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"Toem." Screenshot: Something We Made

Microsoft and Nintendo deluged fans over the last two days with showcases focusing on indie games about everything from farming in mech suits to boyfriends that turn into weapons.

Why it matters: These showcases reinforce the idea that there are great reasons to play an Xbox or Switch beyond whatever heavily-marketed mega-games are on the release schedule.

Nintendo's showcase was a tight 22 minutes today and included glimpses of black-and-white photography game "Toem" (2022, timed console exclusive), cross-country adventure "Eastward" (Sept. 16), and graffiti-skating romp "Bomb Rush Cyberfunk" (2022, timed console exclusive).

"Lightyear Frontier." Screenshot: Frame Break

Microsoft's showcase ran over two hours yesterday and showed off dog photography game "Pupperazzi" (coming soon), Sim-City-on-the-back-of-a-giant-creature "The Wandering Village," and that mech farming game "Lightyear Frontier."

  • Microsoft brands its indie partnerships under the ID@xbox label, promoting it as a means to bring games into its console ecosystem.
  • It taps a lot of indies for its Game Pass subscription service, which helps boost that Netflix-style offering.
  • Indies announced for Game Pass yesterday included: "Aragami 2," "Library of Ruina," and "Pupperazzi."

The big picture: On consoles, there are millions of players who just stick with $60 "Call of Duty," "Madden" and "Mario" games, which constitute the medium's mainstream.

  • But indies, often selling for about $20, tend to present gaming at its most creative.
  • As the Xbox event's co-host Meghan Camarena said yesterday of indie gaming, "It's like someone had a crazy idea and they're like, 'Let's turn it into a video game.'"

Go deeper

"New World" players are running out of in-game money

Image courtesy of Amazon Game Studios

Consumers are grappling with inflation in this world. But in another world, it's deflation, Axios Closer's Courtenay Brown writes.

Driving the news: Amazon's massively multiplayer online game "New World" — recently out after a slew of delays — is dealing with a crisis in its player-driven economy, PlayerAuctions reports.

"Grand Theft Auto" trilogy coming in November

Image courtesy of Rockstar Games

Rockstar is celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Grand Theft Auto III" with news that its upcoming bundle, "Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy The Definitive Edition," launches Nov. 11.

Driving the news: The Trilogy — which packages "Grand Theft Auto III," "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City," and "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" will be available via PlayStation Store, the Microsoft Store on Xbox, Nintendo eShop and the Rockstar Games Launcher.

Updated 43 mins ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.