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Steam Greenlight is dead, long live Steam Direct

Valve shows Steam Greenlight the red card, then announces the impending launch date of Steam Direct.

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Steam Greenlight Steam Direct

Valve shows Steam Greenlight the red card, then announces the impending launch date of Steam Direct.

Recently, Valve Corporation announced that Steam Greenlight was on its way out. The model was noble enough, allowing indie developers to get games ‘directly’ onto the Steam store, if they could garner enough community backing. Unfortunately it descended into a barrel of dross and nonsense, driven in part by the lack of quality control from Valve, but also by some shady ‘PR’ operatives promising to guarantee any game’s Greenlight status, for a fee, of course.

So Valve has decided to cut out the middleman, and you’ll now be able to pay said fee directly to them, via the appropriately – but rather boringly – named Steam Direct.

That wasn’t without its difficulties, though. When the idea was floated, Valve suggested the Steam Direct fees could be anywhere between $100 and a whopping $5000 US. Indie developers were understandably a bit upset by this, and felt that it played into the hands of the tat-making sausage machine publishers, who had as much money to play the Steam Direct game as they did with Steam Greenlight.

Steam Greenlight dead

So yesterday, with no fanfare and barely a muffled sound, Steam Greenlight was closed. A couple of days earlier, Valve settled on a $100 charge – which is recoupable, if a game earns over $1000, after first passing an internal Valve vetting process – for Steam Direct, and the new service is set to replace Steam Greenlight next week, officially launching on June 13, 2017.

Games still in Steam Greenlight will remain there, for the Valve team to review, and determine whether they make the grade under whatever criteria they’re using for Steam Direct over the coming weeks.

And the last game added into Steam Greenlight? A quirky little strategy-racing-RPG called The Underground King. That’s a dubious honour, perhaps, but the extra publicity can’t hurt when they’re trying to get past the Greenlight Community Valve quality controllers.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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Sega announces the Game Gear Micro

That Sega rumour turns out to be a delightful thing. Say hello to the teeny-tiny Game Gear Micro.

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Sega announces the Game Gear Micro
Sega

That Sega rumour turns out to be a delightful thing. Say hello to the teeny-tiny Game Gear Micro.

We’ve heard all sorts of rumblings around Sega in the last week or so, including the possibility that the company was being purchased by Microsoft, and that it was about to release a brand new video game console.

It turns out that the new console story was a ‘tiny’ bit right. The Game Gear Micro has been announced for release in Japan on October 6, 2020. It’s priced at ¥4980, which – checking XE.com for rough exchange estimate – puts it at about $45 in the US and £35 in the UK.

Game Gear Micro - Four Colours

The Micro moniker is no joke, either. The console is a mere 80mm wide and has a 1.5-inch screen. It also features a mono speaker and headphone jack. Nicely, it can be powered by two AAA batteries or charged via USB.

Oddly, the handheld will be released in four ‘collectable’ variants: black, blue, yellow and red. Each one contains four games.

Sega Game Gear Micro – Black

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Out Run
  • Royal Stone
  • Puyo Puyo Tsu

Sega Game Gear Micro – Blue

  • Sonic Chaos
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Sylvan Tale
  • Baku Baku Animal

Sega Game Gear Micro – Yellow

  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II
  • Shining Force: Final Conflict
  • Nazo Puyo Aruru no Ru

Sega Game Gear Micro – Red

  • Revelations: The Demon Slayer
  • Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special
  • GG Shinobi
  • Columns

Fans who preorder all four colours will find their playing experience improved by a free replica of the Big Window magnifying peripheral.

At the time of writing we don’t have confirmation of a Western release, but here’s a hoping. Take a look at the console in the full reveal trailer.

Check out our new releases section for the latest PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Sony does the right thing, postpones PlayStation 5 game reveal

This week’s PlayStation 5 event, which promised to showcase PS5 games for the first time, has been postponed.

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PlayStation 5 logo black
Sony

This week’s PlayStation 5 event, which promised to showcase PS5 games for the first time, has been postponed.

In a simple statement on Twitter, the official PlayStation account announced that this week’s event – scheduled for June 4 – is postponed.

“While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games,” begins the statement, “we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard.”

Black Lives Matter protests have been taking place across the United States after a Black Minnesota man, George Floyd, was killed by a police officer on May 25, 2020. That police officer knelt on his neck and back for almost nine minutes, while Floyd called out that he couldn’t breathe and three other officers stood and watched. The killing was filmed and widely shared, which led to protests; first in Minnesota, then nationwide.

In the days of protest since, police forces and national guard have responded with force, pelting protesters and press alike with tear gas and batons and rubber bullets.

We know you all love video games. So do we. And let’s be honest: when it all gets too much, having something to escape to, for the sake of your own mental health, is important.

But there are more important things going on than the next generation of video game console. So while there have been negative responses to Sony’s decision from the usual suspects, the positive responses have been the overwhelming majority. It’s absolutely the right thing to do.

Video games will still be here tomorrow. The PlayStation 5 and PS5 games can still be revealed when this is all over. But people are irreplaceable, and fighting for them is more important.


If you’re looking for ways to help, this Black Lives Matter Carrd site features a wealth of information on ways to help, funds you can donate to, and resources covering everything from protesting to mental health.

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Save up to 90% with this week’s Xbox Deals with Gold

Save up 90% on some Xbox One favourites with this week’s new Deals with Gold and Spotlight discounts.

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Xbox Deal with Gold
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Save up 90% on some Xbox One favourites with this week’s new Deals with Gold and Spotlight discounts.

There’s a modest selection of Xbox One titles on offer this week, but a few classics and hidden gems to catch the eye.

Among the Deals with Gold, you can find 75% discounts on Deck13’s pair of acclaimed action-RPGs, The Surge and The Surge 2. The mighty Divinity: Original Sin 2 is also reduced by 30%.

This week’s Spotlight selection is dominated by games and bundles from Ubisoft’s Far Cry and Ghost Recon franchises. Deeper cuts we recommend include Stellaris, Mugsters, and Mable & The Wood.

Both sales run through to June 8 via the Xbox Digital Games store and Microsoft online store. Here’s the full lineup of discounted titles.

Deals with Gold Highlights

  • Digerati Mixer Bundle Vol.1 – 67% off
  • Disco Dodgeball – REMIX – 70% off
  • Doughlings: Invasion – 35% off
  • Gaijin Charenji 1 : Kiss or Kill – 50% off
  • Let’s Sing 2020 – 35% off
  • Let’s Sing Country – 35% off
  • Mugsters – 70% off
  • Nefarious – 75% off
  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition – 30% off
  • Not A Hero: Super Snazzy Edition – 80% off
  • Shape of the World – 70% off
  • Stellaris: Console Edition – 60% off
  • Terminator: Resistance – 33% off
  • The Forbidden Arts – 50% off
  • The Journey Down Trilogy – 40% off
  • The Surge – 75% off
  • The Surge 2 – 75% off
  • Think of the Children – 85% off
  • Weakless – 50% off

Spotlight Sale Highlights

  • 99Vidas – 90% off
  • Bedlam – 50% off
  • Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers – 75% off
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition – 50% off
  • Far Cry 3 Classic Edition – 50% off
  • Far Cry 4 – 67% off
  • Far Cry 4 + Far Cry Primal Bundle – 65% off
  • Far Cry 5 – 75% off
  • Far Cry 5 + Far Cry New Dawn Deluxe Edition Bundle – 70% off
  • Far Cry Insanity Bundle – 60% off
  • Far Cry New Dawn – 60% off
  • Far Cry Primal – 67% off
  • Feudal Alloy – 80% off
  • Gnomes Garden: Lost King – 50% off
  • Hexologic – 40% off
  • It’s Quiz Time – 30% off
  • Mable & The Wood – 75% off
  • Override: Mech City Brawl – 75% off
  • Pumped BMX Pro – 70% off
  • Rapala Fishing: Pro Series – 75% off
  • Super Night Riders – 75% off
  • Tango Fiesta – 85% off
  • The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition – 80% off
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – 70% off
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Gold Edition – 65% off
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands – Standard Edition – 65% off
  • Troll & I – 80% off
  • VASARA Collection – 90% off

Get news on the latest video game deals via our regularly updated sales page. And check out our new releases section for the latest PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition tops the UK charts

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition tops the UK software charts in its launch week.

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Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition UK chart
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

It’s a welcome return for Shulk and friends as Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition tops the UK software charts in its launch week.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition has taken the top spot on the UK chart, some nine years after the original version debuted at No.7. According to reports, the game has sold twice as many copies in its first week as the Wii edition. As a result, Animal Crossing: New Horizons falls one place to No.2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare camps at No.3 for a second week.

Elsewhere in the Top Ten, a crop of PlayStation 4 games benefit from recent price promotions. The Last of Us Remastered re-enters the chart at No.9, and less discerning post-apocalyptic fans propel Days Gone back to No. 6. PlayStation VR Worlds also sneaks in at No.10.

Skyrim VR, Astro Bot Rescue Mission, and Everbody’s Golf VR also benefit, returning to the lower reaches of the chart.

Finally, 2K’s Nintendo Switch ports of Bioshock: The Collection and Borderlands: The Legendary Collection land at No.18 and No.22 respectively.

Here’s the full UK Top 10. Visit the Ukie website for the complete Top Forty rundwon.

UK Top Software Chart -W/E 30th May

  1. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (NE)
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. FIFA 20
  6. Days Gone
  7. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (RE)
  8. Minecraft
  9. The Last of Us: Remastered (RE)
  10. Playstation VR Worlds

Visit our new releases page for regular Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 updates. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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This week’s new Xbox One releases (June 1-5, 2020)

Here is this week’s lineup of brand new Xbox One releases. One title is quite literally awesome.

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New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Here’s the full lowdown on this week’s lineup of brand new Xbox One video game releases. One title is quite literally awesome.

There isn’t a huge amount to be excited about on Xbox One this week, but we promised you an awesome game, so let’s talk about one.

Awesome Pea 2 is the follow-up to Sometimes You’s enjoyable 2018 retro-platformer. The original was a slight, but occasionally tricky game starring a heroic vegetable. The peaquel promises a larger serving of everything, including dungeons, enemies, and loot. The pea-souper visuals also return, beautifully recalling the dingy display of the Nintendo Game Boy.

Other new releases include Strawberry Vinegar, a quirky visual novel about making food to save your soul, and We Were Here Together, a mysterious puzzle adventure set in the wastes of Antarctica.

The latest addition to the Thumbsticks ‘Big Book of Bland Game Names’ is called Cyber Protocol. It’s a fun retro-style puzzler. Finally, the long-awaited Eco Lifestyle expansion comes to The Sims 4.

Each new release can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store and Microsoft online store. Here’s the full lineup at the time of writing. We’ll keep this page updated throughout the week.

New Xbox One releases: June 1-5, 2020

Monday, June 1, 2020

  •  No releases

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

  • No releases

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

  • Strawberry Vinegar
  • Depth of Extinction
  • Awesome Pea 2

Thursday, June 4, 2020

  • Pro Cycling Manager 2020
  • Tour de France 2020

Friday, June 5, 2020

  • Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio
  • Outbuddies DX
  • The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle (Expansion)
  • We Were Here Together
  • Rigid Force Redux

If you’re looking for some video game bargains, read our roundup of last week’s rockin’ Xbox One sales.


Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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