers opens up new features. One of the most intriguing examples involves split-screen gameplay. "If the system sees that we've swapped places, or I've passed the controller to someone, it can automatically adjust the ordering of the split screen so that it makes sense to everyone," SCEA R&D senior software engineer Anton Mikhailov said in a new video released by Sony (thanks valcan_s!). "It seems like a minor thing, but it actually really helps the flow of the game and helps the intuitiveness of the entire console."

We expect to test this functionality as soon as we can, by gratuitously wrestling someone while playing split-screen game.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Hot on the heels of yesterday's multiplayer trailer, Capcom has released more details about the modes in Lost Planet 3. The game will feature four multiplayer modes across six maps, and players will be split into the NEVEC and Snow Pirates camps.

The Capcom-Unity blog details two of the modes, Scenario and Akrid Survival. Scenario is an objective-based mode that mixes offensive and defensive challenges for both teams. Akrid Survival has two teams of three players each take on independent waves of Akrid, then face off directly in a PvP elimination round.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Steam announced support for subscription plans today, allowing publishers and players to use the revenue model through its service. The new model promises easy management of your subscription-based games, with Darkfall: Unholy Wars serving as the debut title to use the service.

According to the Steam subscriptions page, you can't freeze a subscription, but you can easily cancel and renew lapsed subscriptions in your account details. You don't get any credit back for unused subscription time, though, and whether or not you get your old game info back from a lapsed subscription will depend on the game. You also can't gift subscriptions "at this time," and you can't use multiple subscriptions for the same game on a single Steam account.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Yesterday, Nintendo released its annual results, with a large operating loss and weak Wii U sales. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata blamed the delay of some Wii U games and loss of momentum, and the company did not do a good job of explaining the console to consumers.

In a briefing for investors, Iwata admitted the company has struggled with defining the product. "We have not been able to solidly communicate the product value of Wii U to our consumers yet, which has been a grand challenge for us," he said. "Some have the misunderstanding that Wii U is just Wii with a pad for games, and others even consider Wii U GamePad as a peripheral device connectable to Wii. We feel deeply responsible for not having tried hard enough to have consumers understand the product."

Iwata also said that the intervals between first-party games has been "so much longer than we expected" in its January briefing. "Wii U has lost momentum due to the release pace of first-party titles which has not lived up to consumers' expectations," Iwata stated. "Starting with Pikmin 3 scheduled for release in the upcoming July, however, we will intensively launch our key titles to give sales momentum to the platform. As a decisive factor in buying a console is that you cannot play a much-anticipated title without the hardware, we will do our best to have you feel from this summer to the end of this year that there are plenty of great games for Wii U."

Just last night, Nintendo announced that it will forgo a large press conference this year at E3, instead opting for a smaller event that aims to give press quicker access to trying the newly-announced software.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

I am awfully excited to start playing Zeno Clash 2 next week, as you surely are all too, but next week is just so far away. To steady our nerves, publisher Atlus has very kindly released a trailer showing the opening six minutes of ACE Team's first-person face-puncher. Or six minutes from the start, at least, as it's now open-world-y so who knows where you'll go on your adventure?

If you're worried about spoiling the story, the opening cutscene is skipped so you mostly see Ghat wandering about and beating up odd enemies. And my, how he fights! The video shows off heaps of new moves, including air combos, a countering backwards kick, punching past blocks, and other fine ways to hurt people. Do watch for the annotations explaining how these things work.

While Ghat's punching solo here, the game also supports local and online co-op with his sister Rimat. Zeno Clash 2 comes to PC on April 30 for $20, but the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 release dates are still unconfirmed.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

EA Partners may be facing closure. Electronic Arts' contract-based program for independent developers has been particularly active in the last few years, publishing the Crysis series, Bulletstorm, and retail copies of Portal 2, but sources claim it will be shutting down soon.

Citing multiple anonymous sources, Game Informer says the closure will not impact Insomniac's Fuse or Respawn's debut game. EA's earnings call is scheduled for May 7, when it is likely to detail its publishing strategy moving forward.

Over the last few months, EA has had its CEO John Riccitiello step down, and gone through rounds of layoffs. The Partners program was involved in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning last year, which had its own very public financial problems. EA has not disclosed whether it was owed money from the studio, or how much. Partners also co-published The Secret World, which went free-to-play just five months after launch.

Shacknews has contacted EA and will update as more information becomes available.

Shacknews - John Keefer

The Legendary Edition of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that was spotted on a European retail site last week is indeed official and coming on June 4, Bethesda announced today.

The package, which will retail for $59.99, will include the 1.9 title update, as well as the Dragonborn, Hearthfire and Dawnguard DLC. It will be available for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

The timing is right for the release, now that Bethesda has said it is done with Skyrim development and moving on to other projects.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Update: A new press release from Ubisoft has changed the date to September 3, not August 27 as the earlier Online Challenges release stated.

Oh, how you tutted and sighed when Ubisoft delayed the Wii U edition of Rayman Legends into September just so it could launch alongside its newly-announced Xbox 360 and PS3 siblings. The monsters! But hey, good news. You won't need to wait too far into September as Ubi has now said the delightful jump 'em up sequel will launch on September 3.

The release date was curiously something of an afterthought for Ubi, casually dropped into an announcement about the Wii U launch of Legends' Challenge Mode demo today.

Even developer Ubisoft Montpeiller seemed a mite disappointed with the delay, but on the bright side it has used all this extra time to add another 30 levels and more bosses.

The Rayman Legends Online Challenges app is out on the Wii U eShop today.

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