Weekly News Catch-Up: April 15th

We here at PSN Fans love news: release dates, gameplay trailers, hardware details… You name it. However we can’t always report on everything that trickles out of the news machine, which is where Weekly News Catch-Up comes in. Here we cover some of the stories that didn’t make it to the front page the first time around.

This week features Skullgirls tournaments, free Starhawk DLC, a motion to remove registered sex offenders from online gaming networks, and the possibility of getting Skype on the Vita soon.

US Sex Offenders Banned From Online Gaming Networks (GameSpot)
As part of an online safety initiative set in motion by the US state of New York, over 3,500 registered sex offenders have had their online gaming privileges revoked. Supported by the Entertainment Software Association, of which such companies as Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Warner Bros., Blizzard, Disney and EA are members, the initiative comes after the recent court case of a 10 year old boy who had been sexually abused by a 19 year old man who he had met via Xbox Live. For more info, check out GameSpot’s report on the matter.

Skullgirls Tournaments
With Skullgirls’ recent release on the PSN for North Americans, and its pending comeuppance to other regions over the next few weeks, developer Reverge Labs and publisher Autumn Games will be showing off their new entry to the fighting genre in tournaments over the coming months. In a recent press release, the following dates and locations were given:

• Shadowloo Showdown: Melbourne, Australia – May 4-6
• Toryuken: Toronto – May 19-20
• Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament 8: Chicago – May 25-27
• Northwest Majors: Seattle – June 2-3
• Montreal Annual Tournament: Montreal – June 2-3
• East Coast Throwdown: Morristown, N.J. – June 9-10
• CEO 2012: Orlando, Fla. – June 15-17
• Midwest Championships 2012: Nashville, Tenn. – June 22-24
• ESC: Elite Series (Finals): Toronto – July 28

More tournaments will be announced soon, and will be added to the official site here.

Starhawk Offering GameStop-Exclusive DLC, Free Content to Facebook Users (PS Blog)
For those North American gamers who love store-exclusive DLC (which is everyone, right?) you may find comfort in knowing that your GameStop pre-order for Starhawk will nab you $20 worth of DLC for the game along with a free month of PlayStation Plus. If that’s not enough, you can also score a free character outfit for the game by watching this trailer on the game’s Facebook page. NOTE: the free content is only available to North American users. Sorry fellow non-USAers!

Sony Possibly Bringing Skype to the Vita This Month (PlayStation LifeStyle)
Thanks to some super sleuthing (kind of) by PlayStation LifeStyle, it seems we may see the uber popular VoIP app Skype making an appearance on Vitas in as soon as two weeks. When asked by a forum member on the PlayStation Blog about when it may come out, Jawad Ashraf replied with “looking at the tail end of the month at the moment.” The announcement of Skype coming to Vita was made earlier last year however there’s been hardly any mention, if at all, of it since.

As pointed out by PSLS, if this statement holds true then 3G Vita users will have what some Sony fans have been asking for for some years – a PlayStation phone.

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About Angelo Valdivia

Angelo's been avidly gaming since age 3, and it's still what he does when he's not playing trumpet in bands and teaching. Or watching Sci-Fi. Or reading comic books. You can follow him on Twitter: @MangieV