July 2015 NPD: Lego Jurassic World Overtakes Batman, Minecraft Won't Go Away

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July's NPD numbers are in and the world's greatest detective has fallen to the might of plastic dinosaurs – with some caveats.

Batman, which took the lead last month, fell to number two as Lego Jurassic World took its place. If, however, you include console bundles that came with Batman: Arkham Knight, it's a different story. Including those bundles – which the list below does not – places Batman in the number one spot. Minecraft, which has been on the NPD list for an impressive amount of time, rose up from number six in June all the way to number three this month. The biggest new release for July is Rory Mcilroy PGA Tour which came in at number six.

Here's the full top 10 list for July. The platforms are listed in the order of sales, and do not include hardware bundles.

APA Confirms Video Game Link To Aggression, But Not Violence

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APA Confirms Video Game Link To Aggression, But Not Violence

The American Psychological Association has released a report affirming the link between video games and aggression. However, the group says that there is not enough evidence to extrapolate that to criminal violence or delinquency.

The task force involved reviewed more than 150 studies taking place between 2005 and 2013 that examined links between game engagement and aggressive thoughts and behavior. However, there are limitations in the studies, as they do not qualify for gender, take into account children under the age of 10, or extend longitudinally far enough to study impact over a child’s development.

“No single risk factor consistently leads a person to act aggressively or violently,” the report states. “Rather, it is the accumulation of risk factors that tends to lead to aggressive or violent behavior. The research reviewed here demonstrates that violent video game use is one such risk factor.”

PlayStation 4 Is Tops In U.S. For Hardware And Software In July

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PlayStation 4 Is Tops In U.S. For Hardware And Software In July

We haven’t yet received the full NPD report for July, but Sony jumped in to let us know how it fared. In the United States in July, the company once again led in hardware and software sales.

“We are truly humbled by the success of the PS4 and we would like to thank gamers for making it the top selling console and #1 in software sales in the United States in July,” a Sony representative told us via email. “The Batman Arkham Knight PS4 bundle continues to be a top seller and we are looking forward to delighting fans next month with the launch of the Limited Edition Destiny: The Taken King PS4 bundle on September 15.” 

The NPD report will be out later today with an update on the retail sector in the United States for July. 

Hasbro's Star Wars: The Force Awakens Figures Hit The Grey Market

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Hasbro's Star Wars: The Force Awakens Figures Hit The Grey Market

It was only a matter of time before merchandise for the forthcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, appeared online. Disney had hoped to keep all merchandise out of fans' hands until September 4, also known as "Force Friday," or the day the first wave of Force Awakens-themed merchandise can be sold in stores. One lucky person already has several Hasbro action figures and is selling them on eBay for $125.

The figures are a part of Hasbro's long-running 3 3/4 line, and each comes with a part for a droid. The figures offered are Kylo Ren, a Flametrooper, Finn, and Captain Phasma. The back of the figure cards (which you can see below) introduce another character named Constable Zuvio.

An original trilogy version of Luke Skywalker is also a part of this series. None of the leaked merchandise images online show the Force Awakens versions of Han Solo, Princess Leia, or Luke Skywalker. We're guessing Disney and LucasFilm are keeping these characters under lock and key until the film hits theaters on December 18.

PSA: Civilization: Beyond Earth Free To Try This Weekend On Steam

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PSA: Civilization: Beyond Earth Free To Try This Weekend On Steam

After the “Great Mistake,” humanity took to the stars to colonize new worlds. Civilization: Beyond Earth brings the classic series to alien planets, filled with creatures and environmental hazards not seen before in the franchise.

If you’ve been wondering how this installment of the series plays, you can take it for a test drive this weekend. From now through Monday, you can play Beyond Earth for free on Steam.

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Smite Launches On Xbox One Next Week, Time Running Out For Founder’s Pack

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Hi-Rez is getting ready to bring Smite out of beta on Xbox One next week. That means you have a limited window left to purchase the Founder’s Pack and merge your PC account.

Smite will be officially released on August 19, but Hi-Rez is extending a grace period for the other two items. Both the Founder’s Pack (awarding all previously released and future gods) and account mergers will be active until August 31.

The Founder’s Pack also awards two unique skins and 400 gems that can be used on additional skins and temporary boosts. For more on Smite, check out our previous coverage.

Splatoon’s Rainmaker One-Flag CTF Mode Keeps Things Fresh Starting Tomorrow

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Here we grow again. Splatoon is getting a brand new mode tomorrow, which creates a new type of objective play. Rainmaker tasks teams with carrying the titular object to the opposing side of the field.

Rainmaker is a ranked mode, so you’ll want to bring your A game. One player carries the object, which can also be used as a weapon. In an ideal scenario, the rest of the team circles up and protects the carrier.

If neither team scores before time runs out, the match is decided by goal distance. The team who has advanced the Rainmaker further at the end, will be named the victor.

A New J. R. R. Tolkien Story Arrives On October 27

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A New J. R. R. Tolkien Story Arrives On October 27

Famed authors from the 1950s and 1960s are making a splash in 2015. Harper Lee, best known for 1960's To Kill A Mockingbird, released Go Set a Watchman earlier this year. On October 27, the late, great J R. R. Tolkien returns to the new release shelves with The Story of Kullervo, an early, unfinished work of his based on the Finnish legend Kalevala.

According to Entertainment Weekly's Christian Holub, The Story of Kullervo is a fantasy tale that follows "a man who is sold into slavery by a dark magician." The story has no ties to Tolkien's better-known efforts, like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and is believed to be one of this author's first works. He never finished it, however. Publisher HarperCollins is not enlisting the help of another author to finish the story, although it is edited by Verlyn Flieger. The first part of the tale will be Tolkien's prose, and the second part will be his outline.

Readers in the U.K. can get their hands on the book this month on August 27.

Fallout Shelter Arrives On Android

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Fallout Shelter Arrives On Android

The nuclear apocalypse has finally begun for Android users. After two months of watching iOS owners fawn over Bethesda’s free-to-play Fallout Shelter, it’s time for more people to start building a Vault.

In the first two weeks, players spent over $5 million on Lunchboxes, which hold cards for weapons, unique Dwellers, and more. With the release on another platform (and Fallout fever still running rampant), Bethesda stands to cash in all over again.

For more on Fallout Shelter, be sure to check out our review and a crucial tip for the early game. You can also read a conversation between Joe Juba and Tim Turi about the game's addicting magic.

Pandora’s Tower Arrives On Wii U eShop Today

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Operation Rainfall can be considered one of the most successful fan campaigns in gaming history. The group rallied fans to convince Nintendo to localize three games for North American audiences, and was successful on all counts.

While all three only received limited releases originally, two have become more widely available. Xenoblade Chronicles is available now for the new 3DS and on the eShop in Europe (fingers crossed for North American fans). Now, Pandora’s Tower has arrived for digital purchase.

It’s available starting today on the Wii U eShop in North America for $19.99. Now we just need to hope that Mistwalker’s Last Story gets the same treatment (and Xenoblade Chronicles becomes available digitally here, too). You can read our review of Pandora's Tower in its original release for more information.